Friends and Friendship

First and foremost, I will be writing from a masculine perspective. If a woman is reading this piece, you should interpret it from a female perspective.

Since my stroke, I have pretty well isolated myself from other people. Firstly because my now-ex-wife had, for some reason, wanted it that way, I guess. Secondly because after my stroke, I knew that I had some problems and I didn’t want anyone to notice that I was somewhat duller than normal, and my aphasia called attention to that. And thirdly, because I had moved to Fargo, North Dakota approximately six months after my divorce, and while people in Fargo would probably understand, I did not want to impose myself and my problems to other people.

So, in Fargo, where I will most likely die, hopefully when I am at least 75 years old, longer if I am lucky.

But, I have very little friends anywhere right now.

See, I have a strict idea concerning friends and friendship. And I will not change my standards of friendship. I place a strict hierarchy with respect to friendship, from co-worker, acquaintance, friend, close friend, and finally a single best friend.

I think that many people make relationships haphazardly, and they claim that they have may friends, but I see that most of these “friends” are merely acquaintance or co-workers, with very few friends. I, on the other hand, know the value of friendship, and that it takes YEARS to make a friend, close friend, or best friend. And many people do not understand these relationships.

Let us define my terms:

A co-worker, or cow-orker, is a person who works in the same place you do. That is the only qualification for them to become co-workers. Such a relationship is worth absolutely nothing. Every co-worker relationship is self-serving, get the job done, maybe get a beer after work, and not much beyond that.

A co-worker is, in no absolutely no way, a friend.

An acquaintance is also not a friend, but they are people who, in general, are not co-workers. These are people that you share some common interests with. A similar hobby, a similar place you go on a regular basis. An example of an acquaintance would be some people in a church, a bowling league, a bar where you frequent, or similar things, wherein you see these people out side the normal place, and interact with each other regularly. Now, that regular interaction is not a friendship. Yet. But over time, it MAY develop a friendship.

Now, a friend is something entirely different. In my opinion, a friend is a person whom you consider to be a brother. Now, my entire family is somewhat dysfunctional, so my definition of a friend is not genetic, but a moral sibling, or an ethical sibling. A sibling by choice, not by hereditary.

A friendship also involves a commitment by both parties. A commitment to be there for the other, regardless of any other factors. For example, if you have a friend that is having any sort of problem, no matter how big or how small, a friend should be willing, if physically able, to stand by that friends side. Regardless of any other commitments, including, but not limited to, a job, a wife, a girlfriend, children, parents, etc.

This is a commitment that few people in today’s society can deal with or understand. So, to people on social media, are these so called “friends” really friends in that sense? Is there any kind of commitment of the sort whom I just detailed? And, unfortunately, the concept of “friend” has been abused by Facebook and other parts of social media. Now, I have some “Facebook friends”, but none of my “Facebook friends” are really friends; they are acquaintances. However, every “Facebook friend” is a person whom I have met IN PERSON, and whom I personally know.

Now, for the close friend. It takes AT LEAST a year for a friend to be a close friend. And we can see if someone is a close friend by the “dead body test”. If you, for what ever reason, have a dead body in your apartment, regardless of how it got there, and you need some people to help you deal with this dead body, your close friends WILL BE THERE as quickly as possible, we will dispose the dead body, and without having to remind anyone, none of the close friends will:

1: Ask why there is a dead body in the first place.
2: Never ever even talk about it with anyone except the other close friends.
3: Will NEVER tell “the authorities” about hiding the dead body or that there was a dead body in the first place.

Now, when looking at my definition of close friend, tell me, how many close friends do you really have?

Now we come to Best Friend. In my opinion, there can be only a single best friend a person can have, and that commitment of being a best friend MUST be a reciprocal thing, wherein there is a bond amongst best friends such that you can only have a single best friend, and you can only be a best friend to a single person. And, in my opinion, there is one criteria above close friend that makes a man a best friend. That is, a best friend is willing to die, without question, for the best friend.

And, again I ask, for those of you who claim that you have a “Best Friend”, for my definition, do you really have a best friend? REALLY?

Warning: I am brain-damaged due to a stroke in 2011, my sentence structure and syntax could be a bit “wonky” sometimes. Deal with it.




About Kevin Benko

I'm a fifty-something generic humanoid sack of water and meat.

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