Friendship: All That It is Cracked Up to Be?

November 24, 2008
By Taylor Vanderwarker, Overland Park, KS

Friendship is important. Well, contrary to popular belief, there are a few cynical, crabby people who disagree with this drab, blasé statement. Friendship, while it's a beautiful ideal, a gorgeous notion, is deceitful. In fact, when I think about friendships and all of its striking importance, the first memories in my head aren't laughing at picnics with butterflies and unicorns, but backstabbing, and other needless high school drama that wouldn't have happened if I didn't place my trust in another's hands.

Friend (frend) n. 1. a person whom one knows well and is fond of; intimate associate; close acquaintance 2. a person on the same side in a struggle; one who is not an enemy or fore; ally 3. a supporter or sympathizer. One can have plenty of these close acquaintances and be perfectly fine, his or her life will be content and “nice”. But nice? That's such a boring adjective! A person doesn't begin to breach into the rungs of true friendship until they've reached this “intimate associate” level, that is when these people can either make or break their friendship. In all honesty though, even if they “make it”, it will only last temporarily. Humans are finicky beings, and in the right conditions, with the right sin, that once-perfectly placed trust is the worst place to store it.

So, the true question when it comes to friendship—is it quality or quantity? If one leans toward quality, he or she leaves himself or herself open to daggers in the back, but on the up-side, if that friend is one of those extremely rare good people (that don't come along, like, ever. Did I say extremely rare already?) he or she should hold on as tightly as he or she can. Most likely though, this person didn't get one of those crazy rare people, and they get stabbed in the back, one of those “he said, she said” fights occur, unfortunate things commence, and these two have a falling out and go off on their own not-so-merry way, hoping that they don't awkwardly run into each other at the supermarket. If this person though chose the latter—quantity, he or she probably won't have to stress too much about the whole dagger-in-the-back thing. On the down-side though, this person most likely won't trust his or her large amount of friends enough to lean on them when he or she isn't strong, so this person will be introverted, or just turn to family.

There are downsides to both sides. Having been in both places, I can honestly say that neither is completely healthy. The former is the more normal, traditional way to act, but, if you are like me, and just doesn't seem to have good luck picking amazing friends, it'll turn out bad. On the contrary, the latter lacks also; it lacks that warm, fuzzy, cliché feeling that a person gets when he or she can trust someone with anything. It all depends on what side a person leans to most: the nerdy recluse, or the social butterfly? Play it safe, or put oneself on the line?

Either way, some form of friendship, companionship, the rock by your bed that you talk to before you go to bed is beneficial. It brings you pain, joy, a lot of laughing or crying—maybe even at the same time. It all depends on whether the other side is seen through that half-empty-half-full glass of murky mud, or chocolate milk.

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