A co-worker remarked to me today that growing up he had always found that the kids who made the best friends were those who were--how you say?--a little rough. He said that he had noticed that these people tended to be accepting, straightforward, and loyal-- while, in contrast, the "good" kids were a bunch of hypocritical, shallow, thoughtless snots who had no experience with the "real" world and were therefore incapable of coping with the realities of friendship.As one of those people who has always (largely) been a "good" kid who ran around with (largely) "good" kids in high school, I must say I took some offense at this. And my offense to this was, in part, because of the three following friends:
I have had a lot of wonderful friends over the years (here's a shout-out to Becky, who's been there as long as my memory, and Jamie, who was there through most of this stuff too), but these three were particularly important to me during the past decade
Holly, Loriann, Nick, and I bonded in high school and are still friends today. Together over the past ten years, the three of us have gone through a lot of crap together. To name some: eight high school newspaper deadlines, three stepfathers, two apostasies, five Standards concerts, several heartbreaks, one nervous breakdown, one hundred and thirty pounds gained, one hundred and thirty pounds lost, three college degrees, Christophori's Dream, hundreds of e-mails, one two-year mission, one coming-out-of-the-closet, several years of unemployment, several years of employment, two weddings, one master's degree, three births, moves to all parts of the country, and more. Loriann wrote to Nick every single week that he was on his mission. Nick sewed Holly a quilt for Christmas. Holly rubbed my back when I woke up sobbing at night during the nutso months following my broken engagement. I was there to hold Nick when he cried after he told his parents he was gay.
And as I write these things, a hundred other memories run through my mind, pictures of times that we've been there for each other, through thick and thin, through ups and downs, for better or for worse. The bonds that we've forged over time run much more deeply than those of a superficial friendship-- they have cut into the layers of soul that create family. We haven't always all liked each other...we haven't always been actively in touch...but we've always loved each other.
The question, of course, is how we were able to scratch enough depth out of our shallow, thoughtless, good-kid selves to be able to sustain our love for each other over all these years.
And the answer, I suppose, is a mystery.
But I sure am glad we did.
Love you guys.