Friendship, in my professional opinion, is one of the most valuable forms of nourishment available. I feel I can be an authority on this topic because of one very important qualification: I’m human! Mind you, I’m not a professional human… but I am a human who has a profession. Anyway, I greatly value all my friends; and have even been blessed with a best friend.
We’ve known each other since we were 17… met by happenstance in high school. In those days I already had a best friend; and he still is to this day and I love him to pieces. But this new best friend person stole my heart you see. We got planted next to each other in study hall way back in January of 1972, and became friends pretty much instantly. This was during the time that the internet was still made of strange things called the U.S. Mail and an obscure device called the telephone that transmitted voice signals through wires strung on poles.
Our school was in the booming metropolis of Rhinelander, Wisconsin; and when I left to serve Uncle Sam we used this U.S. Mail internet snail mail not-so-instant messaging thingy and the landline telephone speaking devices to their fullest. We stayed in touch and each time came home on leave it was obvious our friendship grew stronger and stronger.
As anyone who has a best friend knows, the foundation of such a relationship is comprised primarily of kindness and caring. We grew ever closer over the years, and although times and situations presented great challenges to our friendship, it has nonetheless endured and even flourished to this day.
Now here’s where it gets really interesting: this “new best friend” I acquired in high school just happened to be a young woman!! She captured my heart by switching her wardrobe from jeans and smock tops to dresses and makeup. At the time, I had little clue that a woman as beautiful as this could have any interest in me; but this sudden wardrobe change became the equivalent of Cupid bonking me on the noggin with a giant 2 x 4.
Naturally, our friendship evolved into romance; and we developed some habits early on that have kept us focused on the continual nurturing of each other. Habits included holding hands, hugging, snuggling, smooching and saying “I love you” multiple times a day. We still practice these habits; and they came in pretty handy during The Great Adjustment Period of living together. I think that lasted about… um… 17 years.
What can I say? Sometimes I’m a slow learner!!
We’ve discovered some amazing tools along the way, some of which were imparted to us via professional counselors and others via close friends. Thankfully, both of us wanted our friendship to work much more than we wanted it to fail. Some of these tools came in the form of little mantras we say to ourselves, like:
“How important is it? Or put another way, “is this really worth picking a fight over?”
“Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?”
“Say what you mean, and mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.” and…
“You can disagree without being disagreeable.”
Other important habits were learned very early in life; specifically the practice of respect and just plain good manners. We say “please” and “thank you” often. And although neither of us got much of them when we were kids, we give each other compliments regularly. We both cook so we let each other know when a meal was yummy… and don’t say anything negative when it’s just food. If one of us drops something on the floor and the other finds it, we just take care of it without shaming the pants off the accidental litterbug. In short, we take care of each other; and continue to build more friendship while cementing it together with a few million bushels of love.
I’m a very fortunate man, because my best friend is the Most Beautiful Woman In The Universe (all other women are the Second Most Beautiful).
And yes, my best friend is married. To me!!
OK!!! Time for the mooshy videos!!