What does it mean to be a trusted friend nowadays, and how might that different from casual or even fair weather friends? I don't think it's too much to ask for to have at least one solid friend to share the good, bad, and ugly moments in life. Friends are different than family, and in some cases are better than some relatives.
I've recently had to rely on a trusted friend who has morphed into a younger brother and confidante. He's seen the good, bad, and ugly in me, and still hangs on when others would have abandoned. It matters not that I speak of my roommate, or perhaps it does given the tough real estate market in New York. No, he's one of those people I can rely on.
Of all the people I've met and known in life, he's one of the best. Prior to meeting him, I wouldn't have thought we'd be roommates, let alone friends, but God knows all. Is it a responsibility or job to allow things to happen even when there's an opposite gut reaction?
In elementary and junior high school teachers and administrators cordoned me off as one of the elite students destined for success. I didn't realize back then the value of friendship because I'd always had cousins and extracurricular activities to keep occupied.
An interesting or strange factoid is that my mother and aunts were classmates or neighbors to my contemporaries. Friendship is usually organic, but sometimes parents or other relatives can prevent, taint, or destroy friendships based on slights or pains they suffered during their adolescence.
I tend to be more of a parent than a friend to people in my life, which has been beneficial to some, agonizing to others. It's my Type-A personality. There have been and are times I don't want to be the parent, but ultimately end up doing damage control.
* * *
There's no exact science to friendship. People have stopped talking to me because I didn't fly out to their wedding in Texas, after having hurt my knee while dancing in Central Park. It might have been nice to be a groomsman, but this former classmate expected me to pay for the flight and accommodations. The flight I'd have paid for, but he couldn't have spared a sleeping bag or pullout sofa. He was at the mercy of his fiancée and her family.
* * *
I fell out of contact with many people when I relocated from Texas to NYC. I can't blame them entirely, long-distance calls and flights can be expensive both ways. However, when I moved here, I did have a computer and an e-mail address for budget-conscious people.
People change, and it's best not to live in the past. Whatever the case, I'm glad I have someone standing by my side.