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The Definition of a Friend
There are many definitions of a friend. Dictionary.com defines a friend as a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. Webster has a similar definition, and also defines a friend as one that is not hostile. The fact that a friend can be anyone who is not hostile is interesting to me. I feel the definition is misleading. A friend can very easily be hostile and still in fact be a good friend. To be hostile is to be opposed in feeling, action, or character. To be hostile can also mean not being friendly, warm, generous, or hospitable.
I have been best friends with a girl since preschool. Keri and I met the very first day of preschool, when we were four years old. I sat down next to her, merely because that was where the only empty red chair was located. Red was my favorite color. It's odd that our friendship formed from such a coincidence.
We had “play dates”. We went to each other’s houses. We went to each other’s parties. We shared our secrets; we shared our laughs. We shared our heartaches. We shared everything.
Keri and I were in the same homeroom for years before, finally, we were split up. I became closer to some of my other friends, as she did too. We drifted slightly, but always, without fail, we have been able to rely on each other. This past year, we have become close again. We call each other for no reason. We giggle. We talk. We cry.
And we fight. Once, surfing the web, I came across a quote on a random profile that we both follow like the religious follow the bible. We’ve misquoted it and expanded on it, to the point where it is probably unrecognizable from the original.
“An ordinary friend pats you on the back and calls you a genius. A true friend pushes you down and calls you a moron. Later, they help you up and brush off the dirt.”
I have no idea who first said this, but Keri and I now quote it constantly. We live it.
What does it mean, exactly? It means, that being a friend is more than being happy and optimistic all the time. It means that if your friend robs a bank, you’re allowed to tell them that they’re stupid. It means that being on their side, doesn’t mean siding with them. You still stick up for them, but in private you berate them.
Keri and I have had our troubles. I stick by her side some of the times, and others, I tell her to knock it off. I tell her to stop being stupid. And then, when she crumbles later, I listen to her tears. When I have my problems, Keri’s there for me too. She tells me when I’m in the right. And she tells me when I’m being a moron.
That’s what being a friend is. It’s being honest. Around a friend, you can be vulnerable, and they’re there. You don’t have to over think it. If you can use out and out honesty with someone, and still be friends the next day, than you have a friendship similar to that which Keri and I have.
Keri and I aren’t conventional. We laugh, and we cry. We compliment, and we criticize. We love, and we hate. We hate, and we love. And we are sisters, in everything but blood.
If only more people could have that type of relationship, the world would be a better place.