Monday, February 2, 2009

Friends. How many of us have them?

I think I have spent most of my life trying to figure out the definition of Friendship. As a kid, I always seem to call everyone (who didn't pick on me), my friends. My father would tell me that true friends are there when you need them. I looked up to my dad so much as a kid because I thought he was one of those cool fathers who could slick back is hair and adjust his mustache and he would always look good. He had this aura about him that seem to attract so many people. At, times I thought her had literally a hundred friends. But, in his wisdom, he would tell me that all those people were not his friends. They were associates that only liked him because he had a good job and he was always willing to help someone.

This was always proven to me when my dad used to get into a jam, only few people would help him get out of it. He would look at me at tell me, "Now those are true friends". Over there years we seems to have the same friends be there for him over and over to the point that when he retired, they all moved to same place in Deltona,Florida.

Now, if you have ever been to Deltona, you will know that it is a very fast growing community. Located about an hour from both Orlando and Tampa Bay. I call in "the little Bronx" because all the old school Puerto Ricans from the Bronx now seem to reside there. I am amazed about all the people he knows there. Every time I go down for a visit, I get introduced to another old "associate: that he used to run with. The conversations would go something like this...

Papi: Anthony, you remember Felix right? He used to live on Story Avenue by the firehouse
Felix: Hey! Papa, remember me? I remember you when you this small!
Papi: He used to take care you when you were little...Remember Carmen, his wife?
Felix: Yeah man, I ran with your father back in the day on Eagle ave....

Repeat that about a hundred times and you will get my drift. Substitute Felix with Willie, or Oscar,or any Spanish name you can think of. Then substitute Carmen, with Lisa, Olga, or Jackie. When he moved, I thought I would be rid of these people. But I digress...

I am stuck in this notion of friendship because I am not sure I have a definition that suits me. Sure, I have friends. Some that disappoint me, some that I disappoint, some I actually love, and others that I hate to love. There also those that I have spoken to in a long time and when you finally have a conversation it is almost like a single day has not passed. But how does one judge a friend? There is no measure sometimes.

I cannot go by how I treat my friends, because I would drive myself nuts. Bad enough I am a Gemini who gets bored easily, which means that I may seclude myself until something excites me. But, I when I am your friend, then I am your friend for life. I may forget your birthday, but if you need something I am there. There will always be a point when I think about via a memory or a glance at your Facebook status (which, by the way, facebook is like crack sometimes).

So what do I ask in return? I am not that picky actually because I don't expect much. I just expect my friends to be real. I have come to realize that this one thing is hard for some people to do! If you can't hang out then that is cool, just say so. But the one thing that yanks my chain, is when people say they will do something and they don't do it. I am not talking about offering to pay dinner or anything like that. I am just saying that I don't like flakes in my


kberry said...

I went through some big stuff in the last year, and I found out that sometimes you have more friends than you realize. And sometimes the ones you thought you were closest aren't.

I have been awed by the kindness and generosity of the people around me.

Thank you for being a friend.

E.Payne said...

LN - the definition of friendship that I learned a while back is that a friend is someone who knows everything about you and still is your boy. Life has definitely whittled my list of friends down to very few, between marriage and kids I've seen more flakes emerge than a little bit. It hurt me tremendously when I first began cutting ties, but everyone serves their purpose in life and just when I'm getting ready to flake out on people I remember what happened to me.

And I don't do it.

Brooke said...

Friendship means different things to different people, and I do believe people serve different purposes in our lives. What friendship ISN'T though is selfish, mean-spirited, backhanded, manipulative, jealous or unkind.

It always hurts me when a friendship ends, but it's always for the better. I don't regret them, they all served a purpose and I learned from each interaction. And I think I learn from those negative interactions how to be a better friend.

Anthony Otero said...

It is funny how friendships ending can hurt as much as a any relationship ending. I really havent ended too many frienships, but the ones that have ended have been tough. But, Brook, as you said they were all learning experiences.


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