Best Friends

I was talking to my best friend, Donnie, yesterday, and we discussed at length all the things that we shared and did together when we were in high school and college. Donnie is my best friend from that time and we still get together periodically to share a meal and talk about what is going on in our lives and generally catch up. We also talk on the phone regularly and keep each other up-to-date. 

This type of friendship is very rare and I have always cherished the fact that we can keep it up. But you must remember, having a best friend takes time and energy. You must work at it and make sure the relationship grows and flowers. It must be shared and there must be a give and take that makes the relationship worthwhile for both parties. To give you an example, our group of friends in High School was composed of 6 teenagers: there was Donnie, Phil, Rocco, Rich, Mig, and me. We always hung around together at the school. We had lunch together, took same classes whenever we could, went to IHOP for a long breakfast during our free periods on Tuesdays, and generally had a great high school experience together. Sometimes, we would get together for pizza and play cards at someone’s house, usually a weekend night. We usually ended up at my house as I had a pool and a great patio where we could sit around and play for hours on end. My parents were hospitable and would leave us alone to our antics. As long as we did not get in trouble and we never did. Sometimes we got together at Donnie’s office and a couple of times we watched films on a projector. We made an effort to always get together and stay together. 

After we graduated from High school, we went our separate ways and lost touch with each other. Donnie and me stayed together because we went to the same community college and had some of the same classes. We would study together, drive to classes, have lunch, work on papers and generally continued the friendship. Donnie had a girlfriend and they always included me on their plans for bowling night or badminton nights. This way, we continued to stay together. The others did not do that and we lost touch. After Donnie got married to his girlfriend, Sussie, and I started to date my future wife, Evelyn, we lost touch as well and a several decades went past.

Years later, Donnie and I met each other by accident at the local Costco and reconnected once again. We started getting together at Panera’s and sometimes other places such as Mig’s local store. We were in our late fifties and wanted to reconnect. Donnie and I always called the others and picked a day to meet to ensure all would attend these gatherings. We met 3-4 times with Rocco, Mig, and Rich and reminisced about the good old days and updated on each other’s lives. After that, interest waned and we could not get the others to join. They were too busy or we could not find a mutually agreeable date to meet. Also, I noticed that the others never called, Donnie and I did all the calling. The friendship was not working and we drifted apart again. 

Donnie and I continued to talk on the phone regularly and got together for coffee and a chat at my house. Phil also came a few times and we had a lot of fun. Our wives arranged a few get togethers, as well, cocktails, dinners, wine tastings which allowed us to continue the friendship. Donnie and Sussie have an open invitation to their church and both Evelyn and I joined them for Wednesday’s bible dinner at their church. 

Evelyn and I moved away to Rhode Island to be close to our daughter and her family. Donnie and I continue to get together periodically by picking a middle spot between Greenwich, CT and East Greenwich, RI (Branford, CT). We pick a diner, meet, have brunch, and spend hours talking and getting up to speed on what is going on in our lives. Evelyn and I moved to Rhode Island In June, 2018. Donnie and I got together three times in 2018. In 2019, we have not gotten together yet but I hope to continue our get togethers soon. We continue to talk on the phone regularly.

My point is, it takes energy and commitment to have a friendship and Donnie and I continue to work hard at it. A best friend can make a difference in your life. You can discuss all your hopes and dreams, your life’s trials and tribulations. And, you know that no matter what happens your best friend always has your back. That is the definition of a best friend.

Do you have a best friend??

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