Things have changed a little these days, but I am old enough to have grown up in a time when having female friends at school meant you had to be gay, although I’m not and I did. Still do. In fact, I don’t have any male friends left from my days in the classroom, just a few girls that I still count amongst those close to my heart.
Over the weekend one of those girls got engaged, and I could not be happier for her and her husband-to-be. I have known her for the best part of three decades and I have not seen her smile more than I have these last few years. She has found someone special, and we should all be so lucky as to find the same.
True friendships are rare – certainly much less common than movies and television woud have you believe. I’m not talking about the rejects you hung about with as a teenager, or the kids you played hide and seek with before that. I mean your adult friendships. These are not the people who like your selfies on Facebook or Instagram, or the ones you share a cigarette or coffee with at work: they are not your friends.
A friend is there for you when you need someone to listen, or when you need a shoulder to cry on. A friend will have your back when others will not. A friend has money for you if you find yourself without. A friend will have the guts to tell you you’re being an idiot, when you are. And a friend will stand by your side when nobody else will, through the sadness as well as the laughter.
And you will be that person for them should the need arise.
All that being said, you likely have fewer friends in your world than you think you do. But if the people in your life tick most of those boxes, you’re on to a winner, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few.
And this is one of them.
No names required: she knows who she is.