Some of our holidays commemorate controversial events or people, that’s just the way things are. There are at least a few unofficial holidays that I believe should be official and hold a much more prominent place on our calendars. Foremost among the arcane holidays is International Friendship Day.
I wasn’t one of the popular kids in school, so those peers who decided to remain by my side as playmates and pals were very special. The ones dearest to my heart are the true-blue friends and “blood brothers”. I can close my eyes and picture their smiling faces then the happy memories start flowing.
Today, on Friendship Day, I think of my first real best friend, Lonnie from first grade. There was Jeff from across the street who befriended me in sixth grade. John was my next door neighbor in third grade until his family moved to Colorado. Joe and I bonded in tenth grade. Then there was Duane in eleventh.
College signaled an increase in numbers of friends. My best pal was Sam. Then at work in the grocery store was the crazy in a good way, blonde guy named Jim. There was Takeo from Osaka, Japan who evolved from being my best friend into becoming my partner.
I also began hanging out with Mark who was a bestie at two radio stations. After Mark moved away, Terry and I became closer, we also worked at the same radio station. Ward came along in the 1980s and he’s still a friend on Facebook. In the mid 1980s I met Doug, who eventually moved to Arizona. We still maintain contact and correspond. He’s pretty special.
Sprinkled among these best friends were close pals like Dick who was the center of a solar system grouping of friends including his cousin Willis. There were also some room mates who became very close friends. There was Doug from Minneapolis and Paul from St. Paul–really! The social butterfly Felix eventually became my room mate for a few years. We were especially close.
There are good friends I primarily know from correspondence. At the top of the list is Tommy from Louisiana, who I met through a “lonely hearts” classified advertisement long, long ago. There are Graham and Helen in the UK who I know through actual visits. I’d like to meet Alexei face to face someday in Novgorod, Russia. He is the Internet friend who is coaching me with the Russian language.
Currently I spend time with Dianne and her pets. The philosopher/trucker friend is Jorge my close confidant. I’m not forgetting a few dear family members and of course there’s my boyfriend.
When we sit down and ponder the people who have been our closest friends, it’s easy to understand why I think International Friendship Day is perhaps the most important holiday of them all. Remember all of your friends today.