“I have 386 friends.” Someone told me.
How do you keep count? I wondered. How many letters/emails does she have to write? How many birthdays, occasions,… And above all, how do you remember what you said to whom? Was I worried over nothing? I remembered that she often repeated so many things that she had told me before. So, this seemed like a real issue.
It turned out there was no danger of any issue as these were mainly people whom she had connected on Facebook. So basically, she didn’t know the names, the actual names of most of them. Someone responded to a comment, and that was the beginning of a friendship which had not gone further than a line of comment since it started two years before.
I suppose I take things seriously, perhaps too seriously. But I often thought friends were special people whom I cherished more than so many things in life. They were like relatives only better because we mutually chose each other. There was no biological imposition, no family consideration for having a relationship with its never ending and often unilateral responsibilities. With friends, we chose to listen to each other, to worry about each other, to care, to hurt and get hurt a minimum number of times (with family it can be a lifelong), to criticize, to forego, to forgive and so much more…
Friendship, for me, takes time. I think I am blessed as I still have friends, very close friends, from my childhood and my adolescence. I keep making new friends but I doubt if I can make those types of friendships ever again. Friends who know me sometimes better than I know myself. And I know them. Those I do not have to explain, or explain so much. They are nowhere near 386, or 300, or even 100, but a handful, a precious handful I intend to cherish for as long as I live.
How many friends do you have?