There are very few qualities I have that I pride myself on. I don't rave about my beauty or intelligence, you'll never hear me brag about my financial saavy or ability to name all the members of NKOTB. However, I am an excellent friend. It's something I really do pride myself on because I'm just that good. If you're a friend of mine I will do just about anything for you. I have left work to drive 90 minutes when a friend had her wisdom teeth out. I have helped a friend move all the belongings of her apartment into a storage unit when I was running a 100 degree fever. I will drive anywhere and do anything.
I don't ask for much in return, perhaps too little. Once you're my friend, you're my friend for life. Even if we don't speak often, even if we fight. There are a few exceptions however. Once you hurt me or someone I love, we're pretty much done. There's a girl in my law school who invited a bunch of my friends to a party, but didn't invite me. My friends swore it was an oversight and wanted me to come with them. Instead I decided I'd never go out of my way for this girl. By the end of law school, this girl was on the outs with all my friends because she was only interested in talking about herself and never had time to be a true friend. Guess my instincts paid off.
It's much worse if you hurt someone important to me than if you hurt me. See, part of being a good friend is I'm intensely loyal. I don't let anyone talk badly about my friends, I don't let anyone treat my friends poorly. In high school, my friend S was friendly with a girl. S was always complaining to me about how this girl was nice to her when they were alone, but not so nice when other "popular" people were around. It really hurt S's feelings and I never forgave that girl. Did that girl ever do anything mean to me? Nope. She barely spoke 2 words to me until she found out we were going to college together. But by then, the damage was done.
So how to you join the ranks of friends? It's very simple. All it takes is meeting me. I would much rather be friends than enemies, so I give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they proove otherwise. Don't believe me? Jon and I moved into our place at the end of August. While he was moving in, Jon met our neighbor and his wife. She was large with child ;-) We never really had any deep conversations with them, mostly the typical "hey neighbor" as we passed each other. On November 21, I passed Mrs. Neighbor on my way out with Ringo. She was really big. I knew she was due in December, so I asked how things were going. She told me the baby was so big, they were going to induce labor the next week! 3 weeks early! Mr. Neighbor asked us to keep an eye on their place while they were at the hospital because they'd be there almost a full week. We did more than that. I got to work and this was waiting for them when they got home:
From left to right: Crockpot full of crockpot lasagna, french bread, fruit salad, green salad, chicken and broccoli casserole, and bagels.
I knew they were going to be busy and probably would have no groceries in the fridge when they returned from the hospital so I made some food to last them a couple days till they got settled in and could get to the store. They were so grateful, but for me that's what friends do ;-)