Seeking True Blue

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2003

In dedication to my &uot;true blue crew,&uot; you know who you are!

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I find myself taking stock in all I have. I have been quite circumspect about myself while identifying the many things for which I am truly thankful. Among all things noted, including family, career and home, I am most grateful for my friends.

Like most of us, I have had my share of ups and downs over the past year. But through it all, my friends have been my greatest source of strength, hope and pride. They have, and continue, to inspire me when I am weak, encourage me when I am full of self-doubt and comfort me when times seem dark. They are the first ones I call to celebrate my joys and accomplishments; they are the ones I can count on most when all else seems uncertain.

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I believe the measure of a true friend is indicative of the honesty he conveys. I ask you…Who else but your best friend can tell you that you just walked across a crowded room with your skirt tucked in your pantyhose and your derriere hanging out for all the world to see? Who else but a true friend can make you feel like a rock star after you’ve left the hair salon, even when your &uot;new ‘do&uot; really looks like a buzz cut with a lawn mower?

Who else but a true friend would describe your little &uot;incident&uot; on the Nordstrom’s escalator as a display of confidence and dignity – though everyone else knows your stumble from grace was a display to behold.

Only a true blue will knock some sense into you when it is quite clear you are incapable of making decisions for yourself and you are royally screwing up your life. And who else but a friend will hold your hand when you are scared, wipe the tears from your eyes and tell you things will be all right?

If you’re seeking a good friend in your life,

I suggest you review this job description.

Seeking True Blue Friend:

Want loyal friend to share in life.

Must be willing to accept 4 a.m. phone calls, hold my hand when I am scared, wipe tears of sorrow and joy, take my flea-ridden dog for the weekend and love my kids when they are rotten brats. Must tolerate bad cooking – while telling me it’s great. Must tell me I look fabulous when I’m looking marginal – at best. Must listen to me rattle endlessly about the horrible day I had at work. Must be loyal, devoted, non-judgmental and willing to put up with lots of garbage. Must laugh at bad jokes, tolerate neurotic behavior when warranted. Cheerleading is often needed, though short skirts are not required. Brutal honesty may lead to crying – but is required when stakes are high. Willingness to help with undesirable chores, such as moving and cleaning, is not a requirement, but preferred. Compassion and coping skills are a must. A good attitude and willingness to &uot;friend&uot; for free are also required.

To have good friends, I believe you must be a good friend. Further, I believe being a good friend to others is a learned behavior. I feel I have learned the value of friendship, as my parents have spent a lifetime demonstrating the importance of making, having and keeping true friends in their life. It sometimes amazes me they have maintained lasting friendships over the span of four decades. That’s 40 years – with the same &uot;true blue&uot; crew. And, even more inspiring, they continue to invite new people into the fold – extending them every bit of love, support and generosity shown to friends they’ve known a lifetime.

It is my hope to have the same lifetime of friendships my parents continue to enjoy. I have often questioned whether I am worthy of the love and loyalty continually given to me by my friends. Sometimes I wonder if I am being as good a friend to each of them as they are to me.

Thankfully, based on their behavior, the answer has been a resounding ‘Yes!’ I am worthy of their love, support, comfort and strength. For that, I am truly thankful.

There is no limit to the lengths I would go to eliminate a moment of pain or discomfort in the life of a friend. There is no personal sacrifice too large, if it brings joy and laughter. There is no action that would cause me to bring judgment and there exists no thing that would make me withdraw my love, faith or commitment to these people. It is my honor and privilege to have these people in my life.

So, as you sit down this Thanksgiving at a table with family and friends, remember to give thanks for the roof over your head, the food on your table and those who make your life worth living – your friends.

Note: For those that follow my column, you know I am a fan of the television program the Golden Girls. For those that are my true friends – you will not judge me for having confessed this in public! The lyrics to the theme song are below.

&uot;Thank You For Being a Friend&uot;

By Andrew Gold

Thank you for being a friend,

Travel down the road and back again,

Your heart is true; you’re a pal and a confidant

And if you threw a party, invited everyone you knew,

You would see the biggest gift would be from me

And the card attached would say,

‘Thank you for being a friend.’

Rebecca Hill is the advertising director for the Suffolk News-Herald. She can be contacted at 934-9601 or via e-mail: