The Uptown Hostel Amsterdam party

Linda's Column

Friends will be friends

LindaIt’s Monday. I’m on the couch watching a Friends re-run. For sure I’ve seen it 3 times and it still makes me laugh. It also makes me wonder about ‘Friends’ outside the TV world. There are far ones, good ones, and the ultimate; the best friend. But how do you decide on far, good or the best? Dominique, my 4 year old neighbour was close. He had the greatest toys and a way to get into his mom’s candy drawer. He was my man! When we moved, I was heartbroken. In Primary school I met Patrice. She and I created such a genius secret language even we couldn’t decipher it. Hmmm…Shame she nicked my family’s grocery money though. Then came Sandra, great times even though she knocked out my front tooth with hockey. But who is my best friend now? I sit up, a bit worried. What does a best friend need to do these days?

Next day at the bar I am still puzzled. I ask Graeme about his best friend.
No hesitation there. “That’s Tom from back home”.
“What’s he like?”
“Well, for one he is an angry drunk and fights.”
“Sounds lovely”
“Oh it’s not that bad. When he starts trouble we just knock him out. Then when he comes back to life, we’ll tell him; “You already apologized before you went down Tom”.
“I did?”
“We’ll nod and give him another beer”. And that’s that.
“Haha, talk about tough love”.
Does this mean best friends need to grow up together? “No” Jamie throws in from behind the bar. “My best friend is this girl, and we met in the hostel!” True. Some friends abroad are closer to me then friends back home. Then why is someone better then the others? “Because I’d kill for my best friend” says Jack, our Downtowner. I smile while I move my chair back, just in case.
“Yeah, I’d do anything for that idiot too” Graeme agrees.
“I just like our comfortable silent moments” says a guest.
“Damn!” I suddenly shout. “I just can’t point out one best friend”. Thank God our DJ Snowy saves me from utter loneliness in a crowded bar: “Yeah, I know what you mean. I have 6 of them. I am just lucky they’re not needy”. Later that night, walking home in the pouring rain, I notice I missed 3 calls and received 2 messages. One apologizes for being sooo drunk, the other misses me, the third is my Sis. The first message is an invite to a party. The second is a cry for laughter. Putting up my collar, I dial the last; “On my way sweetie”. Why? Because it is not about fun or tough love or time. What makes you the best, is understanding what your friends need.