A Real Friend Likes You After You Eat An Onion Sandwich

English: me and my friend

I’m not one of those people who lives in accordance with the number of “Likes” I get on Facebook.

And while I appreciate my Twitter followers, I don’t spend time agonizing over how many I have or who I follow.

And some days, the legitimate comments I get on my blogs and my food column are outnumbered by the spam slammers promising me everything from more Google hits to a greatly increased libido.

If the year’s personal losses have taught me anything, it’s the value and definition of true friends. I have one of those, and I spent time with him this weekend. He has recently experienced the deepest and most personal pain of life’s losses, but he has such grace, humor and kindness, that his sorrows seem to sit lightly on him, if you don’t know him. I was supposed to be the strong friend this weekend, the listener, the one with the shoulder to lean on. Turns out I needed strength, an understanding ear and a place to lean, too.

We cried, laughed, had lunch, shared and remembered, and I realized that this friend of nearly thirty years is someone with whom I don’t have to be a politically correct, always-in-control, grown-up human. I can say anything without causing him shock, ask him anything and get an honest answer (even if it’s not one I want to hear) and know that what is said between stays there.

Everyone should be fortunate to have several close friends; a network of people to rely on at any hour. If you think of life as a car, the scenario will occur when all four tires go flat at once, the steering wheel falls off, the transmission starts shifting on its own and the engine makes a noise like a locomotive just hit your living room. That’s when you need those friends.

Because I also write about food, I guess the best way to characterize our friendship is to put it into food terms. He’s the kind of friend who still wants to be with you right after you’ve eaten an onion sandwich. And I am one lucky soul, stinky breath and all.

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Filed under food, inspirations, mental health, Relationships, thought

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