Ode to my friends

Posted: July 5, 2010 in friends, Weight loss

“Friends are a liability.” – Karl Knosp

“I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.” – Paul Simon “I am a Rock”


When I started this little avocation oh so long ago (9 days, maybe) I had no idea what my plan was. I figured I’d see where my mind led me, and if somebody took the time to read it, all the better. I had the plan that it would be about my journey to lose a supermodel (in terms of weight), and whatever else struck my fancy.

All I can really say is that I am so overwhelmed by the support of my friends that I feel inspired to take an entry and talk about friendship.

You see, I’m lucky or blessed, depending on how you see it. I have friends, and it came as a shock to find out that I had so many. Some of them I’ve known for 35 years. Others, maybe 35 days. I’d just like to throw a few things out there, some circumstances of how we met, some crazy situations we’ve been in, things like that. I will not name names, in order to protect the innocent (or not so innocent).

Let’s set the stage. It was February, 1988 at the Sheraton Washington Hotel. The setting was the North American Invitational Model United Nations. Dinner time was approaching and I had elected to dine solo so that I could review some things before the conference picked back up. In the interests of time, I chose the hotel restaurant. As I was waiting in line for a table, I heard a voice behind me ask if I was dining alone. I turned to find a group of smiling faces and replied that I had planned to, I had some work to do. The voice that had asked belonged to a rather attractive brunette and she said, “No, you’re eating with us.”

I agreed and had the time of my life. This group of strangers was from California. They hailed from a town called Sanger, located near Fresno. I don’t remember what country they were representing… the UK rings a bell, but I could be wrong. Anyway, after that delightful dinner, they introduced me to another member of their delegation who I wound up meeting again the following night at the delegate dance. I don’t remember everything, but for some reason we bonded over the abysmal music being played, to the point of having a sit-down strike on the dance floor during Will to Power’s “Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird” monstrosity.  We saw each other the next day, the final day of the conference, exchanged addresses and vague promises to catch up if we were ever in the same time zone. It’s been 22 years, we’ve not seen each other live in that span, but yet, she’s still my friend. I know that if we were to get together again, we wold pick up like those 20+ years have never happened. Probably still would sit out Freebird, too.

Then there was another case. My first college roomie, let’s call him Mr. Anthrax, and I didn’t work out too well. There were a couple of other guys with roomie issues as well, so a three-way swap was made. I wound up on the third floor of the dorm, where I met this guy. You see, I had an Ad-lib sound card for my PC at the time, along with a set of powered bookshelf speakers. The Ad-Lib was a VERY big deal. It made playing 688 Attack Sub that much cooler. The speakers were dead and my new roomie walked next door and brought back another engineering major. He took a look and realized I had a blown fuse. He said I should stop by his room tomorrow and he’d score a spare from the engineering lab. True to his word, there was a fuse. We fixed it and played some very cool games (for 1993). As the rest of the year moved on, we grew closer. Fast forward ten years and he was the best man at my wedding. Still the closest thing I ever had to a brother.

How about another case? Somone you didn’t really know from school, but attended your prom with some guy in your class. A few years later, you’re both working retail in the same department store. You strike up a conversation, but lose touch until one day you move to Baltimore and get a phone call out of the blue. Fast forward a few years and you reconnect again. This person has moved to another time zone, and we don’t see each other nearly as much as we would like to, but again, a sign of a true friend is being able to talk like the intervening months/years never happened.

I started the entry with some negative comments about friendship. I don’t subscribe to those points of view. There were times it might be easier to be a rock, but who wants easy? A lot of times you have to wonder if there’s some grand, cosmic plan in play. Is that really why we end up meeting the people who become our friends? Or is it just that we make the best of circumstances? I don’t know the answer. I know that I’m very lucky to have my friends and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I love you guys.

  1. cher says:

    we luv you too B. dont ever change

  2. Kristen says:

    Yep, “cher” is right. We love you Brian. And thanks for jogging my memory!


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