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I choose my friends for their good looks;
my acquaintances for their good characters
and my enemies for their good intellects.
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist, novelist and poet  – 1854-1900
How do you choose your friends, or do they choose you?
Oscar Wilde

Image via Wikipedia

Oscar Wilde, that 19th century Irish writer, poet and wit, used these lines in his play Portrait of Dorian Grey and it set me thinking about my friends. 
Some are lifetime friends, and some are relatively new friends who will no doubt, become lifetime friends.  These are folks I have met at different times in my life and with whom I have a shared bond.  This keeps us in touch even if only on birthdays and holidays.  I have a friend in Toronto whom I met when both our husbands were transferred to Montreal.  We have kept in (ir)regular touch over some 40 years.  We have shared births of grandchildren, deaths of our husbands, marriages of our children and unfortunately in her case, a daughter’s divorce.  We have visited each other a couple of times and though we are at opposite ends of the world, we are lifetime friends.  Other friends of long standing include the very first person I spoke to (apart from hotel staff) when I  first arrived in New Zealand.  Again, we have shared so many of the big and little things in life over almost 45 years,  She is truly a lifetime friend and although she only lives some 400 miles away, we rarely see each other but we know we are friends.
And then I have other newer friends with whom I have shared so much.  These people have been instantly recognised as friends to keep and with whom to keep in touch.  Again we share the highs and lows of each others lives.  A friend leaving her husband, another battling her son and his dependency on drugs and yet another whose daughter is trying so hard to conceive a child.  These things bring us close together.
I like to think that I am a good friend.  A trusted ally who is there when I am needed but not intrusive in my friends’ lives. 
But sometimes, as the years pass, friendships change and maybe drop off.  I have a ‘friend’ of long standing who suddenly doesn’t have time for me.  I have tried on many occasions in the past year to connect with her.  Oh, whenever we meet at a social gathering, she apologises for not returning my calls and says we must get together soon, or that she will call me and fix a date, but she never does.  I have no idea of what has changed in our relationship and cannot get to speak to her about it.  So regrettably I have to think that this was a friend for a season only – although the season lasted many years.
And then of course I have my two sisterswho are most certainly lifetime friends.  So I consider myself very lucky in the friends and family that I do have.

“If you’re alone, I’ll be your shadow.
If you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder.
If you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow.
If you need to be happy, I’ll be your smile.
But anytime you need a friend, I’ll just be me.”  ~Anon

And for no reason other than I think they were ‘best’ friends I share this photo with you.  I don’t know who these women are or who sent me the card with them on, but it tells a whole story.  Watch this space for that story soon.

Two women on beach

They were so pleased to discover next morning that they still had on their hats.

Related posts:
You Do Need Friends
And The Best Friends
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