New friends

November 20, 2011

We made some new friends this past summer.  Mutual friends of Maggie and Marshall invited us to their home, and we had a very nice visit.  We took a walk in the countryside, sat on their porch and chatted for a while.  Marshall sat on my foot and almost broke my ankle.  Maggie kept looking at me out of the corner of her eye.  I wondered what she was thinking.

As the conversation waned, we filled their food dishes and water bowls, and left them sitting quietly in front of a silent television. I don’t think either if them can work the remote.

Marshall, the quietest by far, is a very large Golden Retriever; not fat, just very big.  Maybe the biggest retriever I’ve ever seen.  If I were in a fight, I’d want him on my side, even if his bark is worse than his bite.  He has a very formidable bark.  Maggie, the talker of the two is a Mountain dog.  She’s as big as Marshall, and almost as gentle, and she leans against those she likes, and almost knocks them over in the process.

Aren’t all friendships like that on one level or another.  We have to be willing to be knocked over for the sake of the relationship.  We have to put up with some barking every now and then, and we have to be able to stand the silence, when necessary.

When we decide that friendship is worth seeking, we must make some choices.  If we only want friends like ourselves, we will end up lonely.  If we only want attractive, popular friends, we will end up lonely.  If we want our friends to fit some preconceived notion of what a friend looks, sounds or acts like, we will be lonely.

I know that I have quirks and foibles that make some people laugh, and others cringe.  I know that everyone I meet will be different from me in many ways, and that is a good thing.  Expecting perfection, or even homogenization is unrealistic.  Besides we would miss out on a ton-o-fun looking only for friends like us.

In fact, when I stop to think about the friends who have been my best friends over the past couple of years they might or might not make it onto a list of prosperous, popular or pretty people.  But I am inexorably drawn toward them.  Not  simply  because of their attractiveness or the attractiveness of their wallets, but because of their character.  They are friends precisely because they really don’t care about those categoriesThey care about me.   Oh yeah, and I care about them too.   A lot!  In fact I can’t wait to see them again.

And in our new situation we are discovering friends around every corner, so we keep peeking around corners, and smiling a lot.

And so, although Maggie and Marshall might not fit everyone’s idea of friendship, I’m sure they’ll turn out to be man’s best friends.  And for now we just put up with leaners, knowing that is some relationships we are the ones doing the leaning.  So of our new friends will want to tug on the leash, while others will be content to walk quietly beside us.  Sometimes I tug too. And while sometimes we befriend someone merely by filling up their food bowl (or they filling ours) sometimes all it takes is time, with or without words.

I will take friendship anyway it comes.


One Response to “New friends”

  1. If they didn’t smell….I wouldn’t mind a Maggie or Marshall…but Taylor, Poppy or Lily might.

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