Tuesday, April 15, 2014

You're My Best Friend

How do you "chose" a best friend?  Or do they chose you?  Maybe you chose each other?  Can you have more than one best friend at a time?   Is it automatically the person you've known longest?   Ive never figured out a formula for this.

When I was in K-3rd grade my best friend was Tommy Fitzgerald, Tommy always liked to remind me of that fact.. "we're best buddies right?"  We were mostly at school friends but we did things outside of school too, like I would watch him play baseball, we went to Judo class together and summer school. He was always bugging me to go to church with him.

4th and 5th grade I didn't really have too many friends at all, let alone a BEST friend, that was the beginning of the years I was bullied.  I remember trying to have friends but I never really connected with anyone.  I spent a lot of time cleaning the chalkboard erasers for the teachers during recces.  At lunch time I enjoyed chatting with one of the playground supervisor mom's named Doris.  Even at that age I knew her foundation was too light and her lipstick was too dark.

Middle School wasn't too different than before except maybe a wider pool of people to be bullied by.  I had plenty of classmates that I was friendly with but that usually ended once we walked out of the classroom. My neighbors were all mostly older than me so they couldn't be seen with a 6th grader.  I wanted to be cool, I wanted to fit in with the popular kids. Instead I tried hanging out with the "not so nice" crowd.  In their minds I was just a rich kid so they just wanted me to steal jewelry from my mom for them.  Cari Joseph taught me how to smoke clove cigarettes behind the gym and how to ditch classes.  Lunch was tough, until I started hanging out with Priscilla Ponce and Paula Gregg, and Dana Cline.   See the pattern?  All girls except for Tommy when I was real young.  But still in middle school no best friend.

High school was a little different, there were certainly more students to choose from for a best friends, but that also meant more bullying.  I certainly had all my girls at lunch time to hang out with in the quad at Huntington Beach High School.  Mynde, Tammy, Cindy, Grace, Debbie and Im sure others Im forgetting, but that was my core group of girls.  Id have to say they were all my best friends.  We would tease each other, laugh, talk and talk (some of us did more talking than others  ahhhhhem Debbie)  We would hang out constantly outside of school, listening to music, cruising and racing in mom or dad's car.  I also found great solace in photography class, sometimes even ditching PE and stay in the darkroom or our on campus taking photos.  Mr Morehouse my photo teacher turned the other cheek often when he would see me in his class up to 3 hours a day.

Then comes adult life, friendships become more complicated and at times a little less lengthy in their existence. When I first moved to San Diego I found a group of people that seemed very interesting and very much like I felt.  Glamorous on the outside but a bit of a misfit on the inside.  I have made some friends through the The Imperial Court that have lasted over 2 decades.  Including yes, the one and only Nicole.  Ive never considered Nicole a best friend but always a mentor, a family member, he is like a father to me.  Along the past 22 years Ive made so many friends that I love..  Scott and Jim, Dave Z. Fina, Cheri, Eric, Sasha, Courtney, Michael Mack, Gabor.  I hesitated to even list people because of course Ill leave people out and Im constantly meeting new people and building friendships.  Even at 45 years old it still feels like the school playground at times.

Best friends can come and go, for various reasons, people move, they start dating someone, priorities change, people change, people even die etc., etc. but the ones that come in and out of your life seem to be my favorite, because its a natural flow of life.   Im lucky enough to have some of the same friends I did from Ethel Dwyer Middle School,  Im super fortunate to have some of the people I considered bullies back then to be friends now.

So when I say You're My Best Friend and you are wondering if Im talking about you, I probably am.


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