Friends

old-men-sitting-on-bench-6I was complaining to Mrs. Gus the other day that we needed more friends, wait, scratch that, we needed friends, period. Maybe complaining isn’t the right word, perhaps it was more of a statement about an observation.

Three years from now, we are both turning 50 (hope Mrs. Gus wasn’t keepin that a secret), plus it will be our 25th wedding anniversary, so we decided to throw a big party. I started thinking of all the people I would like to invite, then realized that the list was not all that long. Not due to the fact I don’t want to invite people, more due to the fact that I don’t have all that many people to invite.

This caught me by surprise. I’m a ¬†friendly guy, sort of talkative, a pretty good listener. True, I am not as talkative as I used to be, but still….. So why don’t I have all kinds of friends with whom I can just pick up the phone and say “Hey, party at my house next Sat. night!” And have a full house?

What happened?

I think that life happened (funny how I blame everything on life, isn’t it?). I think there are periods in your life when priorities shift, this becomes more important than that. Your kids keep you running around going to soccer games, or dropping them off at a friends, or staying in and wondering when they are going to come home. Your job becomes more demanding, or maybe you just take it more serious, put in a few extra hours, come home after work tired and ready for bed. Stay in so you can save a bit of money and pay off those bills that seem to get a bit bigger every month. Or maybe you find someone special, and for a little while you devote all of your time to them. We all have reasons, but one day you look around and wonder “where did everyone go?”.

So I was moping around, being a bit dramatic I will admit, and wondering just that. How did I let this happen? Where were all my friends?

Last week, I was on facebook when an old band mate made a comment. As I read the comment, I realized I missed him. I sent him a message asking him if he would like to come over for supper. My wife and I ended up going there for supper last night. I have known him and his partner for some time but have not seen them in a bit. When they opened up the door to let us in, I was overcome with emotions. Instead of shaking my hand he grabbed me and hugged me ( he’s a big bear of a guy). Tears came to my eyes. We had a wonderful evening, lots of talk and great food, just good old fashion warmth from good people. Seeing him reminded me, he’s not just an old band mate, he and his partner are my friends, good friends. The kind of people you are lucky to find.

On our return home, our neighbor was having his 40th birthday party. He had invited us to come by if we were around , there was a band, fireworks, drinks, it was quite a shindig. We went over. While I was speaking with him I realized that we have now known each other quite awhile. We have helped each other when in need, done projects together, had supper together. He has come to the last 5 or 6 birthday parties for my son. In short, he has become my friend.

I went to bed last night (to late) feeling better about the whole friend situation. I went to bed thinking of the list I will be making for the big party in three years. The list of people who I love and have had an impact on my life. Maybe we have more friends than we realize. In fact, maybe you don’t need a whole bunch of friends, we just need a few good ones.

Gus

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