Archive for February 20th, 2023

It’s not always bad news…

Reason #15- Best Friends

One of the common threads between people of all walks of life is that of having one or more best friends.  It is quite possible to maintain this type of connection throughout one’s life, even as other types of relationships come and go.  Most of the outstanding marriages I have seen are between best friends.

With most people, their first bestie comes along very young, possibly in kindergarten or first grade.  Life is difficult, as are older siblings, if any, and sharing good and bad times with a friend is as natural as breathing.  I’m no psychologist, but I imagine that the tendency to seek out a best friend is hardwired into our collective psyche.  Life happens, and sometimes very young friends are separated by moving, a falling out or simply growing apart.  This happens with grade school friends, too, even with high school friends, but the older they get, the more best friends are apt to stay in contact.  College or adult life, work, recreation and other natural gathering places may supply multiple very good friends and the ones that stick it out through bad times often become your favorites.

The one prerequisite “best friends” seems to have is to support one another despite the circumstances — always having each other’s back.  You don’t owe one another any favors.  In fact, you don’t even keep count.  Fair weather friends just can’t compete for your time and attention.  When a best friend calls, you drop everything.  Maybe this is why best friends make such good married or committed couples.  

My first best friend was Kenny Hakida when I was 5 years old.  He lived next door to my grandparents, which was a long, two-mile walk from my house at the time.  We moved 40 miles away when I was 10 and I never saw Kenny again.  I later learned that his parents had been among those Japanese-Americans interned in World War II after Pearl Harbor, but I never got the chance to talk to them about it.

I had a few other best friends in my adolescence and in high school in Southern California, but many of them went to out-of-state colleges, while I got married and had kids.  Moving a thousand miles away meant the end of most of those relationships.  In Washington State, my younger brother filled that role, through bowling, karaoke, camping, fishing and other activities we both enjoyed.  He’s the taller one in my karaoke photo below. 

After a few years I moved across the country to be close to, and eventually marry, my truly remarkable best friend, Nadyne, and we were together for 22 years before she passed.

I envy the good friends of today, with all of that technology available to help stay in touch.  In my younger days, even long-distance phone calls were very expensive, let alone trying to see one another.  If we had had the Internet, free long distance, Facebook, Zoom, Skype, GroupMe or any other of the seemingly magical communications they have now, maybe my old friends wouldn’t be strangers today.

Thankfully, my wife and I had each other to lean on in close quarters during the pandemic lockdown.  If it weren’t for that relationship, who knows how well we would have survived it.


My ending quote comes from an Israeli psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, who said, “Friends are sometimes a big help when they share your feelings. In the context of decisions, the friends who will serve you best are those who understand your feelings but are not overly impressed by them.

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