Pitts: The six degrees of friendship | TheFencePost.com

Pitts: The six degrees of friendship

Lee Pitts

There are six degrees of friendship.

6. Facebook Friends — In most cases you couldn’t even pick out this “friend” in a police lineup because you’ve never actually met. For all you know this friend could be a serial killer or a child molester. When your “friend” is arrested for a heinous crime and the nightly news interviews you, you’ll feel like a fool saying, “He seemed like such a nice guy.”

To test this friendship perform what I call the “mooch test.” Starting at a request of a thousand bucks work down until you arrive at the amount your Facebook friend is willing to loan you. If it’s under 57 cents it’s time to make new friends.

5. Holiday Inn Friends — This is a kindergarten classmate you can’t remember who is coming to your town for a vacation and discovers that the cheapest motel room is over $100 per night. That’s when he/she remembers you live in the area so he/she calls and invites himself/herself to stay with you. And he/she brings along their four spoiled kids, a Rottweiler and spouse with a terrible cold.

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These “friends” clog up your toilets, eat all your food, fill your septic tank, empty your water tank and soil your linens before you remember that you never went to kindergarten. A sub-species of the Holiday Inn Friend is the Winnebago Friend who wants to plug into your electricity and sewer for a month.

4. Friends You Can’t Stand — This is a friend you once met in a bar, rehab, foxhole, jail cell or gym who went on to fame and fortune as a congressperson, semi-pro third baseman or mass murderer. It’s an acquaintance you claim as a friend figuring it will increase your own stature, even though you hate the person’s guts. It gives you the right to say, “Sure, I knew O.J. He even gave me a knife once.” Or, “The Governor and I broke out of juvenile hall together.”

3. Fair Weather Friend — This is a symbiotic relationship in that your friend — the parasite­ — lives off you — the host. Despite the fact you’re always there when they need you, this person didn’t visit you in the hospital when you got your new knee and never brought a casserole when your momma died. If you run into each other at Starbucks he/she may or may not even speak to you, depending upon who they’re with.

This pest borrows your stuff but never returns it and if you want it back you have to buy it at the pest’s next yard sale. The only thing you have in common is you dislike the same people. With this kind of friend you’ll never need an enemy.

2. Canine Friend — This non-human friend is a present you give yourself. This devoted friend is always happy to see you, will never interrupt when you’re talking, won’t lie to you, always is happy with what you feed it, is patient with you, will come to your defense in time of trouble and is quick to forgive after a fight. Even if you forget and leave this friend in Yellowstone Park on your vacation, your canine buddy will show up on your doorstep in Delaware a month later. If it does decide to leave at some point in the relationship, it won’t demand half your stuff. It won’t change all the settings on your thermostat or car’s audio system, either.

Your dog friend likes the same things you do, loves to hunt and fish and will gather the cows so you don’t have to. Your dog friend is never too proud to sit right next to you in the truck like your spouse did back when you were young and in love. This friend will never beg for money and brings you nice presents that previously belonged to your rich neighbor.

1. Your spouse — I was really lucky and got to marry my best friend. She knew all my faults and married me anyway. She keeps my secrets, isn’t afraid to drink out of the same glass and would give me $20 — or a kidney — if I needed one. She doesn’t even mind when I don’t pay her back. This is, by far, the very best friend to have.❖

Lee Pitts

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