Friends vs “friends” and the couch test

couchI’ve been on a friends kick lately, and I’m not talking about the gang at Central Perk. I mean my friends, including a few I’ve had since kindergarten. (I always preferred “kindygarden” because it just sounds more festive.)

We all value friends, even if  the word has become watered down. Thanks to social media, I have hundreds of “friends” including many I’ve never met. Someday I want to make a list of people who will help me move a couch (actual friendship involves moving heavy objects).  That should separate true friends from friends-of-friends and social media “friends.”

Still, I’d take those third-cousin kinda once-removed friends over the online zealots who descend into a fast spiral of absolute vitriol when anyone shares an opinion about our current unusual (oh, let’s just say it: crazy) political climate.

It used to be that elections and, well, politicians were political, but now everything is political. I worry about mentioning the weather because I’d hate to be accused of fog shaming. I may have to stick to watching nonpartisan videos of kittens doing funny things.

But back to friends.

I don’t consider myself wise (which probably helps with my comedy) but if I know anything for sure, it’s this: Having real friendships is an experience that is hard to top. Some of the best moments of my life have happened when I ran into, wrote with, hung out with, had a meal with, performed with, carpooled with, or generally just shot the breeze with a really good friend.

True friends are like the soul-warming fire of the sometimes unexpected winter of life. Newer friends (once they move my couch or I move theirs) are more logs for more warmth.

So nurture, cultivate, and treasure friendships. They are life’s true wealth and unlike gold mines, they don’t get depleted.