OK, OK, I was all about starting this post off with a serious tone, and then I went and read Pioneer Woman Homeschooling today. I am mentioned. I fell over. After I recovered, I had to share. My grammar-related pet peeves are shared by others, and this makes me happy on a primal level. I know that it's me because I'm comment #10 on this post from last week. Otherwise I would never presume that out of the thousands upon thousands of Pioneer Woman readers that I would ever, EVER be mentioned.
I am not that special.
However, my friends ARE. And I'll tell you why.
I'm sure most of you have heard all the hoopla surrounding Facebook lately, with the new format, the new feed, the new lists, the new profile/Timeline feature, etc. I can't say I've been happy with it, either, but I will concede that since it IS free, I don't get the right to gripe. If I don't like it, I don't have to use it. But I'm extremely resistant to change, so over the past week, I've been making major changes in order to continue having Facebook work the way I want it... and in so doing, I tightened up my security measures exponentially. One of the things I did was created a list - I can't delete it anyway - of "Close Friends." As I was making this list, it hit me that I have quite the amazing group of friends and that while some of them may be as different from one another as night to day, there are still a few qualities that I am proud to say they all share.
1. They are all loyal. No backstabbing. This provides me with an amazing sense of relief. I really, really enjoy not having to worry about someone poisoning my friends behind my back. Gripe about me? That's fine. Everyone needs to have a rant about other folks sometimes, even friends, and I'm sure I'm the occasional topic. I get that. If they need a break from talking to me/dealing with me for a while? Go right ahead... I'm here if and when they're ready to hang out again... and if that day never comes, I wish them all the best. No hard feelings and all that. But those things are very different in my mind than going around spreading rumors or just plain being malicious. Frustration and confusion over a friend's actions do not equal being spiteful and horrid. They equal patience, kindness, forgiveness... all the good stuff that true friendship is made of.
2. They are all truthful. Nobody makes up stories. If you ask a question and they think you won't like the answer, they'll generally try to be as nice as possible, but they'll still tell you the truth. Don't ever ask if your butt looks big in a certain outfit unless you can handle the answer, "Uh... well... yes." By the same token, don't ever ask if you're making the right decision unless you can handle, "Well, it's not what I would do in your situation, but I'm not in your shoes," because that's what you'll get. Truth. Even if it ain't purdy.
3. They all love a good joke. Whether it's a prank or just a stupid Internet meme, we all love to laugh at something and happily call one another to share the idiotic moments of our day, even at our own expense. (That's another thing about my friends... I will answer the phone when they call!)
4. They all love holidays. I think. This one I'm not entirely sure about all my friends, but I think most of them enjoy holidays, even if it just means taking a day off from the regular shenanigans to deal with holiday shenanigans.
5. The clincher for me and why my friends truly are the best people I've ever met is... THEY ARE TOLERANT. I have friends in my life from various religions (from atheist to Anglican priest), various political backgrounds (uber-conservative to reasonably liberal... don't think I have any diehard liberal friends, but I don't discuss politics, so I could be wrong), various family situations, various educational agendas (homeschool, private school, public school), and they are ALL awesome. They listen to other views and don't attack. They educate themselves about different topics and draw their own conclusions and aren't afraid to stand up for what they choose to believe but they don't force their beliefs down anyone else's throat. They like to step out of their comfort zone occasionally (even if they then retreat back into it for a few months afterward). They really try hard never to judge a situation until they know all the details... and if details aren't available, they step back and let it go. They are accepting.
My friends - and this includes my spouse and kids - are what make my world go 'round, and I'm so, so happy to have them in my life. Thanks for being there and putting up with my quirks. I truly appreciate it!