July 28, 2015, Prescott- Get used to this byline; most of my posts, especially during the week, will be “Prescott”. I tend to get more free-wheeling with these, as my travel blog readers disappear.
More about the topic of friendships: A friend in another state recently said same-gender friendships are very important (partly in response to my comment about having a large number of women friends). The choice is not apples or oranges. It’s a healthy mix of the two. When I socialize with groups of people, there are men, with whom I discuss some aspects of life; women with whom I discuss other aspects of life; and “mixed” groups, where the conversation is general. None of these are confined to “safe” topics.
My best friend, for thirty years, was my late wife. We had no secrets, kept no grudges and worked together on just about everything. My next-best friend was a man, with whom I could also discuss just about anything, over the 31 years we knew one another. He was also very honest, in a loving way and guided me through some very rough patches after Penny’s passing. Mike could say “No, you don’t!”, when acquiescence would have easier, but less authentic.
I have many friends, around the continent, and a few in Europe, Australasia and southeast Asia, with whom I can discuss a variety of topics, get honest feedback and correct things as I need to. I am also here for them, in that way. This list is not a gender-heavy or age-heavy roster.
There is one woman friend, here, with whom I am collaborating on a venture. Our friendship is more “sibling-ish” than anything else, with plenty of free-wheeling discussion and any illusions either of us had of romance were dispelled early-on. Were she to meet a good man, tomorrow, and at long last have a life relationship, I’d be the first to congratulate. There was a time in my life when I had to deal with distraction issues. Over the past year or so, especially since having visited Europe, I see these issues for what they are: Impediments to real friendship.
I guess it’s largely a matter of maturing, and clearing one’s inner eye.