There’s the communications professional who uses me for my contacts and networking skills, but never invites me to her own parties. Nevertheless, she seems to be the only friend who asks about my parents, my sister, my nephews. She knows them all by name and never hesitates to perk up, “and Benicio. How is that cutie?!”
There’s the non-profit honcho who professes that corporations are evil, but has no shame in asking me and other hard-working professionals for donations. She talks endlessly about herself, her place in the world, but genuinely cares and passionately advocates for making a difference with global issues.
There’s the self-absorbed diva who’s seldom happy and unintentionally brings me down to his depressed level. He cooks for me, pours me glasses of wine, calls me, loves me, but very likely would stand me up at my own wedding even if I asked him to be my Homo of Honor.
There’s the day-by-day friend who’s been right there with me for decades—always a quick drive or phone call away—but when I cried to her that my young cousin died in a tragic accident, she said, “I don’t know what to say.” Silence. And I wanted to scream, “WON’T YOU CRY WITH ME? DON’T YOU SEE MY PAIN? CAN YOU JUST CRY WITH ME?”
There’s the fashionable politico who I can’t stand because she turns every conversation into a therapy session about her boyfriend. Yet she’s one of the few I can count on to answer all my calls, cry my tears, feel my pain—really truly feel it like we are one and the same.
All of the above individuals with their quirkiness and unique personalities are my friends. There are good traits and bad traits, but I never dismiss them like I do my romantic relationships. I make it work. Always. I could learn a thing or two based on how I handle my friendships.
Are they worth it? Yes, they are.