What Binds Us

Jeffrey - Gresham, Oregon
Entered on June 23, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

The friendships that are most important are those of childhood. I have seen so many ‘friends’ that are bffs one day and become sworn enemies the next over an argument that in the big picture is pointless. If you can’t compromise over something that only lasted a day then were you ever true friends to begin with? Friendships made in those peachy days of childhood are the ones that last. And honestly, how can you not get along with someone that snags the orange otter pop and leaves you your favorite: the blue one? Seriously!

One of my best friends came into my class at the beginning of second grade, and we have remained fast friends ever since. My parents love travelling and stretching their horizons. My brothers and I couldn’t stay home alone, so we had the opportunity to live with our closest friends like brothers for a week or two. My friend (and perhaps more especially his mom and dad because I minded my p’s and q’s) was more than happy to have me stay over. It was like a week-long sleep over. I spent so much time at his house that I even have my own bed in his room. People ask him why he has two beds in his room and he says, “That’s Jeffrey’s bed.”

We are some of the lucky ones. Our friendship survives like that of my older brother and his best friend. After grade school, we knew that we weren’t going to the same high school. Since he was my best friend, it was tough not being at school with him. I was on my own and it was hard at first, but luckily, we remained friends. It took a little more work, but we began hanging out again. It was like picking up a book after you had put it down for a while. After you re-read and catch up on the plot, the book becomes just as enjoyable and exciting as if it had never been put down. This sums up our friendship. I introduced him to the Dave Matthews Band, my favorite music group, and we found that he loved them just as much. Music and going to concerts has further connected us.

Now that I look onto college, I continue to watch my friends and I notice how fragile all of our friendships are and how easy it would be for us to never talk to each other again. Though we all honestly care for each other and want each other to be happy, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if we stopped talking. Those friendships will be replaced with our new college friends, and so on. I was waitlisted at my first choice college, Occidental, which is very close to my friend’s top choice, USC, and I had to commit to Gonzaga, which is far away. I prayed very hard and I got in.

Our friendship has not lasted simply because we have maintained it; that is only a piece of the pie. We are still friends because we became friends during childhood. It hasn’t all been the cherry on top. We have fought, disagreed, and not talked for weeks on end. But the bottom line is that we truly understand and accept each other for who we are. This I believe is the piece that unites us and holds us together. It is the crust, because without a crust you just have a pile of berries or apple slices.