IMHO, quality friendships are based on “mutuals”: mutual values, worldview, perspectives, tastes, etc.  This doesn’t mean that two people have to be carbon copies or mirror images of each other in order to be friends – how boring! – but it does mean that some type of common ground must exist if a relationship is to grow beyond “Hi, Goodbye.”

I was struck by this the other day when reviewing a favorite chick flick, Somewhere in Time (Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, 1980.  See my Side Bar for more.)  Regarded by many as “the most romantic movie ever filmed,” Somewhere in Time is a gentle, tender story of lost love.  Undergirded by wonderful performances from Christopher Reeve as playwright and time traveler Richard Collier and Jane Seymour as his love from the past, the movie is braced by Rachmaninoff’s poignant Rhapsody and a hauntingly beautiful score by John Barry. 

Anyway, firmly convinced that part of friendship includes sharing that which we love, admire, enjoy and appreciate, I was pondering with whom I could share this movie.  One person came to mind, but since she’s never responded to any other books or films I shared with her, she didn’t seem a good choice.  Three other possibilities were “too busy” or “otherwise engaged.”  Another came to mind, but hers is an analytical, clinical mind.  I didn’t think she’d be willing or able to suspend her disbelief long enough to enjoy the imaginary trip Somewhere in Time requires.  (Outlining the plot to her a couple weeks later, I was right.)  I thought of my sister, but she lives in another state.  Can’t exactly zip over for a “chick flick” showing tomorrow. 

Would it surprise you to learn of my choice, my best friend who enjoys Somewhere in Time as much as I do?  (He even cries at the right moments.)  That’s how Snuggle Bunny and I wound up sharing another magical two hours in Mackinac Island at the Grand Hotel with Reeve and Seymour.  Again.

What qualities does my husband have that make him my best friend?  I’m sure you can answer that for yourself.  You probably have you own list.  To me, a good friend – as opposed to a mere acquaintance or a superficial “friend” is someone like Snuggle Bunny who:

   Makes time – refuses to fall prey to the “too busy” machine 

  Is trustworthy – can keep a confidence

    Cares deeply and tangibly (Takes initiative.  Doesn’t always wait for me to call, plan or connect.  Remembers my special dates.  Communicates regularly and honestly.  Involves me in her life and allows me to be involved in hers.)

     Provides space (Sometimes I need to be alone and seek the companion of solitude. A good friend understand this.  He/She also knows when to return, when to break the silence and rejoin the journey)

  Speaks the truth (true friends – the kind with depth and meaning that connect souls and transcends superficiaility – aren’t afraid to be honest or to be themselves. 

     Is responsive – Returns phone calls.  Replies to emails, etc.  Invites me over.  Dialogues.  It’s difficult – if not impossible – to  cultivate any real friendship without the mutuality of a two-way street and dual responsiveness.  (This is esp. true if there’s a problem – a rift, misunderstanding, offense, whatever.  In this event, a real friend doesn’t just blow it off or “let it go” – hoping the brujaja will magically disappear on its own.  A real friend doesn’t cut and run if things get a little dicey.  [That’s not a friend.  That’s a coward.]  A true friend, on the other hand, is mature and brave enough and cares enough to pursue the issue to resolution.)

 Forgives faults

 Remains loyal

 Is reliable – if they say they’re going to do it or be there, they will

    Laughs easily (humor helps lighten the load and lessen our troubles)

 Celebrates successes

 Prays faithfully and with sensitivity

How many people do that for you?

Of course the level of commitment, communication and involvement between a husband and wife far transcend that of any other relationship.  But the one thing my spouse gives that means more than anything else is his Time.  It’s rare in our “instant, microwave, drive-thru” society.  Is it any wonder that a favorite shared movie is Somewhere in Time?  (See November 6 post.)

Check out my Side Bar for more on Somewhere in Time.


2 Responses

  1. Sweet and wonderful post! I love your picture too, I thought that was Mt. Rainier… I lived in Tacoma ’till I was 9 and a half so I’ve spent hours on end looking at that mountain.

    I’ll have to check out that movie. I’m not for traditional chick flicks, but I love a good romantic story.

    I think it’s wonderful that you see your husband as your very best friend. I see mine as such too. I think it’s the heart of a great marriage to have such a friendship.

  2. Crystal:

    Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, the snowy colossus in the pic is indeed The Mountain.

    Somewhere in Time has its own site, as well as an international “fan club.” See my Side Bar for more (at the very bottom – pages show up in alpha order.)

    The critics didn’t “get” this movie, but it’s become a cult classic because of “regular, average folks” who recognized a good story when they saw one. (Which is more than you can say for a lot of “professionals!”)

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