If you are expecting a post about the television show Friends, leave now. Since 2001, we have evaded capture by programmed television delivered by cable, satellite, or even rabbit ears. I have no idea what people say around the water cooler, nor do I care!
We were recently discussing friendship on my email list, Aut-2B-Home. I felt a bit left out of the conversation because Pamela does not seem lonely. Unlike some high-functioning teens, she does not yearn for friends. She has not reached out beyond our social circle to make her own friend. She never longed for a bosom friend when we read Anne of Green Gables. I have often wondered why she has never expressed the desire for a friend, so I decided to investigate.
I did not want Pamela to think she was deficient by not having a friend, so I simply asked her, "Do you have any friends?" To my amazement, she answered, "Yes." Curious, I delved further, "Who is your friend?" She replied, "Loa", who is our gentle, slothful mutt. I asked her to list her friends, and her list included her father, her brother, her grandparents, and me.
Her sophisticated idea of friendship blew me away. In our peer-crazed culture, we restrict the concept of friendship to humans and people outside of the family circle. Pamela is more inclusive! The first three definitions of friend show that she is right on target in her perception of the meaning of that word. Pamela clearly shows regard and affection for the friends she listed. We all give her assistance and support in one way or another, and she supports us the best she can by keeping her room neat, helping us find keys, and bringing in the groceries. We are on good terms and are not hostile with one another! Pamela is much more advanced in her concept of friendship than we give her credit.