Frendship and Friendship

Before I euthanized my account there, I had hundreds of “friends” on Facebook. Most of them I knew only slightly; some of them I didn’t even really like. Precious few of them were genuine friends.

Someone (I wish I could find a link to give proper credit) coined the term “frends” to represent those online acquaintances—similar to friends, but not quite—a variance that makes all the difference in the world.

A true friend is one who, when he finds out you are in trouble, will drop what he is doing and do what he can to help. Want to know how many genuine friends you have? Get charged with a serious crime.

Who tracks you down when you’ve disappeared into the maw of the criminal justice system? Who visits you in jail, just to talk? Who puts money in your inmate trust account? Who bails you out? Who picks you up in the middle of the night when you get out? Who returns your lawyer’s calls? Who drags you to rehab? Who gives you rides to and from court? Who keeps you company when you’re there?

Who, in other words, sticks with you even when your problems are entirely your dumbass fault?

True friends are few and far between. It’s a special ethic that most people don’t share; I base this statement on extensive observation of people in trouble. Judge Larry Standley, when he is taking a plea from a young defendant, makes this point. The defendants in Judge Standley’s court are charged with petty crimes, but still, only their parents are standing up for them.

Truth be told, even most criminal-defense lawyers don’t have the ethic, though the occupation selects for those who do: sticking with people even when their problems are entirely their dumbass fault is an important part of the job, and those who would do so for love of a friend are naturally willing to do so for a living.

Facebook devalues friendship by calling something that when it isn’t truly: six hundred frends, and if you’re extraordinarily lucky two or three friends.

Who are your true friends? (A benediction: May you never find out!)

More importantly (and more in your control), are you a true friend?

7 Comments

  1. Great observations, Mark. Really true friends are rare. I think I have at least two that I could count on to “be there”. So, I am blessed.

    I promise I’ll write, if you ever find yourself in Crowbar Hotel. I might even have $5 for your canteen account. The only advice I would have is to practice Yoga. It’s great for confined places. 🙂 Ric

    1. Matthew,

      Of course I wouldn’t represent myself. If I were locked up in Houston, who I would hire would depend on what the accusation was and what direction I thought my defense might take. The pool of talent is broad and deep.

      Here are some pairings that pop to mind:
      Norm Silverman for a drug case.
      Stanley Schneider for a sex case.
      Troy McKinney for a DWI.

      Mark

  2. Very well put and yes I can say that I am a true friend, although I have had the opportunity to experience those that are NOT friends. But the upside is that now that most of that is behind us now, I am glad to know exactly where I stand and with whom. It is certainly the ultimate Litmus test in weeding out both friends and even family. Those that are left are definiately the ones to stay close to.

  3. The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity. – Ulysses S. Grant

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