I can’t remember the first friend I made. That I can’t remember the first friend I made may imbue my boyhood with a kind of friend surplus, but it was just I lived from day one in a clover-shaped set of cul-de-sacs with four or five kids the same age. Timmy probably was the first friend I had where the things we did involved sleepovers and weekend trips with each other’s families. I don’t know Timmy anymore, but I’m friends with his sister on Facebook.
In terms of longevity, the friends I want to point to here are Clay and BJ. Clay grew up across the street from me, meaning I’ve known him forever, but it took a little while for us to get past a for-the-age colossal 2-year age difference to become what could firmly be called friends. BJ and I became friends in 4th grade upon learning that each of our mothers was a Manilow fan. I just saw BJ and his wife and kid this last weekend. We grilled and played guitars and sat around a little firepit with drinks talking about everything and nothing. It was nice, one of the better (because fuller, because more longly extended) times I’ve had with him in ages.
Clay left Facebook years ago, and then moved to Oregon, where it’s harder to spend time with him. He and his wife (who went to college with BJ, is how friends are often linked) just had a baby. They emailed me photos and I mailed him one of the postcards I got in my limited-edition copy of R.E.M.’s Out of Time record, which postcard he said reminded him of times spent together in the summers of our early teenage years, where we’d sit around playing video games and listening to WHFS on the radio. I miss WHFS and Clay and numerous other friends it’s been too long since I’ve spent time with in person.
When people say that what a marriage means or does is that it shifts your spouse from a person you date to the person who becomes your best friend, I thought it was the sort of Hallmark sentiment people enjoyed saying. I thought it was Live, Laugh, Love. But I’m starting to think it’s something very real, and I’m looking forward to decades of watching it happen.
…All of this is to say that I’m leaving Facebook. My email address is [anything you’d like to type]@[this blog’s URL domain].