There are a lot of ways to describe friends, to say what friends really are. You could use the dictionary definition. You could probably come up with something comparable on your own. You could say “friends are like” and compare your friend to some character in a book or show or movie. Still, that doesn’t capture the full picture. Like “love”, “friends” are very hard to define. (This is not coincidence, in my opinion.) There are certain things abot friends that escape the traditional Merriam-Webster/OED/Roget/etc definition. Here are a few I’ve learned through the past 22 years:
Friends are the people you can tell “I’m morally offended by [something silly]”, and they will roll with it. At the same time, you can tell them your deepest, darkest secrets and fears, and they will accept you for who you are, warts and all. They will make fun of you, of course, but in a way that makes you not feel so bad about all these things. Sometimes, they will say, “Oh, I knew that already”, and just keep on going.
Friends are the people who will conduct a scientific experiment to see how many different noises you make when poked. They will dance with you like nobody’s watching, and will teach you how to dance. They will stay up all night talking with you about everything, no matter how silly or serious it gets, and neither of you will regret it. Hopefully, you will make each other see at least one thing in a different light after that.
Friends are the people who don’t understand what the hell your homework means, but will sit through your long-winded, profanity-laced tirade about why your homework should work but doesn’t until you go “OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…” They won’t understand why it now works, either, but they’ll be happy for you, and happy that they don’t have to listen to you whine any longer.
Friends are the people who tell it to you straight, who will tell you that you don’t look good in that neon yellow jumpsuit and you really shouldn’t embarrass yourself like that. They will tell you when your current significant other is wrong for you, will try to get you to break up, and will still stand by you no matter how it ends. They will also tell you when you’re the one in the wrong, and how to make better decisions.
Friends are the people who will take horrible, embarrassing pictures of you and remind you of them for years to come. They will also take pictures of themselves making funny faces to put on a birthday card.
Friends are the people you know you can trust, no matter what. Through silliness and seriousness, they are by your side.