The thought never entered my mind until a young staff asked me as we sat down for lunch this week if my boss and I are best friends . It took some time before I was able to grasp what she asked and sensing that I was thinking hard what to say she qualified her question with the fact that “since you guys have worked together for so long that you must be best friends by now.”
When I answered, I was very tentative. Because I have never really given it much thought nor have I looked at our relationship that way. I know we are good friends and he’s a great person to work for, in my case no one probably could be better and yes, we have worked together for almost 30 years, longer than the staff’s lifetime. The truth is I’ve always looked at him as my boss and I admire him for always doing the right thing. He is a true Christian.
In the friendship scale, best friends is the ultimate for me. So I searched in the internet how they define the term.
Urban Dictionary defines it this way: “Two or more people who share everything with one another, knowing they can be trusted. People who would, if needed, take a bullet for their friend(s). Two or more people who, through all the new friends, new hobbies, new jobs, rough times, and high school, are always there for each other, no matter how busy they are. A best friend is someone who can make you feel better no matter what.”
If the above would be the basis of our friendship, I fear somehow we would fall short of the definition. Although we can share each other’s thoughts and feelings on some matter, I could discuss my problems and difficulties with him without any hesitation and I could get a rational answer, we each have separate lives after work. We both dedicate ourselves to our own families, we each have our different set of friends. But he trusts me, his loyalty as a friend is beyond reproach, he’s been there at my most difficult times, he also makes sure that my well-being is looked after. We watch each other’s back and we both could laugh at ourselves.
Having worked together for a long time, from the beginning we had a special rapport, maybe brought by the fact that we’re both immigrants to this country, we respect each other’s character and values.
It is not really difficult to peg a friend as your best. Fortunately I am blessed with many family members and friends who’s always been there for me, whom I could share different parts of my life and people I could call whenever I am in need. But they all come in different packages and ways – I have no all around friend, each one is special in their own ways.
So also he is my best friend in a different way. Just like my close friend Yoly once said, our own friendship has stood the test of time. There were periods when we didn’t do much together, no contact of each other, yet we know one is just a phone call away for the other and when we get together, our friendship moves on.
It is more difficult to call someone as your singular best friend, but easier to define a great true friend. My boss is the one who comes through in the “bigger picture” of that.
Yes, to answer the staff’s question, we are best friends. But this time, not as dictated by any definition from a dictionary but in our special way.