“I owe you one.”

“We always owe each other one.”

This is my favorite exchange from “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.” Don’t we all need to be friends like this? To be the person who will feed a friend’s cat or drive him to the airport or participate in criminal activity when it’s for the greater good? The deeper friends even notice when you need a break, or a talk or an apology – and offer it before you even realized you needed it.

A friend of mine, we’ll call her Solid Friend reminded me of this fact today. An acquaintance, who alienated Solid Friend a few years back, found herself in an embarrassing, what-to-do? situation. Acquaintance looked around and realized the only one she could turn to was Solid Friend. Solid Friend did the solid friend thing and gave Acquaintance a comforting hug, even though earlier in the evening, Acquaintance was chilly to Solid Friend.

I hope Acquaintance is taking a look at her life today and thinking about who she really wants beside her next time around. And hope she remembers who was there when her fun, partying friends either (A) split or (B) were passed out drunk on the sofa.

I know I use this blog a lot to rave about my friends, but I’m going to do it again. My sister firmly believes that the people in your life should make you a better person. I love being inspired by the people in my life. I love noticing traits in them that I admire and striving to add more of them to my own life.

When I was moving, some friends were violently ill with the flu, but they offered me their (huge!) truck. I was stressing about getting them an appropriate thank-you gift. My mom told me that when you try to pay someone back, you take away from their ability to do a nice thing for you. She told me the better gift would be to do them a favor back.  I knew she was right. When I returned the truck, a pajama-clad Tanya came out and gave me a big hug and told my parents how much she loves me. She told me she would miss me so much now that I was moved out of town. I was reminded why I love Tanya and how she makes me a better person. And if I caught the flu from her, it was worth it for that moment. Not only is she generous and caring, but she never hides her enthusiasm. I have to say it makes my day when she greets me because it’s always with an excited, “Candace!” and tight hug. She’s inspired me to do more of that.

In a place like Seattle, where a small percentage of my friends are actually from here and have family nearby, I like to think of my network as my local family. So I’d be happy to drive you to the airport, feed your cats or listen to you vent about why you hate your job. You don’t have to pay me back. We always owe each other one because that’s what solid friends do.

P.S. This whole cartoon is fun,but scroll down to P.E.. “The number of friends you have (post-high school) is determined by how likable of a human being you are.”

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