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Faux Friends and True Friends
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I get lots of "Friends" email with titles like "We Is Friends" usually larded with cute puppy and kitten pictures, with the pups and kits doing what comes naturally--being cute, keeping warm, having fun.

Then there was the email that described the difference between a good friend and a true friend thus: A good friend will visit you in jail, commiserate and promise to do everything possible to get you out. A true friend will be in there with you, sitting on the bunk, saying, "Whoo Hooo, wasn't that a blast?"

The second comes closer to the mark, I think. A true friend not only sympathizes with you, but is is there, watching your back, in the thick of things, no questions asked. I've had--and have--friends like that. Afterwards they may ask (and have asked), "What the HELL were you thinking?" But at the time, with the arrows flying all around, they stood back-to-back with me.

The other kind of friend? Well, I'm not talking about the one who betrays you to the enemy or who has a personal agenda they were pursuing all along. They never were friends to start out with. You can deal with that.

The faux friends, the ones who break your heart, are the ones who cave when the going gets tough. Who hide in their office pretending nothing is wrong while you're cleaning out your desk and toting the cardboard box out to your car, because being seen with you might jeopardize a future promotion. Who smile and nod and keep on walking when a dear one is at death's door because the emotional cost is too high.

These are the ones I call faux friends. Give me enemies every time.

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