The true meaning of friendship is lying to each other’s faces. No, seriously.
But only about certain stuff. Like today we had a track meet and I, having worked out maybe half a dozen times since I got back from Kenya in February, got dead last in my race. Dead. Last. And okay, I wasn’t really surprised. I had mostly signed up for track because I get to spend the whole day of a track meet hanging out with my friends just to run a one minute race. Plus, I think running is kind of fun.
I expected to do badly, but not exactly this badly. My time was seventeen seconds slower than the winner, which is pretty brutal in 400m. I wasn’t super upset because track is not really a high priority for me, but I was a little disappointed that I was that slow, especially since this time last year my times were at least ten seconds faster.
My friends could sense right away that I was disappointed, and they knew just how to make me feel better. They didn’t take pity on me or tell me how sorry they were or tell me I’d do better next time. Instead, they decided to blame the whole thing on the race marshals.
Dee: What a rip-off! They messed up your time!
Jon: Idiots! They must have typed it in wrong.
Mat: There’s no way that’s your time. You weren’t more than five seconds behind the leaders.
Lies, all of it, but it was exactly what I needed to hear. Instead of being upset for the rest of the day, I moved on and ate Timbits and cheered on the other races and laughed and talked with the three of them.
Friendship isn’t about honesty. It’s about knowing your friend well enough to know how to be there for them.