BC and I had a long discussion about life the other night over wine and cheese. The consensus? What if we are the only ones who believe our own promises about the future? How do you guarantee the future and those promises when there’s no vows for friends?
Let me back up and explain. My dear BC has long had a theory of communal friendship that is based on karma. He has helped so many people move in this life that he should never have to carry his own sofa again. He always brings soup to sick people, and so when he gets the sniffles, his soup runneth over. He handles late night rescues with grace, and thus when he needs rescued, people answer their phones in the middle of the night.
But, we both wondered, where are the guarantees? Had I gotten married, I would have taken vows that promised that as long as we lived we would be there for each other, help each other out, and never leave. But when your friends are your only permanent family, how do you relax?
I know, and firmly informed BC, that if he needed round-the-clock care forever and ever, he would move in to my place and that would be the end of that. Regardless of my romantic life, BC has been and will continue to be my family. But in my darkest heart of hearts? I can’t 100% relax that he would do the same. He is the best person I know and I am almost positive that if it came down to it, I could count on him until I’m 90 and need to be put in a home. But, really? He doesn’t have to. The vows problem. There is no surefire way to be sure you count on a friend, other than by their past actions.
In which case, I think I’ll be ok. He took his own vacation time and sat through my surgery last fall and toted me home like a champ without batting an eyelash. And when we’re in New Orleans in two weeks, he’s the only person I trust to carry me down Bourbon Street. And I think, after taking a deep breath, I can count on him for the long haul- even if there are no vows for a woman and her gay best friend.