First, I must confess that I’ve never actually had a Lowenbrau (beer = not worth my time), but its jingle — from 1981, for the love! — stays with me. Catchy phrasing — Shakespeare mastered it and we’ve been limping along behind him in sorry imitation ever since — burrows in and takes up residence, resurfacing at a moment of life change. Once again, the common experience is rendered uniquely mine. “Here’s to good friends…” A simple advertising ploy. From over thirty years ago! A whole lotta life change spans those years. But the song pops up as if cued on my ipod (I’m not hopelessly behind the times) with a chance encounter on the webbernets. An old friend tweets, and suddenly, I’m the one chirping a jingle from yesterday. I re-discover the necessity of friendship. Of course we all know this to be true. We rattle off the standard clichés with reckless abandon. Pinterest proves that point, and Hallmark makes millions from its awareness of our felt need to remind our friends of the myriad ways they enrich our lives.
All too often though, the ‘tyranny of the urgent’ robs us of time to simply remember those friendships. A mutual understanding, an ‘inside joke,’ or a shared cup of coffee (or a Lowenbrau if you prefer) easily establishes a friendly foundation. Time passes. The friendship deepens, and, like a good wine it ages nicely (wine = definitely worth my time). We depend on those friendships, and, though we vow we never will, we even take them for granted. And then, Life (always capitalized) happens. A new job, a new baby, a move across town or across the country, and suddenly, good new friends replace the ‘dear old’ ones who ‘just yesterday’ filled our lives with laughter, hope and love.When suddenly, that ‘tweet.’ That Facebook post. That ‘chance’ reminder — demanding that we must, in fact, remember what brought us to this present moment. A high school best friend who belted out “Only the Good Die Young” with me as we plotted our futures. A college roommate whose antics included transforming that dorm room into a Christmas wonderland, who shed tears of joy and sorrow with me as our university life faded away. Colleagues who shared vision and purpose as we worked toward the common goal of educating the next generation. Friends. Sharing life.
There they are — in our commonchapters. Search your past. Reach out, and while it’s still called today, share anew that old friendship. Heck! While you’re at it, share a beer and sing a sappy jingle or two. And don’t forget the toast.
Here’s to good friends. Today is kind of special.