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The Power Of Old Friends

Today's Grommet is the fabulous best-selling book "The Girls from Ames", by Jeffrey Zaslow.  It's about a group of women who have been friends since childhood, and ultimately, it's about the power of  friendship.   We asked Britt Reints to reflect on this precious subject.

By Britt Reints of Miss Britt

I was a Girl Scout.  As a Girl Scout, I was taught the importance of old and new friends.  Specifically:

Girl Scout"Make new friends,
But keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold."

There is nothing like making new girlfriends to make you appreciate the value of an old friend.

One of my best friends is a woman I've known since I was 13 years old.  We got married the same year and had our children at the same time.  We also live 1400 miles apart now and spend our day to day lives in completely different social circles.

We no longer celebrate birthdays together.  We rarely speak with each other more than a handful of times a month.  We don't borrow each others shoes or have one another over for dinner and I often forget to call her now when I've had a fight with my husband.

And yet, my relationship with her is still one that I treasure and rely on.

I love that we don't have to get to know each other.  I love that she's not insulted or hurt when I call her two days after her birthday.  I know better than to take it personally when she doesn't have time to talk.  I know about her desire to be a good mother and that she still doesn't feel old enough to have two children.  She knows that I love my husband and that we've survived much worse than the argument du jour.

It's fun getting to know new people, but it's also comforting to talk to someone who already knows the intimate details of your back story.  It's invaluable to have a support system that includes a woman who understands the sublte complexities of my personality.  That kind of understanding can only come with years of long talks and shared life experiences.

There's something, too, about holding on to friends who knew you in a past life - before you became a wife and a mother and a responsible adult.

In addition to my best friend from high school, I also remain close friends with my best friend from college.  She was there when I took my psychology final drunk.  She was with me when I spent my paycheck on a tongue ring - which I got in our dorm room.  And she was in that same dorm room the day I came home from the doctor and told her I was pregnant.

I've grown up with these women.  We have changed and adjusted and adapted to our new lives together.  They know better than anyone who I am today, because they've been there for the journey.  And that, I daresay, is more precious than silver or gold.

Visit the Daily Grommet homepage, and share your own comments about friendship in our "Talk About this Grommet" section today.  Some of The Girls will be dropping in to chat, so come on over.

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