Won't you be my neighbor

Won't you be my neighbor

This being the last Wednesday of the month, an email has just arrived in the inboxes of all ChicagoNow bloggers saying the following:

Welcome to ChicagoNow’s Blogapalooz-Hour. Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to publish a post in one hour. Here is tonight’s challenge:

‘Write a letter to a celebrity (rock star, politician, athlete, movie star, etc.) convincing them you should become best friends.”

If you think about it, that’s a weird one.  Why would anyone want a complete stranger for a best friend?

Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up in the “BFF” generation, I have a more traditional view of friendship.  Mine involves the passage of time and some trial or tribulation or shared experience that allows a relationship to bond.  Usually there will be some demonstration of loyalty and/or trustworthiness.

Maybe I’m too cynical or critical to allow for that kind of relationship.  I’m not even sure I know what, exactly defines a BFF.  I probably never had one.

I’ve had plenty of acquaintances. It seems, though that if you expect too much of acquaintances, they will let you down every time.  That probably makes managing your expectations an imperative.

My daughter once schemed to find a way to convince Jennifer Aniston to be her BFF.  I think she staked out a Chicago hotel one time in an effort to “accidentally” run into Ms. Aniston.  Her back up plan was to date Brad Pitt and have him introduce her to Jennifer.

She was pretty young at the time.

Then there’s the question of the kind of friend a rock star, politician, movie star or the like would make.  We can probably scratch politician off the list of potential best friends.  That’s almost a contradiction in terms.

Stars, rock or otherwise are unlikely candidates, as well.  Stars tend to live in their own little solar systems, where they’re the Sun and everyone else revolves around them.  Some think they literally are stars, lighting up the night sky.

Like their un-airbrushed photos, stars don’t shine as brightly in the glare of daylight.  I like movies, but I’m happy to let the stars stay up there, on the screen.

Maybe the part of “BFF” (best friends forever) that I find most daunting is the “forever” part.  That seems like a long time to like anyone.

The thing about this particular assignment that bugs me the most is thinking about trying to convince anyone to be my friend.  It’s like the opposite of that butterfly thing, where you let the butterfly go and if it comes back to you, yada, yada, yada.

How reliable a friend is anyone going to be after having to be convinced to be one?

The truth is, I’m a misanthrope.  I don’t really like people and that’s just on general principles.  It’s rare that anyone hangs in there long enough to get to the friendship level.  For someone I’ve never met to be considered would be unthinkable.

By the way, if you’ve ever heard that Mr. Rogers was a Navy SEAL and that he wore those silly sweaters to cover up all his tattoos, it’s not true.  Mr. Rogers was never in the military.  But he was probably a pretty good friend.

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Filed under: Satire

Tags: Best friends, Mr. Rogers

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