People are rather easy with the term Friend.
People they work with, live next door to, car pool with, are all referred to as FRIENDS. Being Friendly with someone does not mean you are Friends with them.
For me the F word is sacrosanct. I don't like people taking liberties with it.
I would never call myself someone's Friend, unless I've earned my place as one.
And I won't refer to someone as a Friend, unless they have earned their place in my life.
I am not talking about signatures in blood or duels won.
But there has to be some give, some take.
Give a little time and confidence, take a little humour and joy.
You don't have to labour over your friendship or draw an agenda and work on it.
It has to come easily, but not taken for granted.
It has to have a meaning. A responsibility. A duty. A commitment.
You need to be able to fart and burp without embarassment (an 'excuse me' is mandatory tho'). You need to be able to count on them.
Just because we share a workspace or parking lot does not make us friends.
We need to share an interest, a worry, a laugh, a cry.
We need to share the good and the bad times. And we need to share those mundane, boring days, as well...
We need to fight freely and vocally, knowing well that the fight has helped us understand each other better.
So next time you call someone a friend, pause and ponder. Are you worthy of the F word?