Friendship is to People as Sunshine is to Flowers

The past month I’ve loved spending time with my high school friends who are back for the summer. I’ve known all of them for at least five years, some more. What’s refreshing for me is that while they’re supportive of my book and business efforts, that’s not what really drives our relationship. Whereas in the business world "friends" can sometimes magically appear when you have a big success and disappear when you take some hits, in the "personal world" your perceived success and status don’t play as much a role.

One of the things the past few months of speaking, book marketing, and interviews have taught me is that I value the interior life. In other words, I value a private life of non-professional relationships. I value personal, emotional connection (this can definitely exist in strictly professional relationships, but it’s harder).

Three specific examples of recent social time stand out.

The first was a dinner I had at a sushi restaurant in Japantown with two friends who are at UCLA and Vassar. Originally the plan was to meet up for dinner at a cheap Chinese place which serves really tasty (read: greasy) food at low prices. I suspect they cook all the food in the morning and then re-heat it during the day. We punted on the quintessential student restaurant and instead went to Japantown and had a sit-down meal at a nice sushi place. It was fun to be in an ethnic neighborhood and do something out of the ordinary. Plus, the food was terrific.

The second was a night at a comedy club in Marin. I had never seen live comedy. It is a great experience that I recommend to anyone. Dana Carvey, one of the top 100 stand-up comedians of all time, showed up, and was hilarious. His dialogue between Bush Sr. and Bush Jr., in particular, shined ("Daddy, daddy, I’m going to spread democracy like peanut butter!" "Well, son, see, the problem is that peanut butter doesn’t really spread all that well."). The junior comedian was equally hilarious, but he had to rely on racism, sexism, and personal insults against people in the audience to make his point. A sign of a rookie! Two of us went to In-n-Out Burger afterwards for a late-night snack — it’s hard to go wrong with a Double-Double and vanilla milkshake.

The third was this past weekend. I had an overnight party for 15 friends and we lounged about in the sun, listened to music, played ping-pong, chatted about the utterly banal as well as the intellectually challenging, and just generally fucked around.

I guess this is a long way of saying that I’m looking forward to college where there supposedly is a great deal of social infrastructure to facilitate all this.

14 Responses to Friendship is to People as Sunshine is to Flowers

  1. Gabe Rosen says:

    In N Out is a way of life, and never more so than in college. After 4 years of ensuring the stellar performance of the Mountain View/Rengstorff Ave location, I managed to move 3 blocks from the Fisherman’s Wharf In N Out. I’m hoping for a medal.

  2. You should check out all the advice over at Marginal Revolution.

    link to marginalrevolution.com

  3. dustin says:

    dude, your going to love college! sometimes you just need to have a good discussion on regular vs. hot cheetos w/ friends to keep things in perspective.

  4. andy says:

    easy ben, your blog might lose that coveted pg13 rating if you keep this kind of language up. but in all seriousness, this is a money post.

  5. A hamburger is not your friend.;-)

  6. It is nice to have friends outside of your professional life. Nice meaning absolutely necessary. I don’t even think my best friend reads my blog. I love her anyway (and we met in college!)

  7. bharat says:

    Hi Ben, I’m 28 yrs old from Bangalore,India…doing my MBA from IUP,Pennsylvania…just happened to come across you blog and it’s petty interesting.I like the diversity of the topics covered.

  8. Jude says:

    As a social phobic, I don’t have friends, but it’s true that I had a lot in college. Remarkably enough, people can get by without friendship.

  9. reality is only a suggestion says:

    consider reading the following article:

    Title:
    Aristotle’s Email – Or, Friendship In The Cyber Age

    Link:
    link to philosophynow.org

  10. Sem Prada says:

    It is amazing to watch money evolve from worthwhile to worthless.The United States is running the country on borrowed money. People are not succeeding in life, they are buying success and going bankrupt because they are not following any restraint or fear of loss. Their is always cheaper money to buy in the US. This is so
    dangerous and I believe the value of the US dollar would crash if the actual value that is placed on our own currency was understood by the rest of the world.
    http://www.initred.com

  11. I like the quote so much Friendship is to people like sunshine is to flowers..
    very nice

  12. RAJ says:

    HELLO, I AM RAJ FROM INDIA 52 YEAR OLD INTERESTED IN TO MAKE DIFFRENT TYPE FRIEND . ARE YOU
    THANK YOU
    RAJ

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