How to Know Whom You Treasure as Friends

I’ve always thought there’s only one friend whom I consider my best friend. Afterall, the term “best” suggests one and no more. More accurately, I should say, I’ve always thought there’s one friend whom I really treasure. Sure, I treasure all my friends and for the very simple reason of chance and blessing, the people I’ve met have been really wonderful people. I’ve had my time at each stage of education to have a clique to hang out with. A group of people with whom I share multiple similar interests. A group of people with whom we could share the most out-of-the-world jokes and have no problem getting one another even if the rest of the world go O_O!

Since I moved to Japan, I’ve missed at least 7 wedding dinners and 2 baby showers and will be missing a couple more this year, but I’ve never felt like it was a pity I couldn’t attend. The only reason I think I would enjoy the dinner is to be able to gather with friends and have an enjoyable talk over dinner. That’s what’s more important to me than anything else. And that is probably about it. Honestly, as much as it may sound hostile or even mean, I actually thought being overseas is good as it saved me from having to attend this many wedding dinners.

When I was still in Singapore, I attended every single wedding dinner that I was invited to, even if I didn’t feel like the friend was someone close enough that I would want to attend the banquet. I just thought it was polite and felt that if people wanted me there, I should show the appreciation of them treasuring my presence. When my family learnt of it after the nth dinner I attended, I was told I didn’t have to attend every single one. Turning down an invitation is not really considered rude. Apparently, you’re not even obliged to provide a reason.

Then, I moved to Japan and didn’t even have to come up with reasons to not attend them for the very reason of me being here is a good reason enough. In the November of this year, I would have to miss another dinner of 2 good friends whom I met at NUS. This dinner is special for the reason that for the first time, both the bride and the groom are my friends. While I’ve already made known to them that I most likely wouldn’t be returning just for the dinner (pardon my pragmatism but think about the cost!), I think there’s a faint possibility that I might actually turn up.

Being in Japan has made me learn who the friends who really mean a lot to me are. Thanks to wedding invitations that keep coming my way, I realised that there are only 2 friends whose wedding dinners I would make the effort to take days off work and specially fly to attend without hesitation. One is the best friend I mentioned at the beginning of this entry. The other is one whom I always thought was just a good friend like everyone else but this wedding thing made me realise, he means more to me as a friend than most other good friends.

If there are friends whose weddings you don’t mind missing or even rather not attend, they are not the ones who mean a lot to you.

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