The Friend Tiers

Terry and I were talking about friendship.  How do you categorize friends? Aren’t friends just friends?   I say no. I think that friends are divided up into tiers.  There’s tier one friends and then everything else drips down from there.  Allow me to explain:

Tier One Friends: These are your closest friends. In fact, they are your most hated of friends. These are the friends that you have to deal with.  If they screw up, you are there to hold back their hair while they puke or lie to the cops.  You carry their baggage. You live their lies.  You are there when they need you and there when they do not want you there.  You forgive them.  You forgive them again. You help them into rehab.  You help them back into rehab.  You loan them money and never expect to get it back.  They make mistakes and you yell at them for messing up again. You diss all your other tiered friends because they need you.  You love them and you hate them. But best of all, they are there for you when you are throwing up or getting arrested or coming down off a black tar heroin binge. You cannot get rid of them and they cannot get rid of you.

Tier Two Friends: These are the best friends.  You can hang with them.  You can listen to their woes without getting involved.  You help them when they need a hand and if you’ve got some other pressing issue, they understand. They are there for you when you have a flat, but you would never expect them to do more than call AAA.  They loan you money and expect you will pay them back.  They know when to walk away. They know when to leave you alone. Tier Two friends sometimes make it to be Tier One friends, but you hope they don’t. These are the people that help you move when you buy a new house.

Tier Three Friends:  These are your Tier Two friends’ friends. You see them at the grocery and you only talk about the common friend.  They are the work friends that will someday be Tier Two friends, but not today. They wave and say hello, but don’t ask you about anything more than the local baseball team or work related issues.  They will bring you back lunch if it isn’t an inconvenience.  Sometimes they think of themselves at Tier Two friends and you listen to them patiently and then promptly shove them into the Tier Four Friend category.

Tier Four Friend: These are the people you have to be friends with.  Your neighbor who keeps harping on your mowing technique. The parent of your kid’s friend who does not share the same basic set of interpersonal communication skills. All religious leaders. Most real estate agents. At night you secretly dream of killing them.

Tier Five Friend: Anyone on Facebook who does not fall into any of the above category.  They are idiots and you have no clue why you even still interact with them except that they were born in the same year as you and you graduated at the same time.