Mothers, fathers, secretaries and shrimp all have their own days on the calendar — and with good reason.
Without our parents’ tireless effort and unconditional love, our lives as we know them would cease to be. Ditto for our offices. And our scampis.
But a quick glance at the calendar reveals a glaring omission.
When it comes to days where we buy our loved ones greeting cards and treat them to overpriced and bland-tasting hotel brunches, it seems one group has been inexplicably overlooked — our friends.
Apart from our parents, who are responsible for how much or how little therapy we require later in life, it is hard to think of other relationships in our lives that are so rewarding, so formative and so integral to our emotional well-being.
This is hardly a revolutionary idea.
“No man is a failure who has friends,” and all of that, so why no holiday?
Well, this injustice ends today. Literally.
I hearby decree that today, May 17, is ... A Day for Friends? A Celebration of Pals? Thank a Buddy ... Day? OK, the name needs some work but you get the idea.
Today is a day honoring the people in our lives who love us in spite of ourselves. Remember, we were born to our families. They’re stuck with us. Our friends have a choice.
After all, where would we be without people who:
• Talk us out of going home with the girl you drunkenly (and generously) described as “unique-looking.”
• Help us move, an act recognized by scholars as the most significant gesture of friendship known to our species.
• Get us home safely at the end of the long night and send us a text the next morning to make sure we’re still alive.
• Make us laugh with a single look or gesture.
• Know our most petty, jealous and idiotic inner thoughts and choose to be around us anyway.
• Tell us what we need to hear even if it’s not always what we want to hear.
It’s about time these folks got their own day, wouldn’t you say?
In honor of this new holiday, this week’s playlist features eight songs ... well, for friends. No Rembrandts though. That’s a little too on-the-nose.
Take a minute today and thank the people in your life who make facing each day seem a little less daunting and a little more fun just by sticking around. We’d be nowhere without them.
• Flight of the Conchords, “Friends” — A musical definition of friendship.
• Bright Eyes, “We Are Gonna be Friends” — A White Stripes cover dedicated to a time when those destined to be your friends were the kids with the same backpacks or pens.
• John Mayer, “Not Myself” — A song for those who love us even when we’re not exactly draped in glory.
• LCD Soundsystem, “All My Friends” — A song that perfectly captures what it feels like to be around people who make you excited to be alive.
• Thin Lizzy, “The Boys are Back in Town” — A hangout song that never goes out of style.
• The Fratellis, “My Friend John” — A song for the dude whose friendship inspired this column.
• Johnny Cash, “In My Life” — The most beautiful song about love and friendship ever written.
• Joe Cocker, “With a Little Help from My Friends” — You knew this was coming.