In essence, friendships are connections, but it is foolish to think of them as a simple line that connects two individuals, for they are far more complicated than that. I like to think of friendships as complex webs, strung together by interactions and kept standing by will. Will, or perhaps more accurately, tolerance, is what keeps friendships from disintegrating. Perhaps I am too young to say for sure, but from my limited experience, I can safely say that there is no such thing as a perfect friend.

I’ve known Linda for eight years now, and she has been with me through thick and thin. She was there when I broke my elbow, tolerating my incessant moaning about the discomfort of my full-arm cast. She was, and still is, the first to drop me a happy birthday message every year, at precisely twelve midnight. Yet, there are times I feel like feeding her long hazel hair through the back of an electric fan. Prepare yourselves for an onslaught of unsavory adjectives. Linda is stingy, clingy, noisy, inappropriate, obnoxious, spoiled, vulgar, careless, dull, ignorant and at times, even smelly. And this is only a sampling, for I could fill an entire dictionary with words like these. Worst still, at the back of my head, I know for a fact that she thinks the same of me. But you know what? We are still best of friends to this day, eight years after we met each other in primary school.

The key, my dear reader, is tolerance, the ability to look past the imperfections of your friends. If I only accepted perfect friends, to put it bluntly, I would have none. I am sure that my friends are as understanding of my weaknesses and limitations as I am of theirs, and this is how we keep our friendship webs from collapsing. So, the next time you are full of complaints about your friend, or angry at one of their particular character traits, remember this: You are not perfect either, and yet your friends accept you. If you bear this in mind, I can bet a pretty penny that you will have happier and more fulfilling friendships.