Does Every True Friendship Have to Pass Some Sort of Test?

Week of May 22, 2002

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Tony Bufalo
Monsanto Retiree
"Oh, you have to go through the fire for a true friendship, especially when you're young. It could be an experience or an event, but it binds you to that person forever. And the thing about a good friend: You don't have to be on your best behavior. You can just go to him or her and express yourself without reservations or fear of recrimination. They will always stay with you."

Chris Rowley
Postdoctoral Researcher, Washington University
"Some friendships, where a bond of trust forms right away, don't need to go through a test period. It's only after you really trust somebody that the friendship becomes true, and so all these 'tests' that would challenge that friendship -- either bring it down or make it stronger -- are of no real consequence. If somebody betrays you, then that bond of trust is broken or it wasn't there to begin with."

Scott Safron
Benton Park Brahmin
"Yeah, the test is they have to do what I want when I say I want it or they can blow me! And they'd better have some good herb."

Sherice Brown
University City Loop Panhandler
"Basically you can tell a good friend because they will always be there. I know a lady and she'd take me in from time to time, give me food, too. She passed the friendship test. But this other girl, she opened her doors at first, but as the weeks went by she's saying, 'I need this and I need that.' And then she started throwing my things out on the street and trying to fight -- which is not very friendly, not at all."

Jason Claud
Computer Technician
"The test is somebody who'll give you his Garbage tickets because he knows you and your girlfriend are the biggest fans and he can't make the concert anyway 'cause he broke his leg skateboarding and he's floating on Darvocet. I consider that a friendship."

Holly Humfeld
Social Anthropologist
"Indubitably. And if it's an oral test, I can pass it."

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