Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Toast to My Friend

Friendship is a Relationship Between Equals
Photo: Shayera
This post comprises paragraphs that were, for the sake of brevity, expunged from my recent entry, “When Was the Last Time You Did Something For the First Time?”, but after careful consideration, I decided to publish it as a stand-alone entry because I figured it was worth sharing.

On the morning of my friend’s wedding, as soon as I woke up, I scribbled my speech for fear of forgetting the last words that resonated in my dream. The words were: friendship is a relationship between equals. I have no idea why those words reverberated, but I’m glad they did because they became the building blocks of my speech.

Below is the speech I wrote, and although my toast wasn't an exact replica of the written words, it still bore the gist of it:

I first met Ekanem at University ten years ago. We had both arrived a month after freshmen had resumed, so we had a lot of school work to catch up on, especially with tests approaching.

Being aware of our predicament, we formed a sort of partnership; we became library rats. If you needed to find us after lectures, all you had to do was come to the library.

Fortunately for the both of us, this partnership quickly blossomed into a friendship since we shared commonalities and were also able to celebrate our differences. We were tolerant of each other’s opinions. We were respectful, loving, compassionate and empathetic to each other. And even when the ugly truth was spoken, it was tempered with love.

Friendship and marriage are similar; the same qualities that make a friendship work can be found in any successful marriage.

Having known Ekanem for a decade, I can vouch that she embodies the requisite qualities that are necessary for a long-lasting friendship and will be taking them with her into her marriage. I can also assume that she saw the same qualities in Mfon, or she wouldn't have agreed to marry him, so my wish is that he reciprocates them to her as she would him.

I’d like to end this toast with a quote: Friendship is a relationship between equals; anything else is suspect. Therefore, it is my hope and prayer that you two see yourselves as nothing more than equals in this holy union.

*Names have been changed for the sake of privacy.