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the ugly friend


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A week or so ago I asked all our family and friends for stories of Becky for her graduation on Friday. I am putting together a scrapbook for Katie. I thought I would share this story with you, sent by her best friend since middle school. I hope you enjoy.


When I racked my brains trying to think of amusing, insightful, or even just interesting stories about Becky, I admit I had some trouble. That wasn’t the type of friendship we had. We didn’t go out partying until the wee small hours. We didn’t get up to hilarious hijinks. Often, we sat together with friends and played cards. Sometimes we went out and played putt-putt. The more exciting nights involved a trip to the bowling alley, to show each other how not to bowl. From the outside, I think it’s safe to say we were pretty boring.

We talked about the world and our places in it. We talked about what we wanted from life, and what we were getting from it. Often, they weren’t the same things. We talked about the trivialities of who was doing what at school. We were close. We supported each other. We shared the ups and downs. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less. We weren’t buddies or pals. We were friends.

That said, when I stopped thinking about it for a while, a picture of a particularly key moment of our friendship came into my head. Becky had asked me to do something truly impossible.

The Ugly Friend

Everyone, at some time in their lives, has need of a so-called Ugly Friend. The Ugly Friend exists to form an instant barrier against people we don’t want to let get too close. The other important thing about an Ugly Friend is that they have to be unattractive to those people being kept out. It’s no good going out with your Ugly Friend if they end up going out with the person they were meant to push away. For Becky, on a few occasions, I was that Ugly Friend.

Imagine, if you will, a women’s volleyball match at the Frank Erwin Center. There I was, the Ugly Friend, sitting between Becky and Curtis. My brief was something along the lines of “Curtis wants to come up and take me to see this game. He’s a nice guy, but I don’t really want to give him much encouragement. You like volleyball, will you come and meet him and keep him from thinking this is anything other than a few friends going to see a game?â€

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