I like to find people, discover them, and sometimes everyone already knows
all about them! I hope that I may introduce you to a novelist, plays and short
stories writer, along with being a screen writer named, Bruce Jay Friedman.
Since this will be posted on Wednesday, let me tell you this man will get you
laughing! He is quite a curmudgeon.
Friedman calls himself honestly,
“The Considerably Older Guy.”
His most famous book, selling lots of copies, was called,
“The Lonely Guy’s Book of Life,” (1978).
Friedman was lucky to have been discovered early in his life, by becoming
published at age 23. His first short story appeared in the magazine, “The
New Yorker.” His first novel, “Stern,” came out in 1962.
Here are some of Bruce Jay Friedman’s ‘takes’ on growing older and trying
to stay friends,
“Until the End.”
1. “Don’t allow a small disagreement to ruin a friendship.” If you find yourself
disagreeing about politics or something esoteric, like “Kurdish independence,”
don’t come to blows over it! He goes on to tell you to remember your history
together, the good times mainly. “The Kurds will always be there, but a good
friend won’t necessarily.”
2. “Don’t insist that a friend see you exclusively.” He explains that its a good
thing when people have a variety of friends. Who would think of these lines?
“It’s perfectly acceptable for a friend to have friends of his own. And there
is no need to spy on the friend and hack his phone to find out who he’s
speaking to. It’s not like dating.”
3. Make your spouse your best friend. He goes on to say that they are able
to understand your hopes and fears. They may enjoy going to places you
like to go to.
His joke he adds to this section is: “But it’s tricky. (being friends) When you’re
ready for sex, she might say: ‘Are you crazy? I thought we were friends.'”
He mentions that your spouse accepts you for who you really are. . .
“But don’t push it, though. Even the closest friends will draw a line at nose an
4. When he mentions people with money and who are in ‘high places,’ he
tells us to “Think twice about having a friend who occupies some high and
influential station. There will always be the feeling that you’re taking up his
precious time.” You already have enough feelings of inadequacy, as you get
5. Instead of being worried about age, having friends who are younger can
be invigorating. He says, “Instead of being jealous of his youth, admire his
vitality. And don’t expect a young friend to remember David Niven. Or even
Eisenhower. Consider yourself lucky if he remembers the first Bush.”
Here are some great suggestions that I would label, ‘warnings!’
6. “Limit contact with a friend who greets you with a yawn and says, ‘It won’t
be long now, right, fella?'”
7. “In matters of friendship, try to steer away from financial matters.” He jokes,
“A friend, no matter how wealthy, might grant you such a loan and then resent
it bitterly for the rest of his days.”
8. (On more money matters) “If you’re pressed to the wall and in desperate
need of a loan, make sure it’s for a substantial figure. Don’t ask for $18 and
blow what might be your one opportunity. (And once you have the loan, don’t
lie awake riddled with guilt, or worse, return the loan immediately, which
defeats the whole purpose.)”
Bruce Jay Friedman gives some parting words on friendship. . .
9. “There is no such thing as a perfect friend.”
10. “Finally, it is of great importance to have at least one friend who is in worse
shape than you are.”
This is the wisdom of the man who wrote the screen play for the Oscar-nominated
movie, “Splash,” with Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah. I loved the humor, love and
friendly way the love story goes in that sweet movie. His memoir, “Lucky Bruce,”
came out in 2011.