The Importance of Pals

I was tickled to see the New York Times article last week about the benefits of baboon friendships.  Researchers have studied the friendship patterns of baboons in Kenya since 1971.  They noticed early on that female baboons with lots of gal pals lived longer than those with fewer friends. Male baboons have been harder to follow and study, but the evidence is now in that male baboons’ life spans are longer the more  platonic female friendships they have.  Female baboons groom both  their male and female buddies, thus decreasing parasites and strengthening bonds that reduce conflict.  The same lifespan and  platonic friendship associations  are noted in many social species from horses to dolphins to humans.  Let’s give thanks for our friends!

Who have been your best male and female friends?

40 thoughts on “The Importance of Pals”

  1. I have quite a few female friends and I cherish their friendship. In my experience, the highest and best use for social media is to connect people. I have been fortunate to reconnect with lots of friends from throughout my life, all the way back to my youngest years. My best childhood friend, Mickey, who lived across the street and who introduced herself by barking at me. My best school friend, Jan, who went to the back of the playground and played with me at the base of a large tree during recess. We were both troubled by bullies and stuck together.

    Now I have my friend Pam who is unlike me in so many ways but we share a great friendship and she would do anything for me. There is also my friend Barb who is creative and intelligent and we have so many shared interests. Also, I have another creative friend, Leslie, who has been here as MNfirefly and who is able to think with quiet compassion, spirituality and reason.

    Most of my male friends have been fellow musicians and creatives. I have also had great relationships with eco-minded guys, including two past romantic relationships. My best male friend right now is my youngest brother Kurt, a staunch fiscal conservative, who is so different from me and so like me in so many ways, and without whom I could not continue my daily care for our mom.

    This morning I am grateful for my friends.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Krista, it is so nice to have you and Clyde return to our Trail. We missed you while you were away, but I do understand the need to step away.

      I notice Steve has been absent lately, and I am hoping he is OK. I know he has many health challenges.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    One of the most difficult challenges of this pandemic is the required social isolation, at least if you want to stay healthy, while remaining socially connected. At work, I am finding that my clients with social phobia and agoraphobia are happy, happy, because they don’t need to interact with people. When this ends, they will be in crisis due to the anxiety they feel about needing to leave the house and interact in person.

    Meanwhile, I have felt so lonely. I miss my pals. At this point, Zoom feels like a cage. It is to the point now where I am fantasizing about having VS’ gift exchange around a campfire. I miss my in-person Baboon events, my Art Circle and our pot lucks, going to a church service in person, and in person therapist events. Professional meetings used to feel like obligations that I grudgingly attended. Now they seem like fantasy vacations and I cannot wait to attend one in person. Last weekend we found a church service in Eden Prairie To attend that was socially distanced and masked, including real music at about 20 feet away. It was such a treat. I notice that people are getting more skilled at hosting outdoor, in-person events that are safe. I have been to several with friends over the past few weeks. I think we are bonding over the isolation COVID has induced.

    My friends include people I have known since the third grade, my sister and nieces, my son and his wife (they get married this coming Sunday), my husband, my neighbors, my work-mates, our close friends in Eveleth, and Baboons. I love having many people in my life.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. My two best friends are women I met when I was in my 20s, one from my Renaissance Festival days, the other from backstage theater work. The Festival friend has become part of my “extended household” in this crazy year – for awhile after Husband passed she was coming over daily and how comes over a couple times a week to hang out, watch Netflix, sometimes help with things here, and just be here. Daughter also has a couple of friends who have been “extended household” through the summer – they are wonderful young people and the mental health benefits for both of us outweigh other concerns.

    I also am lucky enough to have a “work best friend” – a sounding board for ideas, for gripes, for bad jokes. He and I have done a number of committee-related things together, which has led to me getting the nickname Batman and he is Robin. (The nicknames started with a presentation we gave together, with me wearing a Batman mask and cape and he Robin through the whole thing.)

    Getting through the last couple of months has been easier because of my troop, Baboons and otherwise. And when we can all gather in person again, I will be one of those people hugging every person I know. Probably twice.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. My best friend from Grade 1 is still my best friend.

    My best pre-school friend was Becky, and she lived behind us. She was the first one I phoned after the vacuum caught fire while my mother was cleaning my room and my favorite stuffed bear ignited and burned up.

    I am an only child, and onlys tend to have fewer friends but more intense friendships.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. There also were three brothers, Michael, Tracy, and Mark Mills (The Mills Brothers) who also lived behind us, and who had two boxer dogs, and hey were lots of fun to run around the neighborhood with.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. We moved around a lot when I was a kid and not put a real damper on any best friendships. I did have a best friend and 6/7 and eighth grade and then we moved again and it was harder to stay in touch with her. That friendship imploded spectacularly when she started dating a guy who turned out to be a pusher and she decided it would be OK to have him try to push drugs on me.

    I have several BFFs and I have Met up with a few of them on an occasional basis, socially distant. This is actually quite difficult because there’s no hugging, no touching, no any kind of physical contact. I would not have said I had a lot of this behavior in my friendships but Obviously I do since I’m noticing the lack of it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The lack of physical contact with friends feels awkward when a friendly hug is the norm. The only friend I see semi-regularly at this stage is Helen, and it grieves me that she’s moving out of the neighborhood at the end of the month.

      I’m grateful for my FB friends, most of whom are old friends who live in far flung places, both in the US and in Europe. We exchange both public and private messages, small videos that make us laugh, and generally do what we can to lift each other’s spirits. Only my friends in the US fully grasp our desperate political situation; my Danish friends don’t get it, at all.

      Husband’s former boss has the coronavirus, and has been on and off a respirator for the past ten days. He has developed pneumonia and his doctors have told his family to say their last good byes. He and his family have a deep religious faith, and they seem to be accepting that this is God’s will, and are preparing for his departure to a happier place.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Actually, now that I think about it, I also see my friend Philip at least once a week. I stop in for a short visit after my Saturday farmer’s market jaunt. I usually buy a scone at the market for him and his PCA, Sam, and we enjoy a socially distanced and masked chat, and Sunday’s I bring him dinner and keep him company for a few hours.

        Liked by 4 people

  7. NEWSFLASH! Just had a phone call from Steve. He’s has been cut off from the world, his ten year old computer died. He’s able to read emails and comments on the trail, but is unable to send responses. His health situation is unchanged, so no cause for undue alarm in that department. He has purchased a new computer from a company in St. Louis Park, and they are in the process of transferring his records from his old computer to the new one. He is, however, not certain when he’ll get it, or how he will be able to get it plugged in. Someone at the facility where he lives has contracted the coronavirus, so security is once again restricting visitors to the building. He seems to be in good spirits with his sense of humor intact, and wanted me to relay this message to you all.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This is Krista. I wonder how long I will be in WP purgatory. It works sometimes, other times not so much. Anyway, I’m glad to hear that Steve is okay.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Good evening.
      I haven’t had much time on the trail lately between classes and that theater remodeling and college work, I’ve been busy.
      This will sound sappy, but honestly, my wife Kelly is my best friend. We just have such a good time together. She’s the first one I tell things and the one I want around me.
      But right up there with Kelly is my friend Paul. We email every morning and always enjoy working on shows together. We vent to each other. He’s been helping me with the remodeling.
      Today he fell off a ladder. He was only 2 steps up, and I’m not sure what happen- I had my back to him until I heard a crash. But he knocked himself unconscious for a full minute or more. Long story short, he’s home and ok aside from a sore shoulder. Think maybe he tried to grab something as he fell and hurt his rotator cuff. Also bumped his head on another bench on the way down, which is what knocked him out.
      It was a little scary kneeling there beside him waiting for the paramedics. But we had some laughs in the ER while waiting for his wife to show up. And boy, did he know she was going to be mad. Yes. She was. No more ladders for him. He’s got 15 years on me but neither of us bounce like we used too.
      Hugs to all of you!

      Liked by 4 people

  8. the trail has ended up being my friendship rich place. who woulda think it?
    steve if you need me to pick it up at mcro center and run it over to you let me know.

    my oldest friend is mary who i went to catholic school with in 2nd grade. she became mara and is a person i keep in touch with and appreciate.
    i find women are easier to be friends with than men. men are often shielded and protective of something and women are for the moet part less guarded. my guy friends are there and i enjoy the heck out of seeing them but they appear to have gone there own way and when i pop in to say hello thats all it is. a simple hello. i meet people who i click with and i go with that as far as it goes. i have a cousin dan in fargo who i keep in good touch with and my old friend from jr high school who i stop in to see every now and again but thats about it. i have a group of friends that i reach out to but….. it gets old. so i am very thankful fo rthe daily dialog here and the good souls that occupy the other side of the screen.

    i am thinking a bit of it is that i have been licking my wounds for a while and no one enjoys listening to that. i wrote a christmas card a few years back saying business sucked and i was working hard to get it back in line and one of my friends laughed out loud and said nobody ever says business sucks. i thought about it and have since said nthing instead . maybe i should be the exception.

    my business is ready to lauch this time around and i am ready too.
    i will be hanging out with the baboons regardless and im glad for that

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Tim, you might want to send Steve your phone number, remember he can’t respond to post on the trail or emails, but apparently has a phone that works.


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