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Friendship inspiration from sitcoms

August 6, 2012

by Crystal Kupper
Salem Author
Crystal’s Cliffnotes

Nick has gotten me hooked on Cheers. Yes, that Cheers — Ted Danson, shoulder pads and sailor dresses and Cliff Clavin’s terrible Boston accent. I know I’m a few decades behind, but you can blame that on my upbringing. Popular TV shows just never were a priority in my house. In fact, I was so Cheers-deficient that when my pastor in Idaho preached a sermon called “The Church Where Everybody Knows Your Name” a couple years ago, accompanied by a live cover of the theme song, I had no idea how everyone else in the sanctuary already knew it.

So a few weeks ago, when I heard the now-familiar strains of “Making it in the world today takes everything you’ve got,” it all sank in. Ah ha! (Yes, I was homeschooled. Next question?)

I am not a passive sitcom viewer. I have this habit of watching a show and mulling over its meaning for the next several hours or even days. This quirk of mine has led to some great discussions about marriage, parenting and life between Nick and me (Me: “I can’t believe you agree with Tim again!” Nick: “So? You always take Jill’s side!” Points to anyone who can identify the show).

And so it is with Cheers. This cast of hysterical characters gets its fuel from their friendships. Yet I think the writers have gotten it a little tweaked. True friendship comes not from quick-witted barbs (oh Carla), love-hate relationships (Diane & Sam) or even overlooking country bumpkin ignoramuses (my favorite characters, Woody and Coach).

Instead, I think true friendship looks like this:
Letting your high school best friend broadcast your deepest hurt to the world so more people can pray for you, even though it reminds you of the precious newborn daughter you lost days ago. Also giving said friend permission to call you at any time of day or night to check up on you, because it makes her feel like she’s somehow helping.

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