Best Birthday Present

Friends are in my humble opinion the best present one will ever get. Their continued existence guarantees that you won’t feel displaced by the onrush of novel times and people.

When your friends start disappearing then your time is coming as well.

Friends are what family can never be. One cannot choose one’s family. But one can always choose one’s friends, and what’s even more to the point, they also get to choose you as well.

I love my family as a man loves his wife and daughter and mother.

I also love my friends. I have always had three friends: K., A. and S. As best buddies forever we did all sorts of things together. We laughed, cried, cursed and loved life together. We still do.

Unfortunately, S. turned or was touched by the evil eye of Sauron, started worshiping the lord of Cash, and turned sour. I was not there when it happened but I heard it from my other two buddies.

I did not believe them. However, when things turned south for S., I was there for him. It did not matter. The man did not want my friendship. He wanted to use me as a front for his scheme. Because I am a sucker, I fell for it. I did find out eventually, and that’s when I decided to sever all links with the man.

As disappointing as it was, I at once decided to reinforce the bonds of friendship with my other two friends.

So, I sent K. a gift for his anniversary. As we live on different continents, I made sure to order him a surprise present in time for his birthday.

I noticed he had gotten into air-soft so I went ahead and got him a nice French military helmet.

A 1967 Gendarmerie Nationale helmet. I’m confident enough to be able to say that this was used during the 1968 French Riots.

A bit dented during its long years of service with the gendarmerie but still serviceable. Not as nice as on the store’s website but nice nonetheless.

A venerable French military helmet. One year shy of the year that will forever live in infamy: May 1968.
Talk about misleading the customer, eh!

My friend was ecstatic. He was elated beyond words. The helmet fit him like a glove. He’s promised to take it out for a ride during his air-soft outings. All is good. Mission accomplished.

My point is this. In our lives we often think that we need more stuff. That is an amateur’s mistake. Just like adding milk into the omelette, life is not about buying stuff for yourself. Life is about giving.

And that is what makes one happy. Making others happy is what makes for a fulfilled life.

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