Down the Lane: What kind of a fan or friend are you?

Published 9:42 am Thursday, February 22, 2018

Being a University of Kentucky Wildcat fan this year has made me question my loyalty to them. I need to admit there were two games I just couldn’t take the results of what I was watching on the television and I had to turn it off.

However, the next time I knew there was a game on they were playing in I found myself flipping all the channels trying to find them. I knew good or bad I had to watch them even though it has not been the best year for them thus far. I must admit I got down on them for a while. I felt guilty when I did. I am hoping things are taking a turn for the better after the Alabama game.

My husband even told me after one of the games where they got a “whupping” (worse than a whipping) to a Wildcat fan he was no longer going to wear their clothes. I had to laugh since that lasted until the next day or so.

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I did get to thinking a lot about this through the past three weeks and thought how much it correlates with people’s friendships.

You see while Kentucky teams were always coming out on top, I was their biggest fan. But when they got down on their luck and playing my loyalty started to wane. I got to thinking this is the year they need their fans the most. Friendships are so much like that.

Looking back through the years, I thought of friendships and the loyalty of friends. When things are going great, you have all the friends in the world, but when things go downhill, your friendships tend to do the same.

I have friends I have not seen for a long time. I know and they know we love one another, but our life situations have changed. I consider them my best friends. I have had friends who have been my friend through thick and thin while some have not. Life will always let you know who your true friends are.

To me, a friend is a friend is a friend. They do not change their friendship if your political views are not the same or your religious beliefs are not the same. I think you can have different views and still be friends. Maybe I am naive about this, but I will give you an example.

I once hosted an exchange student from Indonesia who was Muslim. I learned to love this little girl as my own. She and I still talk and she knows I love her and I know she loves me. We talk all the time by Facebook and she calls me Mom and will always. I call myself her American mom and tell her she is still our little girl.

We both talked about what we believed when she was here, but we never argued about it. I respected her belief and she did mine. She never tried to change my belief, and I never tried to change hers. Even though there are huge differences in our faith, we were able to find both love and friendship with one another.

No one will be able to change the love my husband and I have for this sweet girl. We can only think of her with love, and we will never forget her even though our chances of ever getting to see her again are  slim. Our love for her will never wane.

I think strong friendships should be this way. If you are a person’s friend, you do not flip that friendship switch on and off like a light switch. Either you are their friend or you are not. I think it is the same with being a Kentucky Wildcat fan. If you are a fan, you should be a fan through the good years and the bad. I know how much fun it is when the years are good, but I had to take a closer look at myself to see how true a fan I really was this year.

I vow I will not lose hope that they will be a great team before the end of the year and if they are not, then I will just know there is always next year. I will not give up on the team I have come to love.

Friendships, however, are different. If you lose a friend, it makes you wonder if they were really your friend anyway. Also, you may miss a friend you had once been close to. I tell my grandchildren all the time to have a friend, you have to be a friend.

I have some wonderful friends and for those who have stuck by me through the years, I feel truly blessed to have had you for my friend.

I am going to leave you with the question I started with, “What kind of fan or friend are you?”

Do not let your friends down, and I hope they will never let you down.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active at First United Methodist Church and Towne and Country Homemakers.