Robert Roe

Watching television the other night, I sat transfixed through an interview where a professor argued that having a best friend when growing up is not fair to other children. Leave it to an academic to strive to further devalue the worth of humanity.

In response to the hypothesis, I had the hard decision of either smacking my head, doing a face palm or throwing a brick through the screen, considering such idiocy.

So now having a best friend is unfair to others. Oops, sorry. The phrase “best friend” is not inclusive. Let’s use the new hotness the professor favors: “Obsessive Friendships.”

Now, when I think of obsessive friendships, I think of bunnies in a pot, Fatal Attraction style. Or Play Misty For Me.

You know, the good old fashioned stalkery type of relationship; not two kids sharing secrets about who they might have a crush on in home room. Making plans to play baseball this weekend. Setting up a study date.

Leave it to adults to deconstruct and suck the joy out of everything that makes childhood special. Perhaps these “scholars” were loners as a child. Maybe they were always picked last during recess softball games. I know the feeling. However, …

People with similar leanings tend to find each other. Cliques have been, and probably always will be, a part of the academic experience. After all, athletic people want to socialize with people who share their interests. Same with the musicians, the writers, the agriculturalists, the gear heads, the computer folk, and any other genre of kid who, in total, make up the student body.

Are you a historian? Do you care at all about whether “The Orville’s” Bortus can eat a cactus? Or are you a computer geek? Do you have any interest in the play of...of...a little help, please? I’m useless in the sports department.

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I guess what I am trying to say is, birds of a feather flock together. What would be unfair to other children is to force them to participate in groups with whom they share no mutual interests.

I would really hate to be the one to share this inconvenient truth to the professor, do I say it? Some people like some other people more than other people. You see?

I feel odd lecturing the professor, but a student body is a self-contained society, comprised of the same personality types that make our country so unique. Why else is high school one of the most developmentally formative times in a person’s life? After all, you don’t see people getting together for Elementary School reunions.

There is a difference between working in the best interests of our children as opposed to micromanaging young lives to shoehorn them into a predetermined expectation. Kids will have plenty of time to endure adulthood in a few years. Trust them to make mistakes and learn from them on their own. After all, isn’t that how we grew up? And while we may not be perfect, I don't think we’re too bad.



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