There's a saying that goes something to the effect of, "You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose." I think it was Plato who said it. Or Hallmark. Definitely one of the two.
The reason that phrase popped into my head is because I've been thinking a lot about friendships. When you get to be in The Zone age range, and even beyond, friendships come and go, and you tend to find out who your real friends are more and more each day.
There are the friends you have known since grade school. The ones you might not talk to every day but you know if something were to happen to you or your family, they would be the first ones at your house with an armful of food and ready to help.
Next are the friends you may not have known as long but you feel like you have known forever. When thinking about these friendships, you wonder how you have gone your whole life and not been friends with that person.
Then there are the special friends. The friends you can spend an absurd amount of time with and somehow not get tired of them. And even when you leave them, you can still call them five seconds later with a funny story. Now, this friend can fall into the two previous categories, but they are not an automatic. Because, my friends, that is the best kind of friend. Those are the friends you can go on vacation with.
I think deep down, all of us know this. You might trust someone with a deep, dark secret, but you know that you could not spend three consecutive days with that person.
Knowing if you have a vacation friend starts way back in the day. That's right friends, I'm talking back to the days of grade school and summer vacations.
My first recollection this was in second grade, and it was with my BFF 4-ever Krystal Kendall. And apparently 4-ever meant until sixth grade, but I digress.
That summer, we took swimming lessons together every day and pretty much every afternoon after lessons we would be at one of our houses. And at least twice a week one of us spent the night. I believe there was a good week where we never apart. And we did go on vacation. Or an 8-year-old's version of vacation. She went with my family to Geauga Lake.
Sadly though, the honeymoon ended soon after. By the next summer I realized our friendship couldn't stand the vacation test anymore because after two days, my 9-year old self was ready to punch her. I didn't. I believe I faked a crying fit and went home.
Then came college. And here is where I learned you need to be very careful with who you choose to vacation with.
The only time I went on spring break was my senior year, and it wasn't even a true spring break, it was a broadcasting convention in Las Vegas. There was a group of us going. We all had a lot of classes and spent a hefty amount of time together. We all got along well enough so we thought traveling and sharing rooms in Sin City was a great idea.
Wrong. I believe we made it one day. I don't even remember what started the fight, but one second we were sipping drinks with umbrellas at the pool and next minute we were forming factions and not speaking the rest of the trip. Lesson learned. Acquaintances are not good travel companions.
So, having had that experience, Candace and I have thought a lot about our upcoming cruise and if we are compatible travel buddies. We've already spent the absurd amount of time together, so that's check. We have many common interests, so that's a good. Plus, she makes a goody bag every trip she goes on, how could I not want to go on vacation with her?
Choosing vacation friends is a tricky thing, and finding that perfect balance is tough. I honestly can say that I would not want to go on vacation with a majority of people that I consider dear friends. I love them all in a different way, but that doesn't mean I could spend a solid week with them.
Like I said, you can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose. And if you do, well that's just nasty.
Sulonen is a sports writer at the Tribune. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org