Forever or For a Time

by Irene Schiff

He who finds a friend finds a treasure, Good friends in good times: even proverbs describe two different types of friendship.

There are friends of the heart, trustful friends and those we only know the names of or not even so. Summer brings along leisure and travel activities, warmer weather to enjoy the days more fully and a particular psychological climate enticing greater freedom. Indeed, summer creates opportunities to meet new people. While in holiday destinations, certain barriers do fall that otherwise would be insuperable or limiting in the city. We know nothing about the person sitting next to us under the beach umbrella nor does she or he knows anything about our life, and it's all right. We can chitchat about the weather and let philosophy discussions aside, and these conversations can be pleasant and enjoyable.
It's a change from everyday life where we are caught up in rigid patterns in our work, partner or family relationships. We generally have numerous acquaintances, some friends, but profound friendships... well, those are rare. And yet, friendships, the sort that with a bit of rhetoric could be defined with a capital F, are important. Friendship implies noble sentiments praised by great poets (do you remember Eurialo and Niso by Vergil?), Cicero even wrote a special treatise about it, Dante a sonnet about an afternoon in the company of his friends Cavalcanti and Lapo, and Saint-Exupery has his fox say touching words to the Small Prince. This sort of friendship is not limited by seasons, but it is certainly the most difficult to preserve.
Are you a summer or winter type in your friendships?

Test: the seasons of friendship

1) Someone asks you your age but you don't want to say it, you answer:
a) I don't remember; I was too little when I was born
b) your real age
c) you lie about your age

2) After a fight with your friends, you prefer:
a) to change company
b) to pretend that nothing happened
c) to clear things up

3) Quickly, think about what words could precede these: linen; work; dense.
You took:

a) 5 seconds
b) more than 5 seconds
c) less than 5 seconds

4) Money is made to be:
a) spent
b) saved
c) invested

5) You have an assignment to carry out:
a) you prepare yourself ahead of time
b) you wait until the last minute
c) they are still waiting for you

6) You have a headache; you think:
a) it will go away by itself
b) I exaggerated last night
c) I have to go to the doctor's

7) You have to give back a small amount of money:
a) you immediately pay the money back
b) you wait until they ask you
c) you pretend that you have forgotten about it

8) Your partner unexpectedly comes back home with a few colleagues:
a) you show your irritation
b) you are annoyed, but you don't show it
c) you are pleased

9) Being in your company is like a game of:
a) chess
b) ball
c) cards

Picture - People on the beach at sunset

10) To betray a friend's trust is:
a) sometimes necessary
b) despicable
c) normal

11) A friend of yours has a problem, but you have to go to a party:
a) you stay with your friend
b) you get in touch with your friend the day after
c) you call your friend from the party

12) You had a very lovely evening; you want to:
a) tell a friend about it
b) tell everyone about it
c) keep it to yourself

13) You gave acquaintances great pleasure; you think:
a) they will somehow return the favour
b) will they remember?
c) I can count on them

14) Eva took the apple because:
a) Adam had no spirit of initiative
b) she wanted to give it to Snow White
c) she wanted to invent marmalade

15) Imagine a door, it is:
a) closed
b) half-opened
c) opened wide

Question A B C
1) 1 3 2
2) 1 2 3
3) 2 3 1
4) 1 3 2
5) 3 2 1
6) 2 1 3
7) 3 2 1
8) 3 2 1
9) 3 1 2
10) 2 3 1
11) 3 1 2
12) 2 1 3
13) 1 2 3
14) 2 1 3
15) 3 2 1



You believe in traditional values, you get involved in what you do, you give respect and expect it back. Friends are important for you, you prefer to have few but trustful friends and that's also why you have long term relationships. All of this is positive, but it is also limiting. To get out of patterns, to get to know new people can be fun and stimulating. With summer at our doors, you can look up the right opportunities to widen your circle of acquaintances. Rest assured that opening up to new friendships does not mean losing the old ones.



You have opportunities to meet new people and this fascinates you, but you know well the difference between friends and acquaintances. You know how to have fun at a party, but you also enjoy an evening of conversations with a few intimate friends. You adapt well to various situations not because you have no personality, but rather because you are able to be true to it in every circumstances. On vacation you have the possibility to get to know different people; you appreciate their ideas, you share evenings and travels, but when your vacation is over only with a few will you exchange telephone numbers.


You are looking forward to your vacation like a Ferrari on the racing track is waiting for its green light, and you consider that it is a necessity to get to know different people. Your address book is filled with phone numbers, but how many of those belong to people you really know? How many of these people would be willing to be close to you and help you if you needed it? However, summer is your season: discos, touristic towns and villages, whatever your destination, it is important to be with others. T be the centre of attraction or to lose yourself in a crowd, you have to decide.

Picture - Horses of a chess game

Picture - People playing at holding hands

Picture - Painting of Adam and Eve