A Friend By Any Other Name Is . . .

Do you have a bosom buddy?  A friend that is closer than your shadow?  Someone who you share secrets with, laugh with, cry with, joke with, and spend oodles of time with?  Someone who knows about all of your warts, your inner fears, your dark secrets,, and the fact that you hate red beets? If so, that person is probably your cater-cousin.

Cater-cousin [key-ter-kuhz-uhn] is a noun that means an intimate friend. 

Abbot and Costello comes to mind (if you of the older grandparent generation).  Batman and Robin, Bert and Ernie from Sesame street, Sherlock Holmes and Watson, and Laverne and Shirley are definitely cater-cousins while the Hatfields and the McCoys are NOT nor will they ever be closer than the end of their shotguns.

If you have a cater-cousin, consider yourself lucky.  True friendship, friendship that lasts through misunderstandings, envying, and times when your you’re crankier than cranky, is a great thing to behold.  It’s a blessing.

‘Friend’ sounds so plain and simple.  Cater-cousin sounds more elegant and special.  So, next time you’re with your cater-cousin, call him that.  To his face.  See his reaction.  Then, once he’s settled down tell him the definition and then tell him thanks!

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Xenopobe? Not me!

My travels lately have taken me to Denmark, Fiji, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman Island, Tahiti, and various places in the U.S.  I love to travel.  (Not the flying part — just the being in different places part!)

It amazes me (and saddens me) when I meet people who are xenophobes.

Xenophobe [zen-uh-fohb] is a noun meaning a person who fears or hates foreigners, strangers, or strange customs.

I think it is absolutely fascinating to go to foreign countries, to mingle with the people who live there, to learn of their customs and ways, to eat their food, to walk their paths.

I also love reading books that gives me insights into different cultures and peoples and places.  Books like Oracle Bones, A Fine Balance, Stones into Schools, and Shanghai Girls.  Books are windows that I can peep through and experience life in different places to get a taste and an idea of what life is like there.  If by chance I’m not able to travel there, at least I gain insights by reading about these fascinating places.  I don’t ever want to be xenophobic!

Xenophobic people must live a narrow, dull life!

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