Litmus, Litmus on the Wall – If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? What would the right answer be?

Does anyone remember for what litmus paper actually tests?

From the ubiquitous source of all knowledge and frequent misinformation — Wikipedia — comes this enlightening but incomplete (please feel free to conduct your own research) definition:

Litmus is a watersoluble mixture of different dyes extracted from lichens, especially Roccella tinctoria. It is often absorbed onto filter paper to produce one of the oldest forms of pH indicator, used to test materials for acidity. Blue litmus paper turns red under acidic conditions and red litmus paper turns blue under basic (alkaline) conditions, with the color change occurring over the pH range 4.5-8.3 at 25 °C. Neutral litmus paper is purple. Litmus can also be prepared as an aqueous solution that functions similarly. Under acidic conditions the solution is red, and under basic conditions the solution is blue.

I’ve yet to determine the “litmus test” for anything other than PH balance. Like in a tropical fish tank. You need to know the PH there or the fish will die. Otherwise, I don’t know anything about tests. I never know which posts will generate the most hits or comments. I have no idea who will turn out to be the person I can turn to in time of trouble. All my best friends became best friends because we liked each other, enjoyed each other’s company. Probably shared similar taste. There was no litmus or any other test. We hung out and couldn’t get rid of each other.

People and life aren’t a formula. There’s no single thing to indicate the potential quality of a friendship, the probably value of a relationship, the likely longevity of two hearts that resonate to each others’ rhythms.

I hade my face because I cannot bear the shame. Oh the horror!

I’m sure I’d never pass anyone’s “friend test.” Probably, assuming I could create one, not even my own. I don’t believe in standardized tests. Not in the schoolroom and certainly not in relationships.

As for standard litmus testing, I’m pretty sure I have a pH. If an actual litmus test were applied, I would definitely pass. Everyone would pass a litmus test because … (drumroll, trumpets) … you can’t fail a litmus test. There’s no correct answer and no passing grade. (Throw that bum out! His pH is way too low!) If my mother was any kind of judge, I’m too acidic, though there are days when I feel distinctly alkaline.

Since surviving my brief fling at youth, I have opinions, but I don’t test. I have standards. I don’t argue with stupid people. I’m referring to folks who combine blissful ignorance with strong opinions. I suppose there are a few other points, political, intellectual and social (don’t chew with your mouth open), but no test. I like people or not. I like what I like and I don’t know why. I don’t want to analyze it. Does that make me a loser? Or, as they say on Facebook, a looser? I’ll bet my problem is when I have nothing to say, I say nothing. That’s gotta be it!

If you want to be my friend, I promise you’ll never have to pass a test of any kind. Not a litmus or any other test. My love and loyalty are test-free, organic, and earth-friendly.

Categories: Blogging, Friendship, Humor, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

28 replies

  1. I loved reading your thoughts. I wrote about the Litmus test as well but not nearly as sharp and from the heart as you did.You said it all! Thanks.


  2. Litmus paper and bunsen burners were the best things about the chemistry lab…. especially when they were used together….


  3. You made me giggle with your answer…It reminded me of how my best friend would answer…logically with a dash of humor…


  4. Well told! And I am sure you have had occasions where upon meeting someone whom you’ve never seen before, rattles your spirit and the both of you take an immediate, unexplainable dislike to one another. I’ve only experienced this a few times and when I do, I pay attention to my instincts.


  5. I am listening to this; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IdEhvuNxV8
    And looking at your photo… Perfect match 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. With my millimeter hair cut, if I shook my head it would probably all fall out. Otherwise being acidic is not so bad, it wards off the unwanted and being alkali is just as good, as the survivors from the acid attack are dispersed. Let’s just stay blog sisters-in-arms.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on ebonysweb1com and commented:
    I think you could ask to be friends or just ask to play because when I had no friends I just asked and then they knew that I NEEDED friends


    • That’s one way to go about it. And maybe, when you are young, it works.


      • You are right.., there is no test for friendship.., we just ARE. A musician friend of mine once said. “you pick people you like because of the way they smell.” I know It’s a way of identity in the animal world, and can decide whether you’re friend or foe even within the same species. So, that being said, just maybe olfactory sense has something to do with it, although I’d hope there was a little more, to it, among humans. Sniff, sniff


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