A TEST FOR FRIENDS – Marilyn Armstrong


RDP Thursday – FRIEND

Does anyone remember for what litmus paper actually tests?

Litmus is a water-soluble 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. 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 of the water or the fish will die. As for friends? There are no tests. All my best friends became best friends because we liked each other, enjoyed each other’s company. Shared a similar taste. There was no test. We hung out and sort of “stuck.”

Really good friends and one excellent dog

People and life aren’t a formula. There’s nothing which indicates the potential quality of a friendship, the probable value of a relationship, the likely longevity of two hearts that resonate to each others’ rhythms.

Garry and Harvey Leonard

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.

Really old friend.

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 solidly alkaline.

Since surviving my brief fling at youth, I have opinions, but I don’t test. I have standards. I won’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 I don’t.

To put it another way, I like what I like and I have no idea 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. All that’s required is genuine affection and a modicum of respect.

Categories: Daily Prompt, Friendship, Humor, Photography, Relationships, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

21 replies

  1. Friends without a external test. Internal–its it a fit or not. pH matters. we people are mostly mildly alkaline (blood around 7.4) with an acidic stomach to begin digestion.


  2. I love the photo of the Serendipity gang in their T-shirts.


  3. I consider you and Garry and several other bloggers I know to be friends even though we haven’t met. I have Facebook friends too, some of them are my friends or family but some are really just acquaintances., people I know in the neighbourhood or people I’ve met online via doll groups. Facebook really ought to have a better word for it, contacts perhaps. Facebook makes friend making into a competition. I have 5,000 Facebook friends so I must be popular”.


    • I had a few thousands of FB friends at one point because I played games that required a lot of contacts. But once I quit playing those games, I didn’t need thousands of strangers who were “friends.” So gradually, over the past few years, I’ve deleted many of them. I’m sure they never noticed!

      On the other hand, I have many more “followers” on WordPress and I never hear from 99% of them. Maybe 99.8% of them. You are a friend. Actually, I can name the real friends without using up all my fingers. What is really nice is that some of these relationships have lasted for years and I hope will last for years to come. Pity we not only don’t have the money to travel, but the idea of that much effort is a bit overwhelming. We get exhausted on a day when we have both the grocery, the doctor, and dinner!

      I’ve also learned a lot from you. My understanding of what’s going on in the rest of the world has taken a gigantic leap since I got serious about blogging. It truly is a window into the rest of the world! It’s also kind of comforting to realize how similar our lives are no matter where we live.


      • It’s true, I learn a lot about how people live in other places from just reading blogs. I am always interested in everyday life, how it is the same, how it is different. You don’t really see that even on a holiday unless you are staying in someone’s home. This is the next best thing.


  4. I love this… first I saw litmus paper and laughed… we still use it when putting nasogastric tubes in …..
    I love your analysis of paper and friends and how we are all many shades…
    great outlook…. 🌺


    • Thank you. The only reason I understood the whole litmus test was because my son had a lot of fish. Freshwater fish and a small change in the water can kill the more sensitive fish. The expression “litmus test” is so widely used, I doubt most people have any idea to what they are referring.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A sincere friendship is simply that! There are no reasons why you click, there’s a chemistry that happens and has a longevity that no distance boundary or line in the sand can diminish. It just is! I’m of the take me as I am or not at all frame of mind tbh. I am who I am, no pretence, just me. You are that way. You are you! I like that about you, very much!


  6. And thanks for being my good friend Marilyn. We have never met in real life and probably never will, but I do not need to meet you. I know it already.


  7. Lovely! Then who wouldn’t want to be your friend?


  8. I hate tests. All during my 42 years of teaching senior high school students and college students, I never gave quizzes or tests. My students wrote essays, poetry, or handed in special projects they had chosen. I graded on progress. My whole emphasis was on thinking and writing well. When I had to take tests in college, I had one of two reactions: “I know nothing about this question,” or “I know all about it, so why do I have to write it down here?”


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