Recently someone whom I have known for nearly ten years told me that none of their friends were held in higher regard than another. Personally, I find such point of view to be not only extremely naive but also self-centered. Not everybody has the same incentives for wanting to be associated with and apart of your life. No two people want the same things from you nor do they have the same expectations of you. I dont' know I guess when you date someone for six years, have argued back and forth with them for the past 3 years plus following the relationship, how simultaneously cried over them, shared apartment leases, cars, made love and cheated, grew up together, fought, kissed then made up, told one another to drop dead, changed cell phone numbers, dated others but always managed to end up needing them and remaining connected spiritually to one another in the end, you kind of put those kind of people near the top, somewhere near mom, siblings and oxygen.
I tend to visualize friends like an apartment building in New York City. Spatially within this building we are all close, and I truly adore al those people whom I consider friends, but within this close space we all interact differently. Some of these friends have keys to my apartment or just walk into whenever they see the door open. Some are my immediate next door neighbors, some metaphorically live with me for a period of time. Others take the elevator to my apartment and stop by occasionally to borrow sugar (which never happens in actuality in New York City), others speak to me in the lobby.
In fact, some friends only exchange that ackward elevator talk "how are you doing, how is the family?" or don't even bother to enter the building when they see me in the lobby but do hang out in front until they see I have gone upstairs or pretend they are speaking on the phone when they aren't. Lastly, some friends move out of the building in the middle of the night without prior announcement. But it's all a part of a self-sustaining ecosystem where everyone assumes a maleable role that they feel comfortable with in my life and are treated accordingly. It is not only the most rationale means of dealing with the important people in your life but acknowledges and distinguishes those who truly deserve the title of "close friend"...