Someone once told me "Good friends will tell you when you look like shit" meaning an acquaintance will say you look great in the dress you've got on even if it makes your ass look like a bucket of cottage cheese because she doesn't know you well enough to know you're not fishing for compliments when you ask for her opinion. A friend will tell you to take it off and burn it and she'll use the cottage cheese reference not to be cruel but to drive home how bad a choice it was. The point is, a friend is willing to sacrifice her own image to save yours, and that's the way it's supposed to work. (She will also feed you booze until you can't stand and then hold your hair back while you puke but that analogy is slightly harder to analyze. Ask someone else to run the 'friends get you into trouble but they also get you out' scenario. That's not my angle this time around.)
I know it took me a long time to find the friends I have and it's going to take a while to select from the pool of acquaintances a local group that puts up with me long enough to make it to friend status but it's still hard to be without that core circle and I'm getting a little worried... the closest person I can count on for bail lives three thousand miles away.