Showing up is one of the most significant ways to measure a friendship—as in you and your friend being there for each other in good and bad times.
Like all relationships, friendship comes with a series of ups and downs. That’s because life is a roller coaster. True friends are along for the entire ride.
In the book Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships (Simon and Schuster, 2022) Nina Totenberg delves into a life of friendship, not just with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This gave the book more depth than I was anticipating.
I had only heard good things about Dinners with Ruth from friends. But I really didn’t know anything about the book.
The title is a bit misleading. If you are expecting a book just about Ginsburg and Totenberg, you might be disappointed. I think the title was a bit of a marketing ploy. The subtitle is really what the book is about, with Ginsburg a major player in Totenberg’s life.
I was thrilled to learn more about Totenberg than Ginsburg. Totenberg at age 79 is still the legal affairs correspondent for NPR. She has been covering the U.S. Supreme Court for decades—long before Ginsburg joined the bench. They weren’t well-known and famous when their friendship was formed.
It’s not unusual for journalists to become friends with sources. The only way for it to work, though, is for both people to respect the boundaries of their jobs. Sometimes this means you don’t tell your friends everything—whether you are the journalist or the source. And it means you don’t ask certain questions.
This book resonated with me on many levels. It seems like the older I get the more important friends are to me.