When I was eight, I would tell my friends that I measured the strength of a friendship through its ability to continually recreate itself. Though I still believe this, I propounded it at the time because I had several friends that I didn't like very much that each called me their best friend. I used to hope that each of those friends would keep my words in mind when I stopped talking to them, we lost touch and then moved on, but I know better.
I also recall constantly being pestered with "tests" of my friendship. I would be asked to recite such silly things as one's favourite colour as a testament to the friendship that we shared. I always failed. I thought it as ridiculous then as I do now, except back then I would have (and had) enumerated all of the reasons why. I still don't feel apologetically about that.
Up until MF, I had no romantic notions of friendship. I considered them necessary in that we're social creatures and require them, but felt that any particular instances of it were arbitrary and occur only out of circumstance. I suppose I still feel mostly the same way. (I don't mean to diminish any of the circumstantial friendships I now hold... I still find value in them in spite of their arbitrariness.) Notwithstanding our atheism, I still felt romantically towards my friendships within MF. We weren't your stereotypical group of buddies. We were MF: rude with no particular inclinations to be kind, thoughtful, or generous to/with each other. We didn't celebrate birthdays, or holidays. We didn't consider each other's feelings. We didn't do anything that "friends" do for "friends". We solved problems, and argued. We criticized ideas, and critiqued documentaries. We were honest about our ugliest opinions in that we unabashedly shared them. We encouraged and hoped more people would join us and do the same. It was my ideal. My dream set of friends: people with different opinions who proudly and confidently shared those opinions, and who could count on getting thorough feedback on those opinions in the hopes of teaching/learning something. It was cathartic. And now it's over.
There was a particular "friend" from my childhood who accused me of treating my friendship with him as a "commodity" (his words, poor choice). In particular, he accused me of not caring. I can see and admit now that how I treated him was completely unfairly: I should have told him from the outset that I didn't value his company in the slightest and spared both he and I the subsequent lie that was our "friendship" during our high school years.