As I write this blog in my steamy living room, my NYC best friend M is hugging a bag of ice. No, I’m not exaggerating – she’s literally curled up on the couch, one arm over some $1.99 cubes left over from my Bubble-Q from many weeks ago. We just spent the day phone-less and one-kitten-richer, laying out in the overcast and logging miles at the gym. We picnicked with chicken salad and burnt turkey sandwiches, Vitamin water and orange juice while reading trashy magazines and witnessing a breakup in the park, complete with the girl spitting on her boyfriend out of spite.
We traveled from one of our apartments to the other and though they are only about 10 blocks apart, when there are hills and 90-degree weather, it feels like miles. We walked her kitty around on a leash in bikinis, decided to skip the showering ritual for the day, and settled in for a night in to save money, cooking tacos and choosing Criminal Minds over Sex & the City, perhaps showing our maturity or just that we’ve seen Carrie & pals way too many times to matter anymore.
You k now how they say the best things come when you’re not looking for them? How love will find you when you don’t want it or the dream job throws you a line when you thought they ignored your bait? Or how those couples who try and try to get pregnant and can’t, suddenly, one day, see the line appear on a $10 test?
I think friendships are like that too – the best ones come when you least expect them. And if you’re lucky, you settle right into happily-ever-girlfriend, sharing stories and chatting about hopeful futures while bitching about things in a language that only women can understand. Being the type of crazy and ridiculous that we’d never show to our boyfriends or acquaintances, families or even our one-day husbands.
Because these types of friendships are rare, where girls can be girls and that’s okay. In fact, where it is encouraged and celebrated.
M and I were in the same major in college, in different sororities, and in separate social circles. We knew of one another and had a class together (though neither of us can figure out which one), and though we never were friends in real life, Facebook kept us connected for four or so years. And so, when she reached out to me about her big move with Milo her kitten (and my god-kitty), I was more than willing to help her find her footing in New York. It felt like a scene out of Pay it Forward, me handing over the keys to my first apartment to someone in the communications field from North Carolina who happened to be a bubbly brunette with blue eyes, too. I was transitioning from one stage of my life to the other and so was she, and if I could assist along the way, I would without hesitation.
What I didn’t anticipate was how much she’d help me.
And not just about finding the right career path or how to uncover the hidden happy hour gems of Manhattan – but she became the missing piece of my the puzzle of my adult life. She’s the best friend, the girl who I can be a girl with and not think twice. We’re enough alike to relate but different enough to compliment one another, and we remind each other to let loose while also taking a healthy dose of reality from time to time.
We all put a lot energy as we put into attempting to figure out men, analyze our relationships until we’re out of breath and annoyed with the sound of our own voices – but what we forget to concentrate on is how valuable our friendships are. Without women to stand to be our side, to tell us when we’re out of line and we’re on target, to be there with puppies, tequila and cupcakes when things go wrong – we’d be far more lost than if we happen to part from yet another man who didn’t deserve us.
Instead, let’s be worthy of healthy friendships. Let’s be the best friend we can be instead of figuring out how to match our boyfriend’s schedule with ours. Let’s make the women in our lives priorities and let’s be the lady who keeps that old saying true, “Girls rule and boys drool.” (I mean, isn’t that still accurate?)
Because, yeah we may marry a boy one day, but if we don’t have someone to be a girl with, to complain about our husbands and talk about sagging breasts and the memories of when we had nothing to do all day but browse around the Upper West Side with empty pocket books and youthful spirits – then that marriage will never last anyway.
Men may capture our last names if we allow, but as for me and what I consider soulmates, I think I believe in destiny more because of the friendships I have, not the men I sleep with, love, and obsess about. Those men may leave, but my girls, my soulmates, will smack me silly all the way through that relationship and the many more to follow.