Don’t even get me started…I start singing this song and before you know it I’m tucked in my bed with all the seasons of “Golden Girls”, in their neatly packaged DVD sets (yes, my sister owns every season, knows pretty much every word & has an unhealthy obsession with the show; she’s amazing and I’m jealous), busted out and am suddenly the 5th member of their Florida home, wearing the most atrocious jewelry and ensembles you can possibly imagine while still being cool.
Clearly, this post is about friends. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but BEEP-fricken-BEEP! I have some pretty spectacular friends and I’m quite certain that mine are better than yours. Neener neener neener. As I have gotten older, I have come to realize just how important each and every one of them are to me. There are those you see far too much and then there are those you rarely see but when you get together it’s like you were never apart and you’re suddenly sharing a humiliating sex story without even the slightest bit of shame. There are the friends who come to you for advice and there are those that you turn to for advice when you get dumped or when you need to know which sweater looks better with the black pair of skinny jeans you just bought (life or death problems here, folks). There are those that stand up for you and are your protectors, yelling at random drunks at the bar for you while others you feel like you have to take under your wing and risk all humiliation by buying them countless pregnancy tests from Walmart in the middle of the night. Whatever the case, each of them is your friend for their own special unique reason and you have been friends for as long as you have because those reasons are keeping them in your life. You need them.
So when I came across a Modern Manners section in yet another REAL SIMPLE magazine (you all know how much I adore this mag…sarcasm is underlying this statement, if you really didn’t know) titled “Is it ever appropriate to spill a friend’s secret?”, I immediately thought of my bizzos that I love and adore. I’ll be the first to admit that I have not always kept friends’ secrets. Am I proud of it? No. But as I have gotten older, that has changed. Sitting here now I can honestly say that no, I would never spill a friend’s secret UNLESS (and this is the mental health worker in me) that person was going to hurt themself or others. Aside from that, no, I wouldn’t. I swear.
Now when I think of my friends’ secrets that have tested my ability to keep my mouth shut, I think of them telling me they slept with so-and-so or they are pregnant or they are planning on ending their relationship. Stuff that REALLY matters, people. So what does REAL SIMPLE bring up as an example of spilling a friend’s secret? Hand to God, I couldn’t make this stuff up….the secret ingredient in a beef barley soup recipe. First of all, gross. Who wants a beef barley soup recipe?! Second of all, who the hell cares if you tell someone that your friend buys chicken stock instead of making their own? Ugh. Rich people.
Anyway, that brings me to another friend-themed article I came across. This past fall, GLAMOUR did an article about friendship DO’s and DON’Ts written by the ever-so-wise Snooki and J-Woww. Now, if I hopped in a time machine and wrote this article a few months back I would have slammed this article left and right. I would have shamed you for watching “Jersey Shore” and for perpetuating this show’s popularity by buying into it all. Yada yada yada. However, after getting sucked into the entire series on Netflix I now adore it. So what, my writing is completely opinionated and subjective. Don’t like it? Don’t care. Anyway, as much as I cringe at some of the housemates’ decisions (hello, Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4 of Ron and Sam!), I do have to say that Snooks and Jenni have a true friendship. They get mad at each other. They fight. They may tell each other things you don’t want to hear. Translation: they are best friends.
Here are their list of Do’s & Don’ts:
DON’T lie. Ever-not even about looks. (Ok, I think this specific situation depends on the friend. There are some friends where I wouldn’t even bat an eye telling them, “O my God, you look ridiculous, go change now.” And then there are some where if they were wearing the same exact outfit I would say, “Hmmm, I don’t think that top looks very good with those pants. Let’s find something different.” and then go help them. Feelings, people. Know your friends boundaries and what does and doesn’t cut a little.)
DO respect each other’s opinions about men. (Yes, you should respect their decisions, but it doesn’t mean you have to agree with them.)
DON’T try to make the friendship a democracy if a dictatorship works. (Translation: if you’re totally content with the other pal making plans all the time, then run with it. If it bothers you and you want a say, speak the hell up.)
DO cultivate a Culture of Two. (Do special things for each other. Build your OWN bond which can be hard when you have a large group of friends.)
DO give each other nicknames. (Anybody who spends 1 minute with my friends will know our nicknames. Some are sweet, some are very un-endearing. The popular ones? Tits, Boo, Love, and Bitch. It’s real, people.)
DO make a display of your affection. (No, you don’t have to pull a Snooki and Deena and literally make out together. But be there for each other. If you don’t like your boobs being grabbed, then do not, I repeat, do not, hang out with my friends. Ever. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
DON’T think short-term. Instead, plan [ahead]. (Totally acceptable to plan out where you will all live in a cul-de-sac together and how you will rotate carpool with your respective kids. Totally normal. Not weird in the least.)
Bottom line. Be a good friend. Even if it makes YOU uncomfortable, get over it. Work to create the friendships where you will be there for each other years from now. After the kids have left the house. After the husband has gone through his mid-life crisis and left you high and dry. After you both can’t live on your own anymore and need to check into a nursing home. And to all my loving, creative, beautiful, hilarious lady (and guy) friends out there…thank you for being a friend.
Until next time…