Girlfriends, gal pals, best buds, besties, and forever friends – many of us have them. But what does it mean to have a lifelong friend? Is it a person who will listen for hours as you mutually discuss the ins and out of hair color/bad reality TV/do these shoes make me look leggy? Or is it the person who remembers you were jealous because she turned 13 a month before you did? How do you know when an acquaintance of a few months will be a forever friend?
For me, it’s about checking out the guest list for this big party I’m throwing because my boyfriend and I are planning on hanging around each other for the rest of our lives. (Yes, a wedding. I’m not very bridey.) It reads like “this is your chicken or fish for dinner life.” There’s the best friend I walked around the playground with in second grade. Then there’s the best friend who helped me throw a Christmas tree out a window in college. It was our stolen Christmas tree, we were repossessing it. The window was our faster option.
There’s the bestie I met in the elevator at graduate school the first day of class. There’s the one who discovered alongside me the dangers of drinking this new-fangled Red Bull drink. And there’s the one whose babies I bounce around, trying not to eat them because they are the cutest creatures on the planet.
Point is, they can’t all be best friends, right? Somehow, they all feel like they are. Forever friends can be a big part or our lives. Glenn Sparks is a professor at Purdue University who has studied lifelong friends. Making friends is like managing a bank account. You must make investments, and it is never too early to start.”
Here are a few signs that you’ve got a forever friend on your hands.
1. You keep a constant mental list going of life events that must be discussed for opinion. Go to eat a bowl of cereal and find that it’s crawling with ants? Relatives stressing you out about holidays? Work associate dangerously close to getting pushed out a first-story window? These are all thing that must be reported via phone, over tea, or in front of French fries.
2. You can send an email or text in code and she will know exactly what you are talking about. “Lost Prague-trip friend’s nail polish, feel like Jeff-ing a cupcake-izer.” Somewhere, a woman knows exactly what this means.
3. After an important weekend event, you will schedule time on Monday for the necessary time to rehash it.
4. When you and your best friend start riffing on a subject, dogs will run from the room. High pitched screams of laughter are not friendly to canine’s ears. (This is also true of most significant others.)
5. If you fight, you don’t hold a grudge. I know, controversial, because all relationships have their ups and downs. But how can you forever hate the person who picked you up from the junk yard after you totaled your Previa? You just can’t.
6. You might disagree politically, religiously, or Twilight-y (as in one lust for Edward, the other doesn’t get the appeal at all. Like, AT ALL). But it doesn’t matter. You’re still friends.
7. You can repeat the same stories to each other over and over again. It’s kind of like watching a rerun – sure, you know the plot, but you’re happy to pick up something new every time.
8. You defend your best friend from herself, and you do it because you can’t bear to hear anything bad said about her. A friend worried because she’s not losing the pregnancy weight? It’s because she just gave life to another human being for God’s sake. Only tabloid stars lose all the baby weight and that’s because it was plastic surgeries that took over their bodies seconds after their child was born. You’re beautiful and don’t you dare say otherwise! (And repeat because it’s true.)
9. You get a call in the middle of the night with sobs on the other end, and you sit up until dawn if that’s what it takes.
10. You both maintain that PMS is a post-feminist myth made up by a right-winged agenda designed to keep women out of the Oval Office. And yet, you both know and totally get it when you are.
Image: The Dana Files