Some friendships come and go, some last a season or two. There are the friends we grew up with, and the friends we acted silly with in college. There are the women who help us survive new motherhood when we’re hanging by a thread. There’s the officemate down the hall whom we gossip with over soggy salads on our lunch break. There are neighbors and colleagues and that friend we’re only friends with because we share a few mutual friends.
And then there’s you. And me. Us.
We’ve been friends since forever (or at least, it feels like forever), and you’re still here. I’m still here. We’re still here. As other friendships have faded away for various reasons, we’ve stuck together. We can’t shake each other, really. And thank god for that.
Because even though life has gotten busier and more complicated, even though maintaining friendships has been infinitely harder than it was back in the day when we could just walk across the hall for a little girl talk, you are still my person. You always have been. You always will be.
We’re BFFs because I don’t need to clean the house before you visit. You don’t mock me for the ants on my kitchen counter, or complain about the faint smell of pee that seems to linger in my bathroom, despite my best efforts. You don’t notice (or pretend not to notice) the dust bunnies and streaky windows — just like I do when I go to your house. We do, however, notice things like new throw pillows (from Target, of course!) and the framed photo of the two of us sitting on your fireplace mantel.
We’re BFFs because we can be awkward as hell together without it being, you know, awkward as hell. We both loathe small talk and prefer texting to phone calls. We laugh uncontrollably and inappropriately when we see someone fall. We can sit in the same room, scrolling through Facebook or returning work emails together, and feel perfectly at ease. We enjoy each other’s presence.
We’re BFFs because we let ourselves be vulnerable around each other, and we’ve seen each other’s naked bodies more than once. I’ve felt your post-mastectomy boobs, and you’ve seen my ass crack more times than we can count. We’ve shared dressing rooms and given each other no-holds-barred-honest-AF opinions when we tried on swimsuits. We’ve held each other’s hair back when the other one was vomiting, whether it was because too many dirty martinis, morning sickness, or chemotherapy. We’ve shared bras and makeup. We’ve been through so much together.
We’re BFFs because, even though we might disagree and unintentionally hurt each other now and then, we forgive quickly. We know the other’s heart is good and pure and true.
We’re BFFs because, even though we have different parenting styles when it comes to things like breastfeeding and sleep, time-outs, and the importance of cutting kids’ grapes, we agree about the essentials of parenting. We believe in giving children space to be who they are. Neither of us are helicopter parents — partly because we believe in giving kids copious amounts of independence, but mostly because we’re kind of lazy. When our families get together, we shoo our kids away so we can gossip in another room.
We’re BFFs because we rely heavily on sarcasm and swearing — you on sarcasm, me on swearing — to get through the shitstorm that is life sometimes. We both believe in assuming good intentions and that most people are mostly good most of the time. We believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt.
We’re BFFs because we’ve supported each other through breakups and cross-country moves and parents getting sick — like, really sick — without skipping a beat. We’ve cried until we laugh together, and laughed until we cry together. (Which means we’ve also peed our pants a little together.)
We’re BFFs because we have similar taste in books, television, and movies. Or not. We both love pop culture gossip. You got me hooked on Parks and Recreation. I introduced you to Schitt’s Creek. We still share one-liners from Arrested Development and The Office. We both hated Pride and Prejudice (sorry, Jane Austen fans) and agree that there aren’t enough eye rolls and puke emojis for 50 Shades of Grey.
We’re BFFs because we trust each other with our biggest secrets. We’ve trudged through the muck together. We’ve shrieked over the phone at each other’s marriage engagements and positive pregnancy tests. We smuggled in libations to the hospital after the birth of our children. We’ve called each other in the middle of the night, and we have long, rambling text conversations that last for days. In other words, we’ve been there for the good and the bad, the big and the small. We show up, again and again and again.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what makes a friendship last, or what transforms a friend into a BFF, and basically, I think it boils down to some combination of respect and familiarity, with a heaping dose of something that can only be described as magic. There’s a reason why we became friends in the first place, and why our friendship has endured, but it almost transcends words and explanations. It’s a million little threads all wound up around each other to make a thick, roped knot.
We’re BFFs because we can go days, weeks, or months without an actual face-to-face conversation, subsisting only on text messages, emails, and Facebook status updates, but whenever we’re together, it feels like home. So even though friendship is hard and messy (like any relationship is), we’ve stuck together. We’ve stuck together because we love each other, and we like each other too.
And because we know too many secrets about each other to let go.