We’ve been friends for so long that I know when you got your first period. You know when I started wearing a bra. We still know each other’s old phone number by heart, what street we each grew up on, and why going back home is so complicated. We reflexively call each other by our maiden names even though we’ve both been married for more than a decade.
We can recite each other’s favorite line from Dirty Dancing and Ferris Bueller. We know each other’s favorite character from 90210, Melrose Place, and Golden Girls. We know the names of each other’s first boyfriend. And we remember the song that was playing during the middle school dance when we cried in the bathroom because mean girls suck.
We’ve been friends for so long that we’ve seen each other vomit after too many cosmos, due to morning sickness, and while going through chemo. We’ve heard each other cry when we had our hearts broken, as we choked up reciting our wedding vows, and in phone calls after a parent died. We know what to say when no one else does, even if “what to say” is to say absolutely nothing at all. We know when a situation calls for a hug, joke, or long string of F-bombs and other expletives.
We have millions of secrets, like those secret nicknames we want to forget and the secret tattoo no one else knows about. I know that your worst hairstyle was that mullet-perm you had in seventh grade. You know that my biggest dating regret was the guy I dated senior year of high school. And we both know that 1996 was the year of too many fashion mistakes to count.
We’ve been friends for so long that we don’t just know where we each met our spouses, but we were there when it happened. We jumped up and down when each other got engaged, and we stood next to each other when we said “I do.” I knew you were pregnant before you peed on the stick, and you know I still get sad sometimes that I don’t have a baby girl. We both know how many children we had planned to have when being a parent was still a hypothetical, and we know why those best-laid plans went awry.
We know which candidate each other voted for in the past half-dozen elections, and we know who each other will vote for in the next election even before we’ve talked about it. We know what social issue is a deal-breaker for us, and why it matters so much. We know where each was confirmed or celebrated our bat mitzvah, and if the other believes in God.
We’ve been friends for so long that we have both hurt each other. We’ve gotten mad at each other and gone days or weeks without talking until we couldn’t remember why we were mad in the first place. And we’ve apologized and forgiven, quickly and easily, because we know each other’s heart is true.
We know each other’s biggest regret and wildest dreams. I know that Justin Timberlake will forever be your celebrity crush, and Leonardo DiCaprio will be mine. We know why a Dave Matthews song can still bring tears to our eyes, where we were when the Twin Towers fell, and why we can’t drink margaritas anymore.
We’ve been friends for so long that real pants — or any pants for that matter — aren’t required when we visit each other. We’ve seen each other naked (literally and figuratively), and shared bras, eyeshadow, and Spanx. We can’t remember a time when we weren’t friends, and we can’t imagine a time when we won’t be friends.
Can you believe we’ve been friends this long? Just thinking about how long we’ve been friends, and all that we’ve been through, makes me feel…well…old. Except we’re not old; our friendship is aged. Like a good scotch or an expensive bottle of wine, it has a richness and depth that only gets better with time.