There are certain things you can get away with when you’re a best friend, simply because you’re a best friend. These things are usually embarrassing/socially unacceptable/unattractive/rude, but a best friend understands that just because you act that way sometimes, doesn’t mean you actually are that way (this is why best friends are the best). Here is a short list of very real things that I do with my best friends on the reg that I wouldn’t do with anyone else on the planet. No judging.

1. Send her ugly selfies/photos that portray my life in an unflattering way. Allowing someone to receive an ugly picture of me is probably the deepest level of trust I could ever grant a person. Some of the pics I send to my best on the regular include, but are not limited to: crying selfies, zit cream selfies, double chin selfies, piles of laundry on my bedroom floor, and my sweaty gym clothes. Sometimes I just need her to know how messy my house is so she can understand how I am coping with the stresses of daily life. And sometimes I just need to show her how many zits I have so she can compliment my inner beauty. Best friends are great at knowing just what you need to hear and saying it in just the right way.

2. Engage in “boy talk.” This includes but is not limited to: whining, crying, over-analyzing, and over-thinking about a guy. I hate boy talk, okay? But I boy talk frequently. Sometimes it makes me want to set myself on fire, so I totally understand if my friend wants to be the one to light the match. Bests are great because they keep the eye rolls and sighs to a minimum. And they never tell you you’re a crazy person for reading into things or analyzing text messages. They just listen to you analyze—and occasionally doze off (which is totally understandable; I make myself tired, too). Now that I am married, I do a lot less boy talk, since most boy talk when you’re single consists of asking, “Do you think he likes me?” or “What do you think he means?” over and over again until you and your best friend are blue in the face. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about stuff like that with my husband, but my best friends are still there to answer all the questions I have about marriage if I need them to.

3. Discuss my workout schedule. Aside from the occasional twitter post about how much I hate going to the gym, I don’t talk about how much I go to the gym, mostly because I know that nobody wants to hear it. And I get it, gym posts are annoying. But sometimes I just want people to know how amazing I am for getting up early to exercise! I always appreciate the fact that I can text my best and tell her how many miles I ran and how many calories I burned. She will send me a text telling me how amazing I am and add the clapping emoji, which I think is a nice touch and also very supportive!

4. Get freaky emotional. I bet you guys think I save all my emotions for the pieces I write, huh? Well I don’t! It may or may not shock you to know that I am much more emotional IRL than I am URL. Sometimes I need carbs to help me work through my emotions, and sometimes I need my best friends. My best lets me text her and tell her that I am dying because it feels like there is an angry bee in my uterus, and also I saw a gif of a baby elephant sneezing and haven’t been able to stop crying since. Also, what do you think happened between Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, and why do people cheat on each other? Why does everyone have to move away, and why do people die? And have you ever seen that video of the baby kitten falling asleep? Do you think true love exists? What if I never have kids, and do you want to get dinner somewhere like right now? Is this exhausting you? Welcome to the wide, wild world of being an emotional human. Now you know what a saint my best friend is because she lets me indulge in all these “what ifs” whenever I need to. And when needed, she offers her honest opinion on them. (I really am still sad about Justin and Britney, you guys.)

5. Sing. You may not know this about me, but I love to sing. I love it so much. I don’t sing at a normal, socially acceptable volume, though. I sing at a very loud volume. How loud? Louder than I should. I usually only do it when I’m alone, but when I’ve had a really hard day, I will go for a drive with my best; I will sing at the top of my lungs; and she will just sit there like an angel and let me. It’s so embarrassing, that I don’t even like to think about it really. I get really into my songs, and I know my behavior is not what one would call “normal.” I can’t help it, though. When I feel it, I gotta express it, you dig?

6. Pig out. I’m sure a nicer way to say this is, “Indulge in all the fine cuisine that life has to offer,” but that makes it sound way too fancy. The kind of pigging out I do with my friends is not fancy. Sometimes it’s food that we order at drive-thru at 3 am, and sometimes it’s meeting at Red Robin and getting clucks and fries AND an appetizer. Anyone will share dessert with you, but the best friendships of your life will be formed over a hot plate of mozzarella sticks or potato skins—and extra sides of ranch. Always, always order extra sides of ranch.

7. Let her take pictures of me. Confession: I hate having my picture taken. I’m a selfie queen by nature, which means I have no problem with authorized photos taken of myself, by myself, but I have a huge problem when other people have cameras and are taking photos of me without my consent. It’s so bad that on my wedding day when I walked out of the temple I put my bouquet over my face so I would just look like a flower head if anyone took any photos of me and my husband without my permission. It makes me sound like a real cow, I know. I’m just extremely self conscious, and it gives me such bad anxiety to have my photo taken by someone else. I can’t explain it! Guess who I trusted enough to let her take my wedding pictures an hour before I got married? My best friend. And every time we go to Disneyland, she takes candid shots of me eating a corn dog or riding the tea cups. She knows all my best angles, and she never, ever does the squat and snap. I can hear you asking yourself what the squat and snap is, so I will tell you. It’s when a person crouches down to ground level zero before they take your photo! Why anyone would do this I’ll never know, but the amount of people that do is truly shocking. No one in the world looks good from below; why would we want to preserve that look in a photograph for our posterity to look at one day?

I’m sure there are lots more embarrassing things I do in the company of my bests, but in the interest of saving time and to save my pride, I’ll stop there. I love all of my friends, not just the ones I consider “bests.” I have a hard time not calling every friend I have my “best” friend, though, because I really and truly believe that they are the best. I always say I don’t need new friends, but that’s only because I don’t think that I could find friends that are any better than the ones I already have. I’m proven wrong on this every so often, when I meet someone on Twitter, we bond over mutual love for a TV show or food, and then a URL friend becomes an IRL friend and my inner circle expands to make room for her. It’s a pretty great feeling when that happens.

Learn to recognize the people that you want in your inner circle, and keep them close and treat them right. In order to have good friends, you must first be a good friend. I say that all the time but only because it is a truth that should be universally acknowledged! For a lot of years I was the better friend in a lot of my relationships. I was backstabbed and left out and made fun of and ditched. There were times when I thought I would never find another person who understands, loves, and supports me. And then I graduated high school, and I met a whole bunch of people who loved and accepted me just as I am. There are a lot of amazing people out there, and I consider myself super (hashtag) blessed that I’ve crossed paths with the ones I have. Human relationships are no joke, guys. Be good to the ones who deserve good, and kick the rest out of your life. Ain’t nobody got time for hop-ons.

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