One of my best friends and I haven’t lived in the same city since we were eighteen. Ever since we parted ways for college our friendship has sustained itself with phone calls, texts, memes, Facetime, emails and the occasional weekend when we find ourselves in Los Angeles at the same time and we can embrace in person for a few hours before our respective families call us back to the dinner table.
On those rare occasions when we are both in Los Angeles, she always volunteers to run errands with me and I always volunteer to pick her up at her grandmother’s house (where she stays in LA) prior to said errands. This is because she knows that I love errands more than most things in life and I know that if I go pick her up there’s a much better chance she’ll be on time, and even if she’s running late I can lay on her bed with her dog while she putzes around and finishes getting ready in the most inefficient way possible while I map out the most efficient way of getting said errands done so we can reward ourselves with wine (we are opposites in many ways).
The last time we both found ourselves in LA–me for work, she because spring break (she’s an altruistic teacher, I’m a narcissistic writer, again opposites)–we managed to construct two hours of overlapped free time in our schedules. About half an hour before we were supposed to meet I called her with the unfortunate news that I’d fallen the day prior and needed to go to urgent care to get my blimp of a foot x-rayed. She didn’t even hesitate, she was obviously going to come meet me at urgent care.
Twenty minutes later, she was there. Twenty-two minutes later, we were laughing so hard I almost fell again.
She’s probably the only person in my life who could have made me laugh at that moment. She made come crack about how me needing to ask for help over the next few months is going to be more painful to me than the broken foot itself. Which was true. But with her I didn’t even need to ask, because she knew me well enough to know, she needed to just show up.
When it was my turn to be seen by a doctor, there was no hesitation, she waltzed into the room while I hobbled and more than comfortably sat in the “plus one” chair while I was examined. We’ve joked she’ll need to be there when I give birth because I’m quite queasy with blood and physical pain, while she volunteered to watch a baby being born during our high school Career Day (the opposites never cease).
So that’s how we spent the only two hours we had together for that whole year. In an urgent care, laughing our asses off at a shit situation.
It made me realize that the great friendships differentiate themselves from the good friendships by being the ones where it’s never really about the thing you’re doing together, it’s just that you’re together.
She’s getting married next year so there’s been a lot of excitement around that. My soul is so happy for her and her betrothed. And I know she knows that. But then, out of the blue last week, she sent me this text:
“P.S. You’re my sister and soul friend forever so NO MATTER WHAT is going on in my life I am always ready to hear what’s happening in yours and ready for you to dump on me. Dump on me at your leisure. Or celebrate. Or whatever.”
It was exactly what I needed to hear. Because she knew to just show up.
My friendships are the loves of my life and I’m so proud of that fact because nothing has supported me, buoyed me or made me laugh more than them. But I have yet to see enough celebration of them, or even discussion of the pain points and growing pains they can inflict, so we’re going to take a month to talk all things friendship.
And do me a favor, text your bff a funny meme right now. I promise it will make their day.