There are childhood friends, who are pretty much sisters. And on the other end of the spectrum there are acquaintances, who you kind of know and kind of like…but then, then there those fascinating creatures right in the middle: FRIENDS. Those friends. The people who get you and you get them and it just works. There’s nothing forcing the relationship…you’re friends just because the two of you jive.
Ya feel me?
I have a few of these friends. And I heart them with all my heart.
Whoa. That was lame.
Yes, lame. But true. And the other day I was thinking about these friends and I realized that one of the things that make them so awesome is that we have some “understandings” – some unspoken ways of functioning with one another.
With these friends, I don’t have to worry about sounding good, looking good, being polite or scaring them. I can just be.
Mostly because we have these understandings, which I have summarized here:
- 1. If you call one of these women a name, say for example “slut,” they will respond with something way more offensive, such as “pirate hooker.”
- 2. This will not be offensive. This will be funny.
- 3. Sexual innuendo is a basic tenet of conversation. For example, one of the friends in question may respond to the aforementioned name calling with something along the lines of “I love it when you talk dirty to me.” or “you’re so hot when you’re mad.”
- 4. Not returning phone calls for a day or two or never is not rude, it is a reality of our lives and we all know it and we realize that soon, we will be the asshole who isn’t returning calls.
- 5. It is always the husband’s fault. And when you bitch about the bastard, you will not get sound advice, helpful suggestions or supportive pick-me-ups, rather, you will hear some totally unhelpful over-generalization such as “I fucking hate men.” or “God I wish I were a lesbian.”
- 6. A couple of the friends I’m referring to here are in fact lesbians, so in that case, we just talk shit about their partners and mumble things like “Let’s move to Vermont and get married and we can have lovers on the side. I’m okay with it.” In fact, that exact sentence occurred recently with a particular friend of mine.
- 7. The conversations in 5 and 6 will never be told to outsiders. In fact, if they occur on the day of your wedding anniversary, this friend will STILL congratulate you wholeheartedly on Facebook, acting as if you hadn’t just told her you’d like to kick your husband in the, ahem, face.
- 8. PMS is an excuse for all kinds of insanity and weeping and depression, but you will be taken seriously when you call in that state. No questions asked.
- 9. If you show up to dinner with one of these friends looking like a homeless person, they won’t even notice.
- 10. If you just had a baby, they’ll say you look amazing.
- 11. If you just had a baby, you’ll get to decide everything.
- 12. It is agreed that people who don’t understand sarcasm are suffering from some horrible mental deficiency and pretty much aren’t funny.
- 13. We, however, are universally hilarious.
- 14. Comments like “My demon spawn are ruining my life. This evening, instead of eating dinner, I plan on igniting myself and jumping off a building while playing ‘Blaze of Glory’ on a jukebox” are not alarming, wrong, or weird. Because these friends have been there and they’ll admit it.
- 15. Any of us can flake pretty much immediately before the event without anybody losing their minds, on account of the demon spawn mentioned above. Or PMS. Or the problematic partner.
- 16. None of us know a damn thing about parenting and express it openly, you know, like this for example:
Me: “Rocket’s doing [super annoying behavior]. Have your kids ever done that?”
Friend: “No, my kids are fucking perfect.”
Me: “So what did you do about it?”
Friend: “I drank a bottle of wine and left my house.”
And it’s understood that we aren’t those mothers who “know” and give wonderfully helpful advice and bask in the glory of our perfect children.
Rather, we are the mothers who do our best, clumsily and unglamorously, and often, slightly unwillingly, hoping for the best but often getting what appears to be the worst. And when that happens, we call each other and whine and commiserate, and call each other inappropriate names.
And somehow, I feel better every time.
By the way, at the risk of sounding like a lonely internet inhabitant with no real life, as I was writing this I realized that many of you are in this classification of friends. Though we may have never met in person, somehow, we jive, and sarcasm abounds, and clearly, we are the same mothers. And we are all, obviously, fucking hilarious.
So here’s to the understandings.