My daughter starts middle school next year. I'm not going to lie, saying those words makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit. My middle school years brought stereotypical grief. The mix of braces, freckles, a spiral perm, first chair spot in band and desire to be smart combined with my lack of athletic ability made me quite an ugly duckling. And like every ugly duckling, what I wanted more than anything else was to be a cheerleader, or the female middle school equivalent of a swan.
But unlike the fairy tale, even after the glasses, the braces, and the spiral perm faded away, I didn't turn into cheerleader. I simply grew up to be a slightly taller band nerd with contacts and straight teeth. Some of this is attributed to the aforementioned lack of athletic ability, but some of it is because I have never really liked hanging out with large groups of girls.
I've always been the type that has had a small group of close girl friends as opposed to a gaggle (I'm finding it amazing how many bird metaphors seem to work when talking about girls). I'm incredibly blessed to say that even though I've moved across the country, my two best friends now live within an hour of me. Women that have known and loved me for two and three decades, not because I am perfect, but despite the fact that I am so far from it.
Women get a bad rap. Much is written about how competitive we are, how gossipy and vindictive. We talk about mean girls (let's face it -- that's why we hate middle school), who grow into mean women, who make us hate ourselves and each other.
But as I read over a series of unrelated texts from my two best girls, I started thinking about what my life would be without them, and I simply could not. Not because I didn't want to, but because it is quite impossible.
Here are ten things that I think make best girl friends amazing.
- These will shop with you and tell you not to buy the outfit that you just love, because even though you are gorgeous, that dress does not flatter your hips.
- They know all of your high school and college and boyfriends and the damage they have done, and that sometimes it still hurts even 20 years later.
- They understand the complicated relationship you have with your mother.
- When you call in a panic because you went back and bought the outfit they told you not to buy and that now you have nothing to wear to your husband's work dinner, they immediately bring over the three back up outfits they had waiting because they knew you were going to buy that outfit the minute you tried it on.
- They tell you, "I hate your boss too." And they mean it.
- They sit with your husband in the waiting room while you have the lump in your breast biopsied. They fill out all the paperwork, because they are the one who know what you are allergic to, how many drinks you actually have in a week, and the date of your last menstrual period.
- They don't care how messy your house is.
- They call, not text, when you are upset, and let you cry for five minutes on the phone before you say, "I'm okay now," and hang up.
- They support every crazy diet that you decide to try, all the while telling you how absolutely beautiful you are exactly the way you are. And they mean it.
- They don't care how messy your life is.
My daughter asked me if middle school was going to be hard -- the friend part, not the academic part-- and I told her as long as she had a couple of really good friends, she was going to be just fine.
So we can't all be cheerleaders. These three birdies are doing just fine.
I want to hear from you? What is the best thing about your best friend? What would you add to this list?