I am fortunate to have a few best friends who really knock my socks off with their caring ways. In fact, they are so remarkably good at being best friends that I am often left feeling like the slacker of the relationship. The following list are things that my friends do well that I wish I could do better, which I have written in my writer’s notebook to remind me.
1. Appreciate the things that make your friend geeky. I can’t tell anymore who liked Doctor Who, zombies, Jane Austen, Supernatural, Downton Abbey or mustaches first because we have so embraced one another’s weird idiosyncratic fandoms.
2. Let your best friend know when you see something or someone that reminds you of her. One friend sends me texts every time “flightsuits” come into the pub that she and her husband own. Another texts me when she watches a bad horror flick. We’ve built entire webs of sublanguages to communicate the fact that we are thinking of one another.
3. If your best friend hates someone so do you. If your best friend is trying really hard to be an understanding human being and not hate someone out of jealousy or anger, too bad, you still have to hate that person. It is your duty to think that everything that person does is not only annoying but ridiculous and occasionally inhumane. ex: “— doesn’t like animals? What kind of evil Hitler-lover doesn’t think animals are cuddly wuddly?”
4. As a best friend, it is your duty to make jokes about your friend’s insecurities while simultaneously being supportive of them. Never never never use your friendship as an opportunity to point out what you see as a character flaw in your friend. Only address those that your friend already knows about, for those are the things your friend feels are important.
5. Share books. You needn’t feel like you have to share books with everyone who wants to borrow them. My circle of lending is larger than my closest friends, but I certainly don’t trust every person I call friend to return a book. A real friend will not only return the book but talk about it and suggest other books.
6. Watch bad movies together. Don’t worry about tastes don’t worry about coolness; just watch movies together that you may make fun of. This is a bonding experience.
7. Send gifts and letters and little trinkets that say that you are thinking of your friend. For example, my favorite thing recently was a handmade scarf that looks like a TARDIS. I mean, that is real friendship there
8. Always make tea or coffee or bring wine or something lovely and yummy that unites you together under the common stars of partaking of the good things on the earth.
9. Your best friend will have traits that annoy you. Let them go.
10. Establish boundaries to protect your youness. It is easy to forget where one friend ends and another starts, but you must maintain your own presence in the face of all that togetherness. Keep secrets if you must, or live away from your friends. Whatever it is you must do, protect what makes you you. Your best friends will understand and strive to protect you too.