TGFF

Thank God For Friends!

So, unlike TGIF, TGFF is used solely during quarantine. It’s for when you have Zoom calls with your friends until the wee hours of the morning. It’s for when you get texts just because. It’s for when you get letters in the mail addressed to you.

It’s for when your friends come through for you, like never before.

True, I haven’t spoken to all of my friends, but I’ve spoken to a good portion of them. And seeing or hearing every single one of them has truly made a difference.

So @ all my friends, you’re the best and I’ll see you again soon.

Love,

Bailey

Yes to Death

Here’s how I make a new friend:

First, locate a person who is as shy or more shy than I am (difficult).

Second, run through a list of compliments I can give so I can start talking (medium).

Third, agree with everything they say (easy).

For whatever reason, that third step is really important. I don’t know where I got the idea, but I’ve always thought that people would only like me if I was incredibly agreeable. If I said yes to everything they said.

I hear myself saying, I can’t believe I found the only other accordion player in the United States! or What a coincidence! I love Nickelback! (I’m just kidding. Everyone would know that I was lying if I said that.)

Now, you have to understand that my intentions are mostly good. People bond quickly when they have something they like (or hate) in common. Which is why I like to be front and center when a person divulges their interests. And really, I’m not trying to deceive them. I’m just trying to establish a friendship. Most of the time, I really do like what they like.

But there are times that I don’t. I don’t know if it’s a fear of confrontation (which I have) or just a fear of being left out (which I also have), but I refuse to let anyone down when they talk about their preferences in that way.

And it’s taken me an entire lifetime to figure out that you don’t have to like everything someone else likes to be their friend.

In fact, discussions and conversations take more interesting turns when there is a difference in opinion. Not that you want to invite conflict necessarily. You should want to offer another perspective. Your perspective.

Because remember, your ideas and experiences are unique. The fact that a person travelled to the same country as you does not mean you’ll have a similar experience. The fact that a person grew up in the same town as you does not mean you’ll have a similar experience. Heck, a person (your sibling, parents, etc.) could have lived in the same house with you, and they still may not have had a similar experience. That’s why you should always be willing to share yours instead of simply agreeing with how someone else sees the world. There’s room enough for everyone to share their stories.

So, I’m still trying not to “yes to death” anyone anymore. But that’s not just an expression–you can really kill a friendship if you don’t have anything else to contribute than a nod and a smile. Push past the “yes.” You may find yourself in surprisingly more agreeable territory.

The Best Friend Test

Do you ever roll your eyes when you see those quizzes online or in a magazine that ask you to evaluate your relationship with your best friend? Based on the answers you give, you are suddenly rating your friendship on a scale of “frenemie” to “BFF” and spiraling into a neurotic musing of whether you should have a “talk” about where you want your friendship to be in the next five years.

The point is, those quizzes only scratch the surface of your deeply complex and incredibly fulfilling friendship. Yes, the same one where you eat a a jar of Nutella, and lounge in your underwear together. Those “would you rather spend a lifetime with your best friend on a deserted island or on top of the mountain” questions don’t really cut it. So, I’ve made up a few of my own. I hope that you silently question your own friendship after reading these, too. Nothing would make me feel better than people reading my blog and wondering if they have been completely wasting their time…with the people in their lives.

5. If it is someone’s birthday, can you successfully choose a card on behalf of them?

-Everyone has had to pick out a card for someone. But have you ever had to pick out a card for someone on behalf of someone else? So. much. responsibility. Does my best friend want to be funny or serious? What if they don’t agree with the sentiment inside? I mean, really, who knew there would be so much drama in a Hallmark? So, ask your friend ahead of time what kind of cards they like, so you won’t be caught off-card. (C’mon, that was a gem!)

4. Do you know what kind of animal they would be?

-Forget being able to predict their wardrobe or their reaction to news. You need to be able to forecast what kind of animal they want to be in case you suddenly develop superpowers. You know, wonder twin status. Plus, the person who wants to be a duck and the person who wants to be a tiger are going to reveal some very different personality traits.

3. How do they eat their pizza?

-Are you a cat person or a dog person? Do you like the beach or the mountains? YAWN. Boring. Let’s get to the life-changing stuff, the deal breakers. How do they eat their pizza? And I don’t mean toppings. I mean, do they eat it with a knife and fork? Crust first? Do they roll it up like a burrito? Do you have to order two pizzas for the both of you? This is stuff you need to know ahead of time. I’m not saying your friendship should live and die on this. But it’s nice to know, so you can have a second pizza ready if needed, you know?

2. Do they separate their darks from their whites in the laundry?

We should all know what kind of person we are dealing with here. Is your best friend someone who will throw caution to the wind and let their balled up socks enter the washing machine with their denim? Or do they carefully make piles on the floor to ensure that every garment does not permanently stain another? Let’s be real here. Laundry is a gateway chore. This could lead to other habits (they stop mixing their food on their plate, for example). Let’s all just be up front with our dirty laundry, and no one will get hurt.

1. If you go to the hospital, will your best friend hold your IV while you go to the bathroom?

-This comes from experience. Just answer the question, and pick some poor sap out now. Just in case it comes up in the future. And if you are a good friend, you will give them something else in return, down the road for holding your fluids so you can pee. Like a really expensive gift because that is friendship on an entirely other level.

So, that’s it. Of course, I’m not sure if you noticed, but these questions are absolutely ridiculous. I know sarcasm is hard to read over the Internet, but I was trying to be a bit heavy-handed (like Paula Deen and butter, heavy-handed). That’s because there is no true test for friendship.

Some opposites attract, but also like likes like. Just do what’s best for you. When you need someone, they should be there. And when it stops being fun, put the “end” in “friend.” As always, what you give is what you get. No quiz can measure that.