I’ve written before about my strong friendship with my group from high school, but the longer I’m away from Rochester I realize the importance of my friendships with the girls, especially, and how little we see strong female friendships on TV or in books or anywhere around us.
I read The Interestings by Meg Wollitzer over my holiday break and, for this reason, was struck when she wrote, “it was a relief to know that even in getting older and splitting off into couples and starting families, you could still always come together in this way that you’d learn to do when you were young, and which you would have a taste for your entire life.”
I immediately wrote down the quote, saved it to my phone and texted it to my group chat with my friends. No, none of us are married or have kids, but we are all grown up and scattered about the country and in the rare instances when we are together, our bonds are just as strong as they’ve always been, if not stronger, and our friendship always returns to the unbreakable bond that we formed years ago.
It’s become a tradition to share a bed when we stay over each others houses and apartments. We text each other when we feel beautiful and we celebrate when one of us reaches a big accomplishment. We still joke about who everyone dated in middle school and we ask each others’ opinions on everything from clothes to men.
Lauren was set to visit me last December, and after a particularly stressful day, I greeted her at the subway in tears. She treated me to margaritas and comforted me, letting me be sad, but cheering me up in a way that only she can.
The night after Christmas, all of my high school friends and I headed to Jamie’s brand new apartment in Downtown Rochester and celebrated the holiday and our togetherness with a grown-up party. After exchanging gifts and going to the bars, we came home and piled into two beds and two couches. Even after all these years, we don’t seek out our own rooms or sleeping spaces, but share and enjoy each others’ closeness.
The first weekend in January, I booked a bus to Delaware to meet up with Erin and Lauren. We met the boy Lauren had been seeing and took so many shots we ended up sleeping until two pm the next day. But there was also so much love and laughter and by the time the weekend was over I dreaded leaving.
Erin came to visit only a few weeks ago and brought along the boy she had been seeing. But it ended up being he who third wheeled as Erin and I reverted to all of our old jokes and stupid stories. When one of us would burst out laughing at nothing, the other wasn’t far behind. Now as Erin plans her life after Americorps, I selfishly want her here in New York with me.
I am so grateful to have friends who will talk me through tough times, who will take the time to visit me, who still insist on sharing a double bed instead of sleeping on the couch, who know my favorite drinks and who will pick up the pieces after a rough night. I am so blessed to have friends who will support every last decision I make and who actively tell me how proud they are of me.
That’s what best friends should do. So often I’ve met people who compete and reserve compliments and talk behind my back. That’s not friendship. Friendship is building each other up and supporting each other no matter what. My friends not only make me a better person, but they make my life better. I hope every girl in the world finds just one friend who will defend her fiercely and love her unconditionally. I am lucky to have six.
Now it’s my turn to tell them how proud of them I am, how happy it makes me to see every one succeeding and finding what makes them happy. They are all beautiful girls who are smart and funny and I love them all unconditionally.
In the words of Lauren after a weekend spent with her in Delaware, “I think what we’ve learned is that we are way too comfortable around each other and are borderline co-dependent.” Which is, alarmingly true, but I’d rather depend on them than not have them in my life. xo