I’m a girl’s girl.
Sure, I get along with blokes just fine but I’ve never been one to have heaps of male friends. It’s probably so they all don’t fall hopelessly in love with me, like Dominos cascading at my feet. (Based on my school years, the likelihood of that happening is — ooh, let me see — slim to none.)
I don’t know where I’d be without my girlfriends. While I’m fortunate to be very close to my family, including my two sisters, friends are the family you choose, right? (And none of them have offered to pluck my eyebrows because they look like “big hairy slugs”. I’m looking at you, Mum.)
When I think of my group of pals, they all fall into at least one of the following categories:
1. The old friend
Perhaps you’ve known them since birth or kindergarten or school. Regardless of how you met, you need to keep this friend close: she knows too much about you and has access to too many terribly unflattering photos.
2. The friend with more kids than you
When I’m tempted to have a whinge about how hard life is with two kids under four (*sob, sob*), I think of my girlfriend who had four children within TWO YEARS and NINE MONTHS, including one set of twins. Although I still think she was mildly insane, her tribe was very much planned for and it’s worth staying friends if only for her crazy parenting tales.
3. The work friend
You were in the trenches together 40+ hours a week, and a friendship was forged over office escapism manoeuvres, such as the morning coffee run (yes, it did need to take 50 minutes), or covering while one raced downtown to the Witchery sale, or secretly playing Bullsh*t Bingo during meetings so dull that you strongly considered sticking a biro in your eye if one more person said “I’m at capacity” or “Have you got an updated WIP?”. When no one at home understood how annoying the colleague was who sniffed and gulped and REFUSED TO USE A GODDAMN TISSUE, the work friend did and thus, a beautiful friendship was born.
4. The trendy friend
This cool cat knows all the hip hop happening places and people. (And also that it’s not kosher to say ‘hip hop happening’.) They keep you attuned to what’s going on beyond the local coffee cart at the park so, should an opportunity present itself to escape for an evening, you’ll know City Rowers doesn’t exist anymore.
5. The reconnected friend
This is a person you may have drifted away from for whatever reason – overseas travels, moved interstate, they fell in love, you had a baby, or just life in general. And believe me, LIFE HAPPENS; months and years may fly by but when the reconnection occurs, it’s always mucho wonderfulus. (<— made that up, but I like it.)
6. The friend you don’t clean the house for before they arrive
Who cares if you’ve got folding on the bench or crumbs on the floor or you’re still in your PJs? Not this friend, and not you. You’ve seen each other at your worst and still love each other stupid.
7. The friend who will drop everything for you
It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the night or if they’re at work, if you’re in a crisis they’ll be by your side as quick as a flash. Even if you don’t see them all the time, you know they’re there for you whenever needed.
8. The friend who’s raised her family
This friend has wisdom. She’s been there and done that. She understands how, when you’re knee deep in nappies and pureed veges are being raspberried onto your specs, 5pm is NEVER a good time to phone. She knows the logistics involved with child care and daytime sleeps and school runs. She knows weekends are overrun with family stuff and the best catch-up time is when kids are at a park — or better still, in bed. (Wine in a playground is never a good look.) She’s open. She’s honest. She knows.
9. The friend who gives you a different perspective
It’s so easy to bunker down in our own little bubble, so this friend is the one who makes you see things differently. For example, I wasn’t particularly understanding of mental illness, until I met a lovely friend who happens to have a mental illness. I hadn’t known anyone who had lost a child, until I met a strong woman who lost her daughter at 40 weeks’ gestation. I never thought a great deal about how welfare can make or break a person, until I knew a mother who scraped and scrimped and saved and was so incredibly grateful for single-parent assistance from the government. These people are important; their experiences can shape your own thoughts and views. Embrace them.
10. The new friend
Just when you think you’ve got your posse sorted, along comes a person who you’re pretty sure needs to join the circle. It may be the funny mother you’ve met doing the school drop-off, a friend of a friend, or perhaps it’s someone you keep bumping into randomly — as if fate is pushing you together. Let them in.
No, this one was a test. You cannot be friends with your ex. Full stop, no returns.