Lately, I’ve heard a lot of intensely career-focused colleagues of mine make statements like “I don’t have time for friends” or “I don’t need friends” or “I could never relate to that insanely bizarre, niche television show, Friends,” and it hardcore confuses me. I mean, who doesn’t want friends? Friends are killer. Friends are the best. Friends are, for me, the main reason why this whole “existing on a rotating ball of matter in space” thing is tolerable.
I can’t imagine not constantly Facebook chatting with my favourite chosen humans. I can’t fathom not crying hysterically into their new silk dresses or ranting to them about Robin Thicke via text message every single hour on the hour. Friends are magical creatures who fulfill us in a way that no one else can. I get that my colleagues are busy, but hey, I’m a busy, workin’ gal myself, but I still manage to make time for my amigos. If a compadre sends me an e-vite for their party, I first take a second to register that they are still using e-vites and then I hit attend on that sucker, and if I can’t attend I suggest another day to share in the good pal vibes.
But for some folks friendship is not a priority; they either abstain from it or do it super badly. They constantly ditch their comrades for hopes of intercourse, hopes of career-course, or hopes of nap-course (I confess, one of my favourite courses). Obviously, cancellations do unintentionally happen and who isn’t guilty of skipping drinks with an old roommate to chase a prime cut of booty? WE ALL ARE. But treating your chums like garbage on the regular will not only turn them against you, it will subsequently result in you being pretty darn lonely, pretty darn sad, and pretty darn cry-ee during friendship themed Tim Hortons commercials. Friends deserve your time and attention, and here are just a couple of reasons for why they are essential to your existence.
Friendship = happiness
Ever find yourself feeling completely hopeless? Not having any clue why or how or why you’re on this planet? You look in the mirror and have a strong desire to punch your own face in the glass (but don’t ‘cause you realize that would mega hurt and your knuckles are sensitive)? Then one of your compadres sends you an email with a link to a YouTube video of a puppy wearing a sailor outfit playing an accordion because they know you’re a big fan of the navy/complicated instruments and suddenly you’re smiling ear to ear? Yeah. That’s the power of FRIENDSHIP. A quick chat with a good bud will inject you with an immediate dose of happy. (Please note: the definition of pure joy is a puppy wearing a sailor outfit playing an accordion.)
When everyone is an asshole your friends will listen to you complain about said assholes.
The person you’re banging is being a jerk-butt (a butt of jerk). Your boss is the anti-christ (the Christ of anti). And that weird dude you live with who you barely know continues to eat your pudding and wear your Birkenstocks (Puddings of Birkenstocks). Who will soothe your pain? Who to turn to? Who isn’t a steaming pile of old horse feces? I know. THAT RELIABLE FRIEND YOU MET IN UNIVERSITY WHO IS ENDLESSLY SUPPORTIVE AND A GOOD LISTENER WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY BEING A GREAT TALKER AND WHO PROVIDES EXCELLENT HUGS AND SALTY SNACKS AND HAS AN UNLIMITED DATA PLAN. Can you imagine if you didn’t have that gift from the gods in your life? Who would you discuss these issues with? A LAME GHOST? (No offence to ghost friends. I would actually take a chum like Casper in a heartbeat ‘cause word on the street is he’s FRIENDLY). Tactile friends do tend to be more realistic, so count your lucky stars that your majestic bestie is around, or else your fierce whining would remain on the inside and scientists have proven that internal whining does 100% result in self-combustion*.
*Not a thing, BUT COULD BE…. ONE?**
If and/or when you lose that boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other/partner/wife/husband/lover/humper your friends will continue to exist.
We’ve all seen it happen. The Thelma to your Louise meets someone “special” and within 3 months they’re madly in love, living together, casually posting images of floral arrangements to Instagram that they’re considering for their “maybe” “definitely” nuptials, and ignoring you. You haven’t spoken to them in months. No one has. They are officially in honeymoon stage isolation. Then, suddenly, their someone “special” falls for someone else “extra special,” dumping ensues, and your Thelma is left with zero peeps on their side. OR, in another universe, your Thelma maintains solid friendships throughout their short romantic blip and once their “special” someone takes off, they’re left with a MILLION LOYAL COMPANIONS. Break-ups are way less terrifying when you have a support system. Build that support system and preserve it.
They teach you stuff. They encourage you. They expose you to worlds of wonder.
“I’ll never get that job,” “I have no clue what the heck that movie was about,” and “Midnight pool hopping is not in my decided future,” are statements you have made in the past, but here comes your knight in shining armour (aka your pally pal) to CHANGE EVERYTHING FOREVER. They respond to your statements with the following statements “You’re the smartest person I know, bud. You’ve got this job in the bag,” “Paul Thomas Anderson takes some analysis. Let’s dissect this film together,” “Bring a bathing suit and climbing shoes. The future is here.” Bam. Everything has changed forever and life is more beautiful because of it.
They are the cure for one of the most deadly diseases known to man: boredom.
What are you going to do tonight? Should you watch all of the seasons of The Wire AGAIN? But you already know Omar’s character arc which is half the fun. Should you play a generic video game which I don’t know the name of because I am not familiar with the game of the video? Should you go to Ikea, find the most dull, beige couch in there, sit on it and stare into nothingness until they kick you out? Or should you text a friend and ask them to go for a beer? The last one. The answer is the last one.
Being a good friend feels fucking awesome.
Here’s a secret not many people know. Giving feels just as good as taking. Actually, I’m going to get a bit wild here and say giving feels BETTER than taking. Whoa! Watch out! Wildcat proclamations currently being proclaimed! It’s true. Every time a friend calls me upset, “needing” someone to talk to, it gives me purpose. I must make them less sad by the end of the call. I am “needed” for this emergency. And boy, when you do make them less sad. When you hear that compadre laugh at one of your awful jokes. There is no rush like it. You altered their mood. You made a difference. You, my friend, are powerful. So go ahead. Be selfish by being a good friend and feeling fucking awesome.