The Importance of Having Someone Who “Gets” You

This weekend, my best friend of nearly 15 years is coming up to visit me and I. Can’t. Wait. It has been so long since we’ve seen each other – well, forever in BFF years, which really equals out to about three months ago when BF, brother and I stayed with her in Boston for New Year’s Eve. Even though she is coming to visit me in the Big Apple, America’s playground, we don’t have any plans to go into the city. The idea is to stay local, enjoy my neighborhood, drink copious cups of coffee, and chill with some chick flicks. Despite our rather unambitious weekend plans, I’m particularly excited for this visit.

Why?

Because my BFF is one of the few people who fully “gets” me – the good, the bad, and the weird.

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She can read my moods, know exactly what I’m thinking, laugh at my terrible jokes, love me in spite of my flaws, assuage my fears and insecurities, and build me up when I need it the most.

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If you read my last post, you might recall that I never really felt like I fit in – especially in Middle School. Until I met my BFF, that is.  When I was the super awkward preteen struggling to fit in, find myself, and make friends, she sat next to me on the steps before 8th grade gym class and we haven’t stopped talking ever since.

Okay, that’s a lie.

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There was this one stupid year in high school where we had a dumb girl fight/falling out that threatened to end our friendship for good until we called a truce and got over it exactly one year later. Sometimes I forget that that year even happened; then randomly we’ll remember it together, and roll our eyes at the ridiculousness of it.

BFF is my ride-or-die friend.  A few years ago (6, to be exact), we decided that no matter where the other person lived, we were going to “do our twenties” together. So when I was overseas, we made it a point to have weekend Skype dates. When she was going through a breakup, we set up our multiple screens to Skype and watch a chick flick together, thousands of miles and 6 hours apart.  Ever since college, we’ve made a point of visiting one another, and on her cross country road trip she went out of her way to come see me in Middle-of-Nowhere, Pennsylvania.  When I was living in Italy, she decided to fly out and stay with me after her college graduation. That trip is still one of my favorite memories.

She has literally been witness to all of the major milestones I’ve experienced in my life so far.

She was there when I had my first kiss (well, not there there, but nearby).

We worked our first jobs together at American Eagle when we were Juniors in high school.

She was there when I turned 18 and planned a special birthday dinner for me.

We’ve seen each other through driver licenses and college graduations, signing leases on apartments and dealing with crazy roommates, dating boys and breaking up with boys, starting our careers and wondering if we’re doing our twenties okay.

While the list could go on and on, here are just a few reasons why my BFF is one of like 3 people who just “get” me in a way that nobody else does:

  1. She wakes up and immediately makes coffee.
  2. Terrible – like, REALLY terrible – hip-hop (I’m talking Flo Rida, J. Cole, Pitbull, any of the early-2000s throwbacks) – is our soundtrack.  As long as there’s a danceable bass, we’re dancing.
  3. We went to this awkward Halloween dance/birthday party in 8th grade dressed up as pajama kids and she stayed with me the whole time when I wanted to jump on the trampoline to Outkast’s Hey Ya when according to everyone else it was “like SOOO yesterday.”
  4. I babysat her Spanish-speaking guinea pigs. Caring for each other’s pets? TRUE LOVE.
  5. When we were 13 we played hooky to watch Johnny Depp (BFF) and Orlando Bloom (Me) in Pirates of the Caribbean for the second time in a row.
  6. I was in love with Orlando Bloom and (can’t believe I’m admitting this) carried printed out pictures of him in my purse. Kid you not. BFF knew this. She’s still friends with me.
  7. We eagerly awaited the release of the Now That’s What I Call Music 14 CD and listened to it in its entirety at a sleepover.
  8. Studying for the AP Spanish test.
  9. Surviving 3rd period AP Spanish with our borderline-psychotic teacher.
  10. She stuck with me through the tramautic dental experience that was a series of braces, plus an expander, two (temporarily) missing teeth AND rubber bands, from 8th to 11th grade.  I was a wreck. I’m surprised I could still form words with all that work going on. She still talked to me
  11. We know pretty  much everything there is to know about the other person. I can tell you her favorite color in 8th grade and how it’s different from her favorite color now, and what her favorite animal is and the name of her high school dog.
  12. She always suggests going to see art museums when we travel or visit each other, even though it’s not her thing, because she knows it’s mine.
  13. We teamed up junior year to win our AP American History class debate on the validity of “Manifest Destiny.”
  14. She knew I had a huge crush on said AP American History class teacher. She’s still friends with me.
  15. We went through our quarter-life crises together.
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  16. She’s heard my rendition of Poker Face. I think she even started it.
  17. She’s my secret-keeper. She knows my deep-rooted insecurities, the things that you maybe tell one or two people outside of your family.
  18. Food. We both eat it. And love it. Especially of the Mexican variety.giphy (16).gif
  19. We could speak in only inside jokes if we wanted to.
  20. We’ll answer the phones with strange noises that make sense only to us. No, not once, many times. Sometimes the strange sounds are followed by uncontrollable laughter which precedes actual conversation by a good seven minutes.
  21. When musing about what ever happened to a girl who used to be friends with us in 8th grade, she stated matter-of-factly “She probably just got too popular for us.”And then we laughed.
  22. Relationships must get the seal of approval. No approval, no bueno.
  23. We’ve seen literally ever single romantic endeavor each other has ever had. Our past dates have all been given Sex in the City like pseudonyms.
  24. Because we know each other so well, we can see things about the other person that the person herself may not even realize. And that outside perspective from someone who knows the entire subtext of your life is invaluable.
  25. We genuinely want the other person to succeed – no jealousy or competition, but true joy when things are going well, and true empathy when they’re not.
  26. No matter what I’m wearing or how I look, how I feel or where my level ofself-confidence is at the moment, she tells me how fabulous I am and never makes me feel less-than. Ever.

While I have been able to cultivate a variety of different friendships throughout the course and travels of my life, there are a few people who who just simply “get” me, no explanation required. The beauty of our friendship is that we chose each other back in the days of awkward hair cuts and braces and boy bands; not only have we seen each other grow, but we’ve grown together and helped each other out along the way.  And while we both have changed, we made the commitment to see each other and this friendship through.  Such overwhelmingly authentic relationships are rare, and are usually the result of time, circumstance, and yes, hard work. But the payoff is infinite. Having people who simply “get” you without having to explain yourself is refreshing, relaxing, liberating. It’s an oasis.

Oh, and (27), we like to have a good vodka martini and dance party together. Happy weekending, NYC!

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