A year ago today one of my best friends died. It was sudden but not unexpected. I missed three finals to run back and forth to all of the airports in the DC area so that her family could be together. And I spent a week dodging my mother’s well meaning coworkers who talking about me like I wasn’t standing in front of them and dropped more money than I had on a locket for her daughter.
I sound very self-involved but bear with me.
Melissa and I had argued the week before she died because I hadn’t told her that I was too broke to buy groceries. She was genuinely upset with me for not letting her help and I wasn’t (am still very much struggling to come to terms with) asking for help when I need it.
This is where a sentimental person would say they regretted something. Or a religious person would have an epiphany. I am not these things.
I don’t regret this argument. I don’t find the guardian angel/sign from god angle to be appealing. Despite my anti-fatalist attitudes, my oldest friend is forcing me (in her less than forceful way) to revisit the same issue, and learn to ask for help. Isn’t it ironic?
It took me a year of loss (one death, two or three break-ups, a few pairs of shoes) to realize that despite my disinterest in having women friends, they are a necessary evil. As is my way, below you will find tips for making female friends, because apparently you need them.
Look for someone opposite of you
If you have ever been shopping for a suit with a man you know they have tailors chalking the seat of their pants and hemming their sleeves. The experience is not the same for women. Sometimes you are lucky and can buy separates but if not your best option is to have a friend who can wear the other half of the suits.
Maybe today you’re the pants and she’s the jacket, a match made in heaven. It would be a waste of a perfectly good jacket if she did exist. Keep her around.Maybe your drawn to bright and she’s drawn to shiny, perfect, no one will ever suspect you are wearing one outfit between the two of you, unless you wear it to happy hour. Don’t wear it to happy hour.
Look for someone with darker secrets than you
Maybe not a murderer, maybe.
One of the things that friends who are not women will never understand is that somehow as a woman doing things that are not super correct doesn’t fly. They will always be able to fall back on the whole “boys will be boys” bullshit while you are ripped to ribbons over a small selfish act. If you find someone who has come to terms with her humanity grab hold.
You are bound to fuck up. She’s fucked up. You guys can laugh about how dumb or fun or whatever these moments were. She will teach you new terms for the type of fucking up you do, which is great because you can stop saying “fuck up” so frequently (sorry mom!). And you will affirm her by being in awe of her ability to not die after making, dare I say, dumb choices.
Look for someone smarter than you
I hate stupid people, which, to be clear, has absolutely nothing to do with IQ.
I would venture to say that my hatred of stupid people has been a leading factor in my quest for mostly male friends. Women aren’t inherently stupid, but we are taught to be. My mom actually lamented the fact that she didn’t do a better job of teaching me to play dumb recently (sorry mom!) and while I get what she meant, it pissed me off.
I don’t want to be friends with women who don’t have opinions, who defer to the majority or to you or to their significant other. No one wants that woman as a friend. She offers nothing.
Lose the stupid bitches and make friends with people who know things you don’t know, who are occasionally wrong, or who are continuously looking to learn something new. Your friends don’t have to share your opinions, that’s just fucking dumb. Seek friends who live differently than you, better yet, seek friends who are willing to call you a dick when you’re being a dick then cite literature as to why your dickish behavior is so freaking dickish.
Look for someone sluttier than you
Men discuss conquests. Women are more discreet. Neither is all great of an approach.
You and your friends should discreetly discuss sexual encounters in the same fashion as men. You should know how many people your best friend forever has hooked up with because one day she’ll come to you and be like “um, where am I at numbers wise?” and you’ll tell her and then go into the nitty-gritty details of her forgotten forays. She will repay the favor on the day you feel insecure about your sex life.
Keep in mind I use the word slut to describe someone who owns their sexuality and doesn’t give a flying patooty what you or anyone else thinks. Maybe the slut you befriend isn’t particularly experienced or whatever, but she should be willing to have your crazy kinky ideas bounced off of her.What else are friends for? Perhaps she’ll even give you ideas for making better sex.
If you have met a woman who can wear the other half of your suit, has an intriguingly checkered past, can out think you, and is more comfortable in a pants-off dance-off than you are, you have met a rom-com frenemy. The movies say to stay away from this woman, she will make you look dumb in front of potential suitors then bed all of your best prospects.
Because I don’t write movies, I write advice columns (stop laughing), I suggest you make this woman your mentor. Learn from her.
Full disclosure: I wrote this drunk and crying like a little bitch. I have never been a drunk crier nor a particularly sentimental person, but fuck, if you’re going to try something new go ahead and do all of it all at once…