By Rachel Gerner
I celebrated my first anniversary yesterday. Yes, bring on the bells, whistles and cheers. I love this man. And he’s taken in stride all my good, whiny, selfish, goofy, and weird quirks. For example, sometimes at 3:30am, I need shrimp and cocktail sauce and an episode of Gilmore Girls. Need it with the craving of a lunatic. In the morning, he’ll find me huddled over the coffee table with red stains on my t-shirt and a satisfied smile on my cushion-wrinkled face. Hashtag—not pregnant. And don’t judge. You’ve got your own weirdness, sister. And you’re more loveable for it.
Anyway, he’s my husband and my friend. He’s the most important person in my life.
But I didn’t marry my best friend. In fact, I cringed when I saw napkins, t-shirts, and (seriously) lollipops that displayed this sentiment. I accepted plaques and cross-stitched pillows declaring the love of my life was also my best friend. Let’s set the record straight. My best friend is a girl. My husband, bless him, is a guy.
I do not need my husband to be my best friend for some super practical reasons. Look, what if my hubby gets hit by a bus? Then I’d lose my best friend and my husband together. Who would I cry my heart out with? Who would help me regain my sanity?
Husband ≠ Best Friend
I need my best friend for tons of reasons that my husband either can’t or won’t be able to fulfill. Going back to Gilmore Girls, my husband adores me, but there’s a limit to the amount of chick flicks and rom-coms that he’s going to watch with me. And that limit is usually one. One episode. Twenty-two minutes minus commercials and then he wants to do something else, like play video games together. Which is cool, but I’m already on level 45 of Elder Scrolls now and a new TV season just started. Besides, there’s no way he’s going to analyze the relationships with me on America’s Next Top Model.
My best friend is able to point out when my earrings don’t match my dress. She’ll tell me her new favorite place to get her eyebrows waxed. She’s also able to make me snort root beer out of my nose. (As an aside, this is painful. Don’t discuss your best friend’s blind date while drinking root beer floats. Just eat the ice cream).
We also have inside jokes that go back, way back to when we were freshmen in college. Nobody gets them. Nobody thinks we’re funny. But, oh man, one raised eyebrow on a certain comment or a particular name, and we are rolling on the floor. And we don’t laugh pretty. Our laughter brings out weird wheezes, tears, and oddly enough, farts. Which makes us laugh harder. You don’t have to admit if that’s happened to you. We both know it probably has.
My bf put wine in two Starbucks travel mugs and brought them to my wedding shower. She lets me gossip about my colleagues. And reminds me that I’m a better person when I don’t gossip. She loudly sings the lyrics to Frozen with me, off-key and with gestures. I trust her to tell me when my hubby is being crazy, or if I’m the one being crazy.
Balancing Best Friends and Husbands
One of the quirks that my bf and I share (that my husband does not) is that we both make lists and use lists that other people make. For example, we’ve done just about everything on the top friendship dates list. One of my life goals is to learn another language. A few years ago, I asked her if she wanted to take a Chinese class with me. She replied, “Why not?” A few months later, I said, “Let’s go to China together.” Her reply, “Heck yes.” And so we went (but that story is for another blog post).
One tradition that we created together was inspired from Joy the Baker. For several of her birthdays, she makes a list of things she wants to remind herself. Some are practical, like “Never ever ever ever EVER ever ever take your shoes off in the club.” Others are reminders to respect yourself and don’t be “that girl”. For my best friend and me, our yearly lists remind us of our priorities, our girl-iness, (We will watch Anne of Green Gables every year) and our goals.
One of the other fabulous things about having a girl best friend is that we set each other up on “friendship blind dates”. Whenever we meet a new “wonder woman”, “believer”, or “solid” in our life, we are usually compelled to set each other up and let the sparkling magic of shared connections expand in our lives. I met a great new friend, Julie, on a bike ride that my best friend arranged. For the next year, she and I met at 5:30am every week to ride the hills near our apartments. She met a kindred spirit, Mary, on a coffee date that I set up for them. After that first conversation, we dubbed ourselves “The Three Musketeers” and have been a loyal trio ever since.
So, my question for you, my potential new friend, what’s on your list? Either your list of fun things to do with your bf or your list of reminders for yourself. I’m curious about both.
P.S. If your bf is your husband, I’m not knocking it. That’s wonderful for a whole other list of reasons. I’m just saying, for me, I need both. But post a comment, and let us know about your bf.