We've all read the breakup stories. You know the ones — where women wax poetic about the loss of their former BFF (maybe that should be BFT: best friends, temporarily). In these necessary (and strangely plentiful) stories, I've learned that I, like many women, had to let go of an important friendship that I had once believed untouchable — in pursuit of something healthier, happier and more honest.
It took me three-and-a-half years to finally feel ready to open my heart, soul and mind to the potential one, the girl that will rock my world, hopefully forever.
Best female friends are of the upper echelons, sacred and not to be taken lightly. They require fortitude, forgiveness, and growth – constant and unyielding growth, to progress past the stages of infatuation into the immortal realms of the "Ya-Ya" and "Traveling Pants" sisterhoods. They require more than just clicking or vibing with someone. They need commitment.
Like a divorcee, carefully weighing my needs with my mistakes from the past, I've decided to compose a list of attributes I need my future BFF to have. This list, like my understanding of life in general, is constantly evolving. It, like me, is a work in progress.
My soul sister, wherever she may be, should have some version of these traits (in no exact order) to make our union one of eternal bestie bliss:
1. She should love to laugh. I'm talking, deep in the belly, head thrown back, ugly sound coming from her throat, laugh. That's instant BFF material right there.
2. She should never take herself too seriously. Having the ability to recognize one's own bullshit is imperative to forming bonds that will last a lifetime.
3. She should listen as well as she talks. Talking is cornerstone to a female friendship, but listening needs to be a major part of that foundation, too.
4. She should be comfortably weird. I'm weird. I own that weirdness and I want my new BFF to rock her freak flag, too. As long as she's not "sacrificing a baby on an altar" kind of weird, we're good.
5. She should enjoy the delicate art of sarcasm. I speak sarcasm fluently, and need someone able to keep up in my native tongue.
6. She should like eating. A lot. I'm not talking "funnel in your mouth to make foie-gras" eating, but I am saying "let's eat an entire extra large pizza and watch 'The Mindy Project'" kind of indulgence. And we should Instagram that pizza, too.
I want a best friend who will be the Laverne to my Shirley, the Lucy to my Ethel, and the Tina Fey to my Amy Poehler.
7. She should care about the earth but not annoyingly so. I want someone who loves nature, doesn't litter and finds small, yet significant, ways to make the world better for the next seven generations. She should not, however, scold me when I choose plastic over reusable shopping bags or comment on my choice of laundry detergent.
8. She should be kind, but not a pushover. Nice people are in short supply, and I appreciate someone who isn't too cool to help someone out just because she can. On the same note, she shouldn't be afraid to say "no" when she doesn't want to do something. And she'll never let someone walk all over her.
9. She should be a boss-bitch and a feminist rolled into one. While she may critique my use of a pejorative term like "bitch" when referring to a woman (and quote Simone de Beauvoir while doing so), she should also be unafraid to lead, to say what she wants and work hard to achieve it.
10. She should avoid being a judgy-Mc-judgy-pants. She isn't about that gossip life, putting other women down so she can feel better about herself. She knows that lifting other women up and modeling acceptance is a beautiful thing.
11. She should be smart – like, painfully so. She will keep me on my toes. She'll know words like "antediluvian" and "obstreperous," forcing me to engage the almighty Google on a daily basis. She'll make me feel smarter just by association.
12. She should challenge the status quo, on the reg. Just because everyone else is doing it (whatever "it" is) she isn't idly going along with the current. Instead, she'll ask "why?" and search for answers that are real, not just acceptable, making up her own mind in the process.
13. She should be passionate about living an authentic life. Somewhere along her journey, she discovered that this is her life, and it will be whatever she makes it, so she strives every single day to create an existence that honors her individuality, happiness and purpose.
If she's out there, (and I really hope she is) I can't wait to meet her and begin a sisterhood that will see us through arthritis, blindness, widowhood and dementia. Be the Laverne to my Shirley, the Lucy to my Ethel, and the Tina Fey to my Amy Poehler. Let's rock this friendship gig 'til death do us part.