On my fridge hangs a magnet that was purchased by my grandmother at a craft fair and gifted to my father. It reads, “A friend is someone who knows everything about you, and loves you anyway.” I look at this from time to time and I can’t help but think that in that short sentence, it sums up so perfectly what a true friend is.
Best friends weave their way throughout all our lives. Some come and go but others are there for the long run earning the title of this blog. Having a best friend that I have known through the years, I wanted to write this piece not only as tribute to her but to all those who have and are best friends to others.
A true best friend is someone that (like mine) will tell you the absolute truth about everything! A good friend will sugar coat their honesty in order to avoid hurting your feelings, but a best friend will happily tell you the harsh truth in order to help you. Whenever I hear the words “Elle, I’m about to give this to you straight,” I know it’s time for me to take a seat and swallow down a dose of reality. As callous and cruel as the truth can sometimes seem, it is always delivered with love. The facts aren’t always easy to hear, but they are often harder to provide. I can proudly say that thanks to my best friend, I have never left my house (at least when she was around) looking like a complete hot mess. The fact of the matter is, no matter how much I think those patent leather boots with my fish net stockings look cute, she just won’t let me walk out of the house looking like I’m about to go turn tricks on the corner without me first knowing what kind of image I’m soliciting.
There comes a point in a friendship where you have such a sense of comfort with one another that the way you talk almost converts into a code of care. What sounds completely rude in turn is actually kind. For example, when my friend looks at me and says, “You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself all the time and start fixing your problems instead of just whining about them,” actually converts to, “I know you’re going through a lot right now and I’m here for you to talk to, but only you can be the one to resolve this issue, and anything I can do for you just say the word sweetie.”
A best friend can laugh at you when you make a complete fool of yourself, because chances are they are making a fool of themselves with you. They can tease you for your downfalls because they do it not only with love but as a way to make you aware. They can crack jokes at you that others normally couldn’t because only with them can you always be guaranteed that even the meanest words out of their mouth are always presented in a caring and loving way making them nothing short of thoughtful.
So, that probing question that you are now all asking is this; why is it that your best friend can point out all the flaws you bare without hurting your feelings and making you feel patronized and degraded? It’s because when they point out what you consider to be a flaw, they are simply acknowledging one more characteristic to love about you. Just like that magnet said, “A friend is someone who knows everything about you and loves you anyway.”
A true friend is a blend of all the essential people we all desire and need in our lives. When you are single on February 14th, they are your valentine. When you are an emotional wreck, they are your therapist. When you are lost in life lacking feelings of accomplishment and only bearing despair, they are your mother. At times of teaching, they are your father. In periods of poverty, they are Santa. And when you just don’t want to be social and would rather a movie on a Saturday night over the party of the year, they are your best friend, sitting right beside you.
Best friends come and go, but true best friends seem to come but once in a life time. If you have been blessed with a friend as precious as that, make it a point today to not only acknowledge but thank them for all that they do. You may not say it enough, but a true best friend will still love you anyway.