By Claudia Everly
As you get older, your friends are no longer a uniform team of ladies single and ready to mingle: we form more distinct personalities, become pickier and, importantly, learn to appreciate what each pal brings to the table. Herewith, a by no means complete list of people you need in your life right now.
The tough love friend
To an outsider, it might look like she’s got some kind of beef with you. She picks on you, teases you and calls you out on it when you’re acting like a whiny little twerp. Still, a friend like this will keep you grounded, whether it be through a much-needed bitch slap (and yes, I’ve been on the receiving end of one such slap, and no, it was not in a trailer park/fight club setting) or a good old-fashioned heart-to-heart. For all her bull-headedness, she can take as much as she doles it out (a plus for especially outspoken ladies). At her core, though, she’s got a gooey warm brownie heart and would probably walk through fire for you if it came down to it. I’ll never forget when I broke up with a guy and my personal toughie crawled into bed with me and spooned me a full eight hours as I cried into my pillow – she knew not to knock me when I was already down.
They met in the sandbox and are pretty much the same person, just with an added Y chromosome. They often stay home on Saturday nights, invite you over for home-cooked meals, and live like real adults (read: they’ve got a fully stocked fridge you’re welcome to plunder). They try to set you up with their friends, and approach any of your many trivial dating crises as a team. They won’t, in all likelihood, be the friends you call when you really want to let it out, but their couple bliss is encouraging and comforting, and their love for you is nothing if not slightly parental. Bonus if they’ve got a kid – what other excuse to do have to abuse your credit card at the toy store. Whoever decided adults can’t enjoy My Little Pony, Legos and Barbie was clearly playing a cruel joke on the childless.
The spiritual twin
Creepy … you like the same things, the same people and, importantly, share a strong hatred for anyone and anything that doesn’t fall into those categories. She’s the only person that cares that you saw a guy on the train that looks like Hulk Hogan, that you’re on your period (I’m bloody sorry if you’re a man reading this), or that you woke up with melted m & ms smeared all over your comforter and don’t remember what exactly happened. Sure, there are conflicts – or periods of time when you don’t see each other as much as you’d like – but there’s a tacit understanding between you that you’re both mature adults and that anything that comes between you is tangential to your rock-solid mutual appreciation of all things ridiculous.
She’ll lend you some sugar – or bring you a few packets of rahmen noodles when you’re sick. In this case, closeness does make the heart grow fonder. The older and lazier we get, the more we appreciate friends who live in walking distance to us. No phone calls necessary, no hassle arranging a time and place to meet – you can just head for the corner pub and take it from there. It almost makes us wish cell phones didn’t exist so we could whip out our lime-green, ten-kilo walkie talkies and use terms like “roger” and “over and out”. Plus, she’s a second set of eyes – and hands. Having a hard time picking out a dress for a wedding? Is this picture hanging straight? She’s got you covered
The burning flame
Okay, this headline might be a bit dramatic, but it’s always great to have someone you like or might kind of like more than friends, or Friends, alla Ross and Rachel. Or you’re just curious what it would be like to sleep with him. The best thing is, until shit hits the fan, you’re friends first. The worst thing is, the friendship is pretty much doomed to a) a fiery, tear-filled demise, b) a disturbing bout of selective amnesia (“Even though you’re naked in my bed, I’m pretty sure nothing happened. Let’s get brunch.”), or c) coupledom (which can also end, tragically, in a). Still, while it lasts, it’s like you’re starring in your personal soap opera – except better because no one accidentally sleeps with his sister or gets kidnapped or leaves for LA for three months comes back five inches shorter and with better hair.
About the author: Claudia Everly
Claudia Everly is a magazine editor by day, but contributes to Love Letters to Ken by night, not unlike Clark Kent. Her hobbies include playing 2048 (if you don’t know what it is, don’t try and find out – it’ll ruin your life) and jamming on her acoustic guitar. She’s lived in five different countries, has a ridiculously useless degree in Central European History, and has recently successfully listed every country on Earth in under 15 minutes. Unlike Christina, Claudia does not aspire to bag a Ken – at this point she’ll take anyone with a slightly above average IQ, no unhealthy attachment to his mother and basic common courtesy.