Everyone Needs a Best Friend — The Fairer Sex Files
This is my best friend, Eliot. I won’t be cocky and say that he’s better than yours, but he’s hard to beat.
I met Eliot during the latter part of High School; we ignored each other for about a year. Well he ignored me, because I was a “scary bad kid,” and he was a puss. Once we did become friends though, it wasn’t long before we were best friends. Eliot is kind, observant, hilarious, giving, passionate, and brilliant. We spent our twenties seeking out adventures instead of bar-hopping, hand-writing illustrated, ridiculous letters to each other, and collecting stories. I have no idea who this parrot belonged to:
We also share some sort of cosmic magnetism towards the ridiculous. During college on a beautiful spring day, we were walking through Manhattan to meet some friends for lunch. We turned the corner and the skies changed, darkening quickly. We turned to each other just as the wind picked up and we found ourselves in the middle of what we refer to as “the dirt storm.” Wind and dirt and garbage flew at us from every direction, as we screamed with laughter and choked on mud. As quickly as it happened, it was sunny again, and we arrived at our lunch date completely covered in filth, with no way to explain. We had to go to the bathroom to clean the dirt out of our mouths and eyes. This is our life, but at least we are together.
In some ways, we are completely different — Eliot is wildly ambitious and had two, sometimes three summer jobs at a time during college, while I slept the day away and spent a lot of time at the beach. He has built a really successful and exciting career for himself from all that sweat, and I admire him more than anyone else I know.
For years we lived in different cities, but
we still talked every day we’ve been in a constant conversation since the beginning of this century. After years of him begging me, and several fake-outs that would have been legitimate grounds for the end of our friendship, I finally moved back to our native New York. We’re still in our honeymoon period, and sometimes I find myself thinking, “I can’t believe this is my life now,” mostly because I get to see so much of him, and he is the best person I know. Having an awesome best friend feels like winning the lottery; this irredeemably fantastic person regularly picks me to spend time with them.
For years we dreamed about doing comedy projects and storytelling together, and now that I am in New York, we are making it happen. Nothing is more satisfying than finding a creative partner who inspires you, and who better than your best friend? I mean, we’ve been telling these stories for years around tables to our friends, and now we get to tell them to audiences.
My life is awesome, and a lot of that is because of my best friend. He made me believe I was funny and had stories to tell by laughing loudly at me when I told them to him, back when I was an insecure 17-year-old who wasn’t quite sure what she was worth, yet. We’ve seen each other shine, and we’ve also been there for each other during some pretty dark times. We always will be.
Since the first time he drove me to school, forcing me to listen to his mix cds of 90s TV theme songs, I have known that I will never be alone. I mean, if we loved each other when we looked like this, we’ll love each other forever:
I can’t believe I just put that on the internet.
Best friendships are important because they allow for us to change. We don’t get to pick our family; we’re pretty much stuck with them for life, whether or not we feel connected to them at all. As we grow, it becomes harder for family to understand us. Romantic relationships, while maybe the most “rewarding” (sex, companionship, partnership, all awesome) are subject to the will of another person, and can change at any point, based on the changing desires of humans. Friendship, when it is real, lasts forever. A close friendship is like a person; it evolves, restructures, ebbs and flows as life changes around it.
I get a little freaked out when my friends call their significant others their “best friends.” Sure, part of that is probably jealousy and a looming sense of my own obsolescence in their lives…SURE, fine. It’s also because I feel strongly that, even if I do end up succumbing to marriage at some point (you can tell how psyched I am about that, because I write about it as if writing about terminal illness), I will always have strong, active friendships.
Here’s why Eliot is my best friend, forever: Directly after the above picture was taken at an apple orchard in upstate New York, a group of very “together” 30-something people walked by us. From the branches of the tree I was climbing, mouth full of apple and dirt all over my pants/hands/face/everything always I yelled “God, it’s like we are toddlers compared to them!” Eliot laughed and yelled up to me, “30 is the new 10!” This is not actually true, but it’s true for us. We’re the same kind of human. Our friendship is a rare anomaly, and I feel incredibly lucky to have found someone who understands me. Not only that, but I found him when I was 16 years old; I am lucky, and I don’t ever plan on forgetting that.
Now go call your best friend.
Jackie Mancini is the associate editor of GuySpeed and an unabashed lover of large breasts, porno, foul mouths and loud music. Her childhood diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder is most likely responsible for her current position as the only female employee of a men’s website. Her column ‘The [Fairer Se]X Files’ appears every Wednesday. You can read more of her work here, and you can also follow her on Twitter.