I’ve sometimes been characterized as “the better friend,” as if there were performance rates on who out-friends the other. This often left me puzzled. What am I doing that’s “better,” and what is my friend not doing?
I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a better or lesser friend; there are just simply different types of friends.
I am the type to give my friends my all, regardless of what I get in return. But, as I’ve grown older, and perhaps a bit wiser, I've realized my type is not necessarily common, and it's not always embraced.
In terms of girl world, however, I believe that as a friend, these seven pledges should be valued, if not made:
1. I will not judge you for your selfies.
I will tell you you’re beautiful (and mean it), but when you ask me to partake in them, I will politely decline.
2. My closet is your closet, no questions asked.
You have free reign over all I own because you tend to look better in my clothes than I do, and I know I’ll get it back eventually.
3. I am the Blair to your Serena.
I will defend you when you need defending, and I will protect your name as if it were my own. I will be fiercely loyal, and my respect for you will never falter. Even when we fight, I’ll put our friendship before any argument because I know life’s a lot more interesting with you by my side.
4. I will forgive as quickly as I’ll forget.
I won’t hold grudges or past mistakes over your head to highlight how much better I am. Neither of us is perfect.
I’ll forgive you as soon as you say “sorry,” as I know you’d do the same for me. I’ll forget what happened; we'll clean the slate, and then we'll hug and prance off to the nearest Starbucks.
I’ll even buy your coffee because I'll feel bad you felt bad, and I’ll be grateful it’s easy for us to get over it.
5. I will consider you family.
You will call my parents by their first names, and you'll walk about my house like you grew up there, too.
I’ll invite you on family vacations because it’ll be natural never to go anywhere cool without you. My other siblings will accept your presence for what it is: a late addition who only brings more laughter to every dinner conversation.
6. I will never pick a boy over you, and I hope you won’t, either.
This is, perhaps, the biggest pledge I’ve made and the greatest obstacle I’ve faced among friends. What many people cannot grasp is the lifelong return in investing in a good friend.
The truth, as hard as it may be to handle, is that there are the disparities between me and him.
I will be here for you forever, and one day, he’ll stop calling. I’ll be aunt to your children, and he’ll be debating having any. I would give you my kidney, my bone marrow and my life. He’ll give your heart back to you in pieces, just like we both predicted.
7. There’s a line in love.
I will make all of these pledges and do my best to keep them. I will be the friend to you I would want to have for myself. But, in doing so, I have learned there is always a limit, a line I won’t cross even, if you do.
And if, at some point, my friendship is no longer valued for what it's worth, if time has stretched too far between us, I’ll carry my pledges with me, the forever we promised, and remember there was nothing more I could’ve done.
I’m not the “better” friend, but I’m the one you won’t forget.