Thank You For Being A Friend
Thank You For Being A Friend
I've known my best friend Dina since we were kids. We were practically inseparable in high school, despite repeated attempts by our parents and the school administration to break us up, (as well as a brief incident involving a restraining order.) After graduation we went our separate ways, but I always considered Dina my best friend. So when I moved back in with my mother a few months ago I thought we could pick up right where we left off.
Not so much. Dina didn't want to see me, but worse than that, I had to hear it from my mother. I refused to believe it. Why wouldn't she want to hang out with me? I'm really fun—some of the best times I ever had were with Dina, partying, cutting school, talking about boys, and doing a few other things I won't mention in case my daughter ever reads this.
I'd been nothing but an awesome best friend, the kind of friend who sends you gift certificates to an exclusive spa when you're going through a divorce and gift certificates to high-end stores for Christmas. Dina tried to avoid me, but I didn't become as successful as I am—or was—by giving up easily. So, as Dina attempted to drive off, I threw myself on the hood of her car and refused to move until we'd dealt with our issues. I mean, if that didn't show her how much I cared, I didn't know what would.
Turns out, Dina thought I'd changed. That I'd gone off and focused on my career and new friends and left her behind, which totally wasn't true! Maybe I sent gift cards instead of calling, and didn't visit much, but deep down I was the same Jennifer. Sure, I'd moved away, bought a beach house in Malibu, gotten a maid and a Mercedes, spent my time at exclusive clubs and fancy restaurants, but ...okay, yeah. I see it now. Maybe Dina had a point.
Well, it's not easy to maintain life long friendships, but things are getting better between us. Sometimes it feels like we're seventeen again—only instead of sneaking into bars, I'm working in one and can hook my girl up during happy hour. (Unless my sister-in-law catches me and makes her pay.)
And because things are finally going so well between us, I feel like I'm qualified to share some helpful tips, so that all friendships can be as great as Dina's and mine. Amy from Chicken Soup for the Soul told me the best way to make a change is by sharing what you've learned to inspire others. So here I go...
Jennifer's Tips For Maintaining A Successful Friendship
DO focus on what you have in common. There has to be something that brought you together in the first place. In Dina's and my case I'd say it's drinking, gossiping, drinking, talking about guys, and siting by the pool...drinking. Hey, we like what we like.
DON'T bail on real friends for superficial ones. Even if a night at a five star restaurant and the VIP box at a concert sound like more fun than bowling with your bestie, resist the urge. Ditching your BF is not cool, and if you try to double book, you might find yourself in a position where you're lying to everyone, running back and forth between the two groups, and that's hard to do in heels.
DO take trips down memory lane. Reliving your glory days can bring you closer together. Reminisce about the times you drove the vice principal's car into the swimming pool or had a little too much to drink and dove head first into the pins at a bowling alley. Good times.
DON'T date the same guy at the same time. Seems obvious, but it's happened to us once. Maybe twice. And let me tell you—that can get real awkward, real fast. Of course, if you didn't know and then do find out you're dating the same guy....
DO team up to find interesting ways to let him know you found out.
Bottom line, if you're lucky enough to find someone who's seen you at your best and your worst, who really knows you and wants to spend time with you anyway, don't let them get away. I mean that literally. Sit on the hood of their car if you have to so they can't get away. It worked for me.
Jennifer Falls, Wednesdays 10:30/9:30c on TV Land