Last week wasn't a great week for me. Usually pretty even-tempered(or so I like think!), I found myself over-thinking my ass off. My mind was racing, so I did what any self-respecting woman does in that situation. I picked up the phone to call a friend. But as I stared at my speed-dial choices on my cell, it got me thinking about how each friend plays a certain role in my life and when in crisis, I unconsciously weigh these attributes before deciding who to call first.
Since then, I've been putting a lot of thought into the types of friends we have and what makes them so special.
Disclaimer to my girlfriends: I feel I must put a disclaimer to my girls here so my cell doesn't light up like a Christmas tree the minute I post. They'll say, "Is that me?" or "WTF? I'm not like that!" The point here is that great friends possess many of these qualities. And making this list made me realize how lucky I am to have such diverse women in my life and that they always seem to know which "friend" I need when in crisis. And since I tend to be slightly emotionally unavailable at times, this is my way of celebrating how much they mean to me.
A GIRLFRIEND FOR ALL SEASONS
1. THE TOUGH TALKER
I'm listing this friend first because I think at the end of the day, this person has the most impact on your life. I have a theory that each of us have someone that can say things to us that no one else can. And the tricky part is knowing when your friend is ready to have her ass handed to her. Because if she's not ready, prepare yourself for major tears and drama.
I tend to be more of a "Candy Coater" (more on that later) but will admit I am a Tough Talker from time-to time. And I think my friends realize that if I'm tough talking them, things have gotten pretty bad! But seriously, a good tough talk can change your life.
2. THE CANDY COATER
This is the friend you call when you just want to feel better. In some situations, the truth can wait till next week! And yes, I tend to play this role often because I can't bear to see anyone feeling bad. Is that wrong?
I know that I never appreciated the Candy Coater more than after I had my son. I was exhausted and was carrying an extra 30lbs but each time Lisa saw me she said those magical words each post-prego wants to hear, "You look like you've lost weight!" and "You don't look tired at all!" God bless you Lisa! She was lying, I knew she was lying, but I didn't care. It made me feel better that she loved me enough to say it anyway.
3. THE 9-5ER
I've had quite a few of these over the years. She bursts onto the scene and soon you are talking to her 2-3 times a day. Your other friends might get a bit jealous until they realize that she's a 9-5er. That the only times you see her off-hours is a work-related happy hour or business trip. Because Friday at 5pm, you both go off to your respective lives, reconnecting again Monday at 9am. I've promoted some 9-5ers to night and weekend status, but it's rare. More often than not, once they leave the company we have a hard time finding common ground and slowly drift apart.
4. PROBLEM SOLVER aka ACTION TAKER
Whew! Don't call this girl when you just want to bitch. She is ready to create a five-point action plan to solve any problem you encounter. Calling to vent about your job? She's redoing your resume as you speak and assembling an impressive list of recruiters. Angry at your boyfriend? She's already got three blind dates set up. But, she means well and her task-oriented friendship can really come in handy sometimes.
5. THE BULLDOG
No one messes with you when this chick's around. I highly recommend having at least one Bulldog bridesmaid when you get married. She runs interference with all the people that might send you over the edge that day. She stands sentry at your door, protecting you from all the little things that don't matter and deals with your future in-laws. And if someones screws you over she's the first one to get up in their face. But don't get too close, she might bite!
6. THE GIRLFRIEND
Every once in a while I'll meet a girl who I just can't get enough of. It may sound lame, but I just love this girl. She's so cool. She wears MAC makeup? You find yourself at Nordstrom the next day trying to recreate her exact palette. She wears adorable sundresses? You're at Banana Republic trying to find the perfect wrap-around. You get so excited to have lunch with her, what pearls of wisdom is she going to reveal today? Admit it, you all have one of these!
7. MOM FRIEND
Every mom needs a Mom Friend who "gets" them. And not just any mom will do. This needs to be someone who won't judge you, someone you can tell all your deepest, darkest Mommy secrets. Like the fact that you let your kids watch five hours of TV in a row so you can finish "Twilight". Not that I did that. Just an example.
So there you have it...Next time you have a bad week and are staring at your speed-dial, just take a moment to be thankful for the all wonderful woman you have in your life!