So, it’s National Best Friend Day today and I can’t help but think of how lucky I am to have my best friend in my life. Really, the reasons I’m going to list are the reasons why anyone should feel lucky to have their best friend(s) in their lives, among so many other things; they’re the foundation that keep our sometimes shaky lives well-grounded. These are give-and-take relationships that you wouldn’t change for the world. Some years back, my best friend Marta (pictured above) sent me a Buzzfeed article about your best friend being “Your Person”, a Grey’s Anatomy reference that I didn’t get (I’ve never watched the show), but have come to love, after reading the post. Since then, I’ve always called her my “Person” — my best friend soulmate.
And so, without further ado, how to know that friend of yours is YOUR person, your best friend:
1. They know what you’re feeling/thinking even if you won’t acknowledge it yourself.
The amount of times my best friend has called me out on things I wasn’t consciously aware that I was feeling or thinking about is actually astounding. She can sense my mood shifts before I can, and can discern every little insecurity or worry as if they were her own. Though I have a terrible habit of denying some things to myself, I always have to come to terms with it and admit it when Marta is around (which has never been a bad thing and ultimately, has always been in my best interest).
2. They’re the person you turn to when you don’t know where else to go.
It often seems that they can cope with your feelings better than you can. In all honesty, there is no one else that I feel more comfortable sobbing my eyes out in front of, probably because it’s not exactly a rare occurrence over the near decade my best friend and I have known each other. And 90% of those times, I’m actually sober. When all hope seems lost, I know that I can go to her at any time and she’ll be there for me, no matter what.
Like that time I called her at nearly midnight because I accidentally drove my mom’s car into a pole and bashed up the whole front right end and literally did not understand why my mom was so upset with me (yes, in hindsight, it makes sense — I probably should have waited for the foggy windshield to clear).
Or the (many) times I felt heartbroken and needed someone to talk to. Including the night my first boyfriend broke up with me, when the only place I wanted to go to was my best friend’s house to cry. That night, I knew that she was the only person who would have made me feel better, and she did.
3. They can always make you happy.
Even at my saddest times, she has always been able to get even a crack of a smile out of me. Of course, this not only applies to cases like those in point #2, but in all situations.
I really do not think there has ever been a point in our friendship where we’ve been together and one has not made the other smile. Whether it be clever puns (there have been times where I’ve literally crumpled to the floor in tears from laughing so hard), silly jabs at each other, or the simple question: “Want some baked brie and goat cheese?” She is constantly putting a smile on my face.
Someone who is your best friend should make you genuinely happy to be in their company, regardless of the situation. Even when our times together have been tinged by something negative going on in one or both of our lives, I have never experienced a time when I’m physically in her presence and do not feel happier.
See below for a gif representation of our reaction when the other asks if they want cheese and baguettes:
4. They’re your favourite drinking buddy.
I will always credit my love of gin and tonic to Marta. I remember the first time I tried it like it was yesterday. We were at Mr. Greenjeans in the Eaton Centre in October of 2013 (nearly a year before it closed down, after being in that location for 34 years), when the waitress told us there was a lunch special on gin cocktails. I stuck to Vodka-7, my go-to drink prior to that afternoon, but Marta ordered a gin and tonic. After tasting hers, there was no going back.
We’ve since had classier nights as well, not just day drinking hard liquor and opting instead to enjoy a glass of wine while watching Big Bang Theory or making soap. Still though, some of my favourite (and worst) moments in our friendship happened with some form of alcohol in hand. Kind of like a wide spectrum of emotions gin and wine have bestowed on us both.
5. Deep, philosophical conversations are second nature.
Some of my absolute favourite memories with Marta are the ones where we sat up until 6:00am talking about God and astronomy and quantum physics. About our futures and the meaning of life. We learned a lot about each other, as we were constantly teaching each other and learning from the conversations. One moment that stands out for some reason is when we were reading a book on Einstein’s various theories (which she had picked up from the library she was working at, at the time) and she was explaining to me this concept involving the interaction of movement/time/spacial location on a train that is moving forward on the tracks.
Really, it’s those little things that stand out in such a strong friendship.
6. You can admit your irrational thoughts to them.
There are so many stupid things that have come out of my mouth in front of Marta, and I have not once ever regretted it. In hindsight, I realize that a lot of my stupid comments have been in relation to guys, which is undoubtedly trying for someone as level-headed as my best friend. From my declaration (after a cousin of mine ruined all chances I ever had with dating this guy I had liked at the time), way back in the tenth grade: “I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF MEN — I’M GOING TO JOIN A CONVENT AND BECOME A NUN” (which sadly, I was 100% serious about). To trying in vain to convince her time and time again in high school that I was “legit in love. But for real this time”. To telling her after my first break up that I would never date anyone again.
Each and every time she has told me to get a grip, and each and every time she’s proved my self-detrimental attitude wrong. There are also times though, when I’ve said things that I felt were irrational, and she’s validated my feelings, making me feel better about them (e.g., when I felt several of my friends were toxic, and she helped me navigate my way through that while still remaining the bigger person. Which, God knows, I can get kind of petty sometimes).
Mandatory gif of Sheldon Cooper, whose character I am convinced is largely based off of Marta herself:
7. You feel comfortable being 100% yourself (and they can’t judge you, because they’re just the same).
In all honesty, I’d go into detail here about the ridiculous things we’ve said and done because of this immense level of mutual comfort, but I am going to save us both the public embarrassment.
However, I will say that there is no one I would rather judge and be judged by for a complete disregard of societal norms.
8. It’s perfectly fine to spend a night in, just watching movies, cooking, and chatting.
As I think I’ve made pretty clear, some of the best memories I have with Marta are the ones where we’re just chilling out and doing nothing particularly exciting. Over the years, I can’t count how many times we’ve hung out at home cooking up some concoction from Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, watching Julie Child cooking videos or Julie & Julia, or talking about food. We also do things other than worship the culinary goddess that is Julia Child, I swear. I just can’t think of any right now. 😉
9. Their family is like your second family.
I call her parents mom #2 and dad #2 (well, they’re Polish, so “mama #2” and “tata #2). Her brother is also like my brother. My dog, who hardly tolerates anyone outside of my family, will let Marta pet and love her… does this not mean that she is basically part of the family?
When you’ve been so close with someone for such a long period of time, they truly do become a second family to you. It’s amazing (and kind of hilarious, actually) how I can tell Mama #2 about anything that’s going on in my life and she’ll give her “Daughter #2” the same advice — sugar-coating free — that she’d give her biological daughter.
10. You would be absolutely lost without them.
Needless to say, I can’t imagine my life without my best friend in it. Even through disagreements or long periods of time apart, I have still felt that my life as a whole is a million times better because she’s in it. There is no one I would have preferred to guide me through the last near-decade of my life.
So, thank you to you Marta for being my best friend for nearly nine years and counting.
I couldn’t have asked for a better friend to get me through close to a decade of my life. Happy Best Friends Day to My Person. ♥
P.S. One more picture from prom, that time in May 2012 when Marta and I were basically each other’s dates (because who else was loyally there for each other over those years as much as we were?)