The ones in your life you choose to be around. The ones who ‘get’ you utterly and completely. The ones who hold you up when you’re falling down (through tough times, too much booze or very likely both).
I have been reminded of the importance of friends this week. Not for any other reason than being grateful for having so many good influences in my life. And by good, I mean bad. Obviously. Because where’s the fun in being good?
Here are the 5 friends you make in life.
1. The Comfort Blanket Friend
The comfort blanket friend is just that. A friend you have had forever. Like an old rag or a well loved teddy, only your friend has hopefully weathered the years slightly better. They’ve known you since your early years. When you donned snow-wash jeans, batwing jumpers and dodgy crimped hair. Life has likely taken you in different directions, literally, so these days your friendship with comfort blanket friend is more Facebook than face to face but you remain friends nevertheless. Probably because they know about the snow-wash jeans and dodgy crimped hair. And have photographic evidence.
2. The Kindred Spirit Friend
This friend is someone you meet when you’re more sure of who you are. You bond through the parallels in your life. You have similar careers, taste in clothes and you have the same moral values. Or lack of them. You can trust Kindred Spirit Friend to always do the right thing, returning the DVDs you’ve lent them and paying their debts without being reminded. This friendship is respectful and conscious of overstepping the boundaries but occasionally does when the lines where you end and she starts become blurred. Because you’re kindred spirits. This friendship has the potential to develop into The Good All-Rounder. Unless one of you moves the goalposts.
3. The Other Kind of Spirit Friend
This hedonistic friendship is born through a different kind of spirit. Well spirits, plural, actually. Vodka. Gin. Bacardi. You name it. It can usually be found in your 20s, when you have time for frivolous friendships. You’ll declare your love for one another often before one of you passes out, followed shortly by the other. And whilst you’ll never have much more in common than your love of Shiraz and Pinot Noir, whilst this friendship probably won’t stand the test of time, you’ll have a hell of a time celebrating its demise.
4. The Life Stage Friend
This friendship repeats itself during life. Pretty much every time you navigate a new life stage. Following your sudden calling for spiritual enlightenment and meditation? Enter yoga guru friend. Had a baby? Say hello to ‘stranger’ you’ll share more intimacies with than you do your other half. If you’re thrown together with like-minded people these friendships can go the distance, but often they only last the duration of the stage itself. And because you’ll bond through your current common ground before anything else, you’ll never know if you’re actually befriending single white female. By which time it’s too late and you can do nothing but wait. Until you enter a new life stage. Until you move count(r)ies. Or until she kills you.
5. The Good All-Rounder Friend
This friendship is the creme de la creme of friendships and can come from any of the above, although if you make Other Kind of Spirit Friend your Good All-Rounder, your liver’s in serious trouble. The Good All-Rounder always has your back, loves you unconditionally and doesn’t give a hoot about friendship politics. Their versatility stretches from deep and meaningful conversations to idle banter, from crazy nights out to reserved nights in and from picking you up to needing a pick-me-up. This friendship is reciprocal in every way and is exceptional in its (low) maintenance. The Good All-Rounder is often compared to the BFF (Best Friend Forever) except it doesn’t need that exclusivity to feel secure. It always makes room for new friends, never feels envy and doesn’t judge or do guilt. If you have one of these in your life, you’re blessed. If you have more than one, well, you’re just plain greedy. Share them around, won’t you?
So, there you have it. The 5 friends you make in life.
Now, has anyone seen Other Kind of Spirit friend…?