Monday, 18 February 2013

Alright, not bad, good, better, best mate

I was mid-whisk, giving my kitchen, face and clothes a liberal coating of pancake batter when she ran over and broke the news.

"New York is happening!"
"NOOOOO"
"Well, hopefully."
"NOOOOOOOOOOO. NOOOOOOO. No you may not."

PiB is, of course, used to my protestations about her long term travel plans. Having warned her off Australia ("God no. You don't want to go there. The spiders are HUGE"), Singapore ("Forget it. You'd drop litter when you're drunk and get arrested") and Dubai ("Love, they're very strict about nudity"), this time she seems more determined than ever to move Stateside ("No! Freezing in the winter, boiling in the summer. No good for the work ethic.")

The problem, of course, is not that she wouldn't cope admirably faced with any of the above. No, no - the girl can turn up late to a flight and still get upgraded to First Class.

Really, it's all down to the fact that I'd have to cope without her. 

The "best mate" thing always seemed like a bit of a myth when I was growing up; a term placed upon any number of fleeting presences over the years. At one point, I'd have said I had a few - but, placed against the perilous landscape of my mid to late twenties - I now I realise they were merely "good", not best.

You know when you've got a best mate when, after a bit of pleading, they change their mind about accompanying you to a party - even though they're hungover to the point of dying and can think of nothing worse. "Oh, go on then. I'll come", they'll call you back and say, "But you better have some bacon for breakfast."

Best mates can count on each other to be plus ones to weddings, saving them from sitting next to an empty chair at a fully coupled table. "This is my lady-date!" she'll declare, and won't even blink when she later walks into the hotel room to find you lying in your underwear with a large bag of Pick 'n' Mix balanced on your stomach, absolutely hammered, laughing at the TV.

"What?!" you'll say, mouth full of jelly beans.
"Nothing. I'm going to have a bath" she'll reply.
"Well, don't lock the door in case you bloody fall asleep."

(A best mate knows that she always falls asleep.)

A best mate will pick you up off the floor whether it's alcohol, high heels or heartbreak that put you there. She'll take you to shops you can't afford, hand you a glass of champagne procured from a sales assistant, and then march you up to the make-up counter issuing instructions such as "she needs Dandelion. NOW."

In fact, she'll always drop everything (or at least bring him along) when the call comes. Even if that call comes on a second date across the other side of London, because "no, you're not OK".

You know you've got a best mate when you can predict the nature of their problem by the time of the phone call (9-11am = job / boy woes. 12-2pm = a catch up. 10pm-9am = drunk and teary).

What's more, a proper best mate knows the good blokes are few and far between, and the bad ones are to be prevented from causing more hurt, preferably by declaring "well, you can't sleep with the little bastard tonight, motherfucker. Because I'm going to pass out in your bed" (yes, she thanked me the next day).

"Look," I said later, picking pancake out of my hair last week, "It sounds amazing. And of course I'll support you wherever you go..."
"Aw, thanks."
"...But I will be doing my utmost in the meantime to make sure you don't."
"Oh. Thanks."

A best mate is always welcome.

5 comments:

D said...

Hear hear!

I'm getting perilously close to emigrating (for a few years at least) and the only thing giving me the slightest pause is that it means my best friend goes from "Someone I'm with almost every day" to "Someone I see a few times a year"

Moving jobs, moving house, moving country.. no problem. Moving away from that one person.. urgh.

Best friends are important.

Dominic said...

Huh.. my name got cropped short in that last comment :(

Laura Jane Williams said...

My bestie and I have lived in different countries for almost two years now, and I know you won't believe me and it's a shit thing for me to say- not unlike, for example, insisting that there are plenty more fish in the sea- but really and truly we are closer now than we've ever been. Even if that means that my Saturday night is sometimes eating dinner across a Skype call, simultaneously watching One Direction videos in silence, but together. From the outside it's ridiculous, but it works for us.

nuttycow said...

I'm with you Laura Jane - my best friends are all abroad too but I think we've become even closer because of it. In fact... *runs off to book skype date*

Ellie said...

Oh. You've made me miss my best mates. I have a couple but all are far away (my fault for moving). We cope. xx

 

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