“I think I f*cked up”
“Oh my god”
I read the text messages and instantly I knew.
Disco club tickets.
A week earlier my friend and I shared a text exchange confirming that she would be tasked with purchasing the tickets for the next Disco Club to be held in August. Tickets were going on sale when I was to be in the middle of the Coral Sea where the internet would be patchy at best. Tickets are coveted, nothing could be left to chance.
Stakes were high.
For reasons unclear but nothing to do with them selling out so quickly, my friend did not get the tickets.
So without the need for further explanation, we were sans tickets.
Back from my no internet connection holiday, I saw her at Saturday morning sport.
I hugged her tightly and whilst internalising my own doubt, I told her that it was months away and that tickets would bound to become available as it got closer.
Disco club is not just about the music, dancing and the prosecco, it is a glorious and joyful celebration of friendship and the sisterhood dressed up in sequins and sneakers. My friend felt terrible about the tickets, and I did my best to make light of it and assure her that it was utterly fine. It did not matter. Because of course it shouldn’t. Because we are friends. No matter what. It reminded me of a friendship manifesto I wrote many years ago and it seemed fitting to give it a bit of a revamp. This isn’t just about my disco dancing, ticketless friend, but applies to many friendships, including maybe yours.
So here it is…
Your inability to remember to get the Disco Club tickets will not change how much I love you, it will simply mean that you will be relinquished from this task from here on in.
You will never get tired of me when I keep recommending books to you. You will politely accept the book I thrust into your hands exclaiming “you have to read this” even if you have zero intentions of doing so.
Similarly, you won’t roll your eyes and mutter ‘ffs’ when I suggest you listen to a podcast I’ve been listening to.
If you ring me and I can’t pick up it’s probably because I’m dealing with some work or family related thing. Both are legitimate reasons for not picking up.
It might also be because I’m on Instagram and don’t really feel like talking. To anyone. This doesn’t make me a shitty friend. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It just means I need to check out for a bit.
You might do the same, but this won’t matter because I know you will ring me back whenever. You might actually forget to ring me back and I’ll probably forget that I rang you in the first place. None of this will mean anything. We are still friends.
If I see a flurry of missed calls from you I will worry and so I will drop everything to ring you back.
We will sometimes communicate simply by sending each other links to recipes, Netflix recommendations, new yorker articles, parenting articles and unhelpful motivational quotes.
When it all gets too real and something awful happens, I will be there regardless of the time or the circumstances. I will show up.
You know I will never show up on your doorstep with lasagne though. I will however bring cake and hope. Always hope.
I will never let anyone say anything bad about you.
You will happily be my plus one when my husband buys me tickets to musicals he doesn’t want to go to.
You understand my irrational fears. When I ring you because my son has nose bleeds and so I go down the rabbit hole of everything bad that could be wrong, you reassure me but also don’t make me feel silly for overreacting. You understand my innate capacity to catastrophise.
If I am dealing with a staff/client/husband/child dilemma you will let me vent and you will take my side.
Even if you do something unwise, it’s because we all make mistakes, and I will still back you. This works both ways.
We will commit to regular kid play dates at the park even though we both hate the park. Our children will ride their bikes and we will drink tea.
If I tell you parenting is making me lose my mind you will tell me that ‘this too shall pass‘ but you will also pour the wine whilst dishing out this useless, (but true) advice.
You will remind me that the days are long, but the years are short, and you will keep pouring.
I will do the same for you.
We don’t have to talk every day, week or even every month and that is perfectly acceptable. But when we do it was like we were never apart.
If I send you a Christmas card but you don’t send me one that is entirely acceptable. My obsession with stationery knows no bounds.
Wherever we are, we will always find our way back to each other.
I might laugh at your parenting decisions, but never will I judge. Vice versa.
I will always talk you down from the ledge even if I have no clue what I’m doing either. I will then text you bucket loads to tell you everything is going to be okay.
I am far from the perfect friend. I often think I need to check in with friends more often than I do. I see some friends more than others, and this is probably because we are in the same seasons of life. True friendship exists regardless of the seasons we exist in, and it is effortless and without drama. Friendship is joyous and lovely and certainly never perfect. Friendship should withstand the challenges that life throws us. Not only should it withstand them but should be the reason why we get through the hard days. Friends you can be yourself with and who accept you to the core of your being.
Friends you can go dancing with.