‘My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake’ – Aristotle
27th May is National Grape Ice Lolly Day. Did you know that? I’m not entirely sure I would even know where to purchase a grape ice lolly let alone put aside a whole day to celebrate it’s existence. It sound amazing though, grape Kool-Aid and grape Jolly Ranchers were always my favourite.
Anyway my point is there’s a ‘day’ for everything these days and thanks to National Day Calendar I will now never ever again miss national Heimlich Maneuver day (1st June in case you were wondering). One that I was alerted to on the calanedar though was today, 8th June and National Best Friends Day.
The term ‘best friend’ is a funny one, I’ve had lots of best friends in my life, I’m an army brat, I never stayed in one place for more that 3 years and at one point i’m pretty sure my best friend was my big brother. How tragic. The position of ‘best friend’ was very much a revolving door in my childhood and It’s taken me until I was in 30’s to realise who my best friends really are:
I met Ang when we were 16 and both hated out A Level Geography class. She made me laugh when working on a project about CDP and as I was talking about Bombay (as it was then – that’s how old we are) she started singing ‘Hooray for Bollywood’ and I thought she was just SO funny! We pretty much bonded over our hatred of high school and the people within it and the fact neither of us felt the need to go to University. We’ve been besties ever since. She’s the only friend I’ve ever been on holiday with, she’s the second person (after my parents) i texted when I got engaged and she held my hair and rubbed my back when I vomited up pancakes a in a plane ride over the Grand Canyon.
J9 is my oldest best friend (in that I’ve known her the longest). When I moved to the North East from Belgium and was treated pretty much like a museum exhibit, Janine was the only person who actually showed any interest in being my friend rather than firing a million questions at me about why i spoke English when I came from Belgium. Our first conversation went a bit like this:
Janine: Do you like horses?
Me: I love them!
Janine: I have 3! Let’s be friends!
And since then we have bonded over our mutual love of Michael Jackson, fancy dress, dancing and more recently hot tubs and Prosecco!
Remember when you were 12 and you had that penpal in Devon that you found on the kids teletext pages?t That’s kind of how me and Meg met other than we were 14 not 12, it was a Backstreet Boys chat room rather than teletext. We were lucky that despite her living in America our allocated 1 hour a day dial up Internet usage (this was the 90’s after all) always seemed to synch up and we struck up a great friendship. We met for the first time when she was studying in Oxford (because she’s a smartypants) and I got the train to London for the day to meet her. That trip was so important, not only did I find out she wasn’t a crazy Internet child molester but it was the day we became proper best friends and we’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the UK and USA to see each other.
It’s funny how you pick up people along the way in life. Patricia and I met in our early 20s when she was a newly qualified radiographer and we worked in the same department at a hospital in Newcastle. I was watching my first ever Angiogram and she leaned over and pointed out you could see the patient’s fillings on the x-ray. Then i got scolded by one of the nurses for laughing. I knew then we were going to get along. We very quickly became drinking buddies and soon after that holiday buddies when we took an amazing trip to New York together. She’s the best person to go to for advice, she kicks my bum when I need it (which is a lot) but always does it in a way that makes me laugh. She’s also the first of my friends to have a baby so seeing her in a new role as a mum has been a pleasure, because no matter how much changes or busy our lives get we still always manage to find time for a glass of wine or 5!
Although Steph and I were in the same year at school together we weren’t friends. We weren’t not friends but we just didn’t really have much to do with each other (she was much prettier and cooler than me for a start!). So it was kind of weird that we found ourselves working in the same office at our local Hospital in 2008. I was nervous when I found out wed be working together, I was pretty much bottom of the social totem pole at school and now I was working I’d moved on and didn’t want any reminders of Cramlington High School. Thankfully we worked in what was official the busiest office in the world* which gave us lots of time to catch up and we quickly became very close. I still like to say I’ve known Steph since school because factually it’s correct and I also can’t remember or imagine a life where we’re not friends. I love how every single one of our shopping trips ends up in the pub and every single time we pretend to ourselves how shocked we are that’s happened. Our respective better halves have also become very good friends, so if the theory that you are the company you keep is true, that’s further confirmation that Steph’s a keeper.
Also honourable mentions have to go to Carrie, Cheryl, Emma and John who make going to work fun
*This is a lie
I think it’s weird when you’re young and at school you think you’ll be inseparable from your then best friend and spend your lives together. It’s usually not the case. I have a few different people I would class as my best friends and they are all people I have met at different points in my life. It’s interesting how friendships change xx