So, I read this article:
And I read it because of the title; it drew me in. Nice job, Robin, good writing. I don’t usually do this; I’m not the kind of person to post things I disagree with online because I think that’s kind of silly, and I do not want to be one of those horrible people who just spreads nastiness in the world. But, this one got me thinking and inspired me to chime in on the dialogue. Which, I think as a writer, is a compliment, even if I don’t agree with the topic or arguments made in the piece.
Upon first reading the piece, I found it interesting and thought provoking, and generally thought she made some good points. In my experience, they didn’t fit, but that was just my personal experience, so I was just gonna chalk it up to a funny piece about love and marriage. But, then, I saw this part:
“I’m also going to need all of you people who say, “Thanks for the best 15 years of my life!” to stand in a separate corner and await your own punishment, because marriage isn’t easy, and it most certainly isn’t all happy.”
That part actually kinda ticked me off and is what inspired me to sit down for a few minutes and write another perspective.
First, let me point out some very important differences. First, Robin O’Bryant met her husband at 19 in 1997 at a Church event, so they have been together for quite a long time. The Boy and I, however, only met in October of 2006 and married in October of 2011, so we are very much in the honeymoon stage of our relationship, and that may be tinting my view here. Additionally, they have children together, and we have dogs. So, needless to say, their lives are quite different from the one The Boy and I share. Also, her husband has spiky hair. However, there are some very strong similarities in our personalities. This almost exactly sums up The Boy and I:
“Zeb is my polar opposite. He’s an extrovert; I’m an introvert. He loves nature and the outdoors; I’ve wondered if I could get a PhD in Netflix. He’s calm, steady and always in a good mood. I’m creative, a roller-coaster of emotions and quite frankly — prone to hysterics.”
The general point of the article is that she is married to a man who balances her, but is looking for a girlfriend to be more in line with her nature. This is exampled here:
“I want best friend who will tell me I need one more pair of shoes and a man who will remind me to save for my retirement account.”
“I want to call my best friend when I feel I’ve been wronged and hear her say, ‘What a b*tch! I can’t believe she said that to you!’ I want to be married to a man who says, ‘Who gives a sh*t what she thinks?'”
I think I just disagree on the foundation of what a best friend is. For example, the above scenarios don’t really require a best friend. I mean, really, they don’t even require a friend. Someone you just met in the shoe department can do both of those things for you. And, if you’re from the South, they probably have done that for you. Seriously, southerners are all up in your business whether you asked for it or not. Honestly, I think what she means is that her husband isn’t her girl friend. Which is a relief. If he were, someone, if not both of them, in that marriage is confused.
To me, a best friend is there for you no matter what, is close to you for a long time, knows more about you than damn near anyone else on the planet and despite that thinks you’re pretty groovy, and, above all your friends, is the person you’d most prefer to be around. I have that friend. She’s recently had a baby and I moved across the country, but she’s still the person I call bestie. Does that mean The Boy isn’t my bestie?
The Boy is definitely my best friend as defined above. I love a girl’s night, I love that Grit loves shoes and sunglasses as much as I do, I love that we get pedicures together, and I love, that despite the image I try to put out there, she sees straight through it. But, in all honesty, I have a lot of really great friends, including my mom, Rocky, and Beffie, who do those things for me. They make me laugh, they get where I’m coming from as a woman, and they share a lot of my passions and quirks. But, The Boy is my best friend.
He may not love shoes and sunglasses, but he laughs at me when I buy them and only occasionally says, “But you already have so many pairs.” He may not get a pedicure with me, but he’ll send me out for one, or sit in the chair next to me and make fun of people with me. I can’t even pretend with him, he sometimes sees what I’m feeling before I do, and will make me laugh or distract me before I go completely insane.
She also says that she has never been passionately angry at her best friend:
“I have never been so angry at my best friend that I fantasized about throwing a lamp or other miscellaneous piece of furniture at her head.”
What?!? Do you not care about your best friend? Seriously, I have been this mad at the above mentioned friends at least once in our relationship. Not because that lessens their value as a friend, but because they mean that much to me. I adore them, and therefore they sometimes drive me crazy. It’s the people I don’t care about that I just walk away from once they piss me off. It’s the best friends I end up laughing with at the end of the day because we worked it out, or I just got over it. Seriously, if you don’t feel this way about your best friend, maybe the problem is that you don’t love your best friend. I truly hope that there are things about me that irritate my friends to no end because that means that they care about me enough to get past them.
I tried to define the term “best friends” to make my point, but none of the real dictionaries had an actual definition. However, Urban Dictionary to the rescue. So, here is the unreliable version of the definition most likely written by a girl in middle schol, but I think it neatly sums up my point: