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?
Me & Grit – This is me pre Colorado, and her pre Baby, and both of us pre Husbands.
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:
Best Friends are very special people in your life. They are the first people you think about when you make plans. They are the first people you go to when you need someone to talk to. You will phone them up just to talk about nothing, or the most important things in your life. When you’re sad they will try their hardest to cheer you up. They give the best hugs in the world! They are the shoulder to cry on, because you know that they truly care about you. In most cases they would take a bullet for you, because it would be too painful to watch you get hurt.2 Girl best friends: They do all the girly things together, and no one says anything.2 Boy best friends: They do all the boy stuff together, and no one says anything.1 Boy + 1 Girl best friends: They do boy and girl stuff, and people say lots of stuff.
Please note, that this has been mildly edited for grammar. Also, I left out the example because she wrote “will” instead of “we’ll” and I just could not abide by that.
I like my definition of a best friend better than Robin’s. Simply because there are moments when she’d rather be with her girlfriends means her husband isn’t her best friend and they are?
“Zeb isn’t my best friend. Depending on the movie I want to see, I’ll ditch him in a second for my girlfriends.”
Nope, that’s not what makes a best friend. That’s a friend, maybe a great friend, but that is not what separates them into the category to best friend, because again, you may do this for someone you just met. For example, The Boy knows everything about me. Everything. I’ve never sugar coated anything for him because I know I don’t have to. My friends, even the ones I would deem “best”? Not so much. I have a few very important details that generally get left out of conversation.
So, The Boy is my best friend. I think this is funny. Robin also says,
“But when things gets real, I don’t care if anyone is standing with me but him. He’s my partner, my equal and without a doubt, my better half. Zeb is the peanut butter to my jelly, the yin to my yang, the spiritual Xanax to my eight-ball of coke.”
Which makes me think her husband is her best friend, she just defines the word incorrectly.
Now, we’ve finally come full circle to the point that struck me enough to write this post. For the sake of fairness, I am going to post the entire quote:
“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.I’d rather say:I really appreciate you driving me to therapy every week. Thanks for not leaving me when I act like a lunatic.Thanks for acting like you thought I was sexy for the last 16 years even though I’ve gained and lost hundreds of pounds and my stretch marks look like a topographical map of the Rocky Mountains.”
First off, all of the things she’d rather say, are 112% accurate. I agree with her. Those are some of the reasons I love The Boy too. However, it pisses me off that she implies that just because marriage is difficult that it’s not the best part of your life. That’s ridiculous. Childbirth is painful, but does that mean that the day you gave birth to your child was not absolutely the greatest day ever?
Marriage is the most difficult thing I’ve done to date, and that includes Dr. Paul’s writing courses. But, every one of the years I’ve spent with The Boy (yes, even the one where he was in Iraq) are irreplaceable. I wouldn’t trade any part of any of those years to relive another part of my life. I used to think my first year of college was the best year of my life, and it was a great one, but it in no way compares to the years I have been with The Boy, much less the years I have been married to him. Difficult or not, they’re the best, and don’t you dare diminish that. The Boy and I put a lot of very hard work into making these years the best ever, and them being difficult does not in any way dull that.
So, there you have it, The Boy is absolutely my best friend. I love him enough to want to strangle him when he gets annoying, but then fall back into laughing with him almost immediately. He has given me the most difficult years of my life, but by getting through those difficulties, I have also earned the best years of my life. I’m not ashamed of either of those things, and I hope that everyone in a committed relationship can say the same, because being married to The Boy, my best friend, is amazing.