How to Develop a Lasting Friendship
By Jessica Davis
When it comes to friendship, the only thing better than having friends is having outstanding friends who remain in your life for a long time. They make us laugh, they make us cry, they watch us do stupid things and make fun of us for it for the rest of our lives. Why wouldn’t you want a friend like that? Let’s get started.
Meeting your friend doesn’t have to start off on a good note. The trick here is to be forced to spend enough time with this person to find a reason to like them. So, when your mutual friends let her cut in front of you in the insanely long line to get into the homecoming dance, silently grit your teeth because they’re about to make you eat lunch with her every day for the next week. You’ll take every opportunity to point out to your friends all the annoying things that she does in the hopes that they’ll drop her, and you can get back to your usual routine. When your friends ultimately decide that they don’t like her any more, tell them to can it, you’ve realized that she appreciates your dirty humor more than they do. This pivoting point is crucial to your new friendship.
Find common ground. Does your new friend like to get drunk? Offer to share the bottle of vodka you keep in your backpack with her in the girl’s bathroom during passing period. Send her off with some Altoids and a lollipop that you stole from the grocery store. She might tell you that she enjoys shoplifting too – more common ground – this is a great start.
Create bonding moments. When she invites you to sleep over at her house, accept. Stay up late getting stoned, eating candy and watching Heath Ledger movies. In the morning, try not to be too mortified when her dad walks in holding your underwear because their dog was running around outside with it. Vulnerability will make you seem more accessible, and she may offer up an embarrassing story about her dog parading around with her own underwear in front of her older brother’s hot friends.
Test your friendship with jest. Take every opportunity to make fun of your friend for having twelve pictures of Steven Tyler hanging up in her room. Tell her that he’s old and ugly and his mouth is too big for his face. Laugh when she gets angry and defensive. Let her make fun of you for having six posters of Good Charlotte hanging in your room because their band isn’t as cool as Steven Tyler’s, even though they aren’t as old or ugly. Drop the Steven Tyler thing until the next time you’re in her room. Then make fun of her more.
Look for entertainment together. On the weekends when you don’t have anything else to do, let her give you a makeover. She’s probably better at doing hair and makeup than you are anyway. When she’s done, sneak out of her house with her and walk down Frat Row in search of a party. Drink the warm gin that she brought in her purse straight out of the bottle. Someday you might like gin. If there is a party going on at one of the frat houses, walk through the front door like you own the place. Someone might ask who you know, say that you know Mike. If there isn’t a Mike, say he’s friends with Chris. When it gets awkward, show more cleavage and ask for a beer.
Help her through emotional troubles. When your friend’s boyfriend cheats on her, drive her over to his house when no one is home to break in and steal his bong. If you think you can muster it up, offer to poop in the toilet tank. Before you go, don’t forget to drink all the beer in the fridge and leave the cans on the kitchen counter in hopes that the cheater gets in trouble for it. Promptly forget that you did any of this until your friend brings it up eight years later.
When you both move on to new towns and make new friends, continue to stay in touch, but only sporadically. Don’t get mad if she forgets your birthday, and she won’t get mad if you’re too broke to buy her a Christmas present. Video chat at least once a year and say things like, “I really want to come and visit you!” And then, when you finally do go visit her, you’ll fall right back into step like you were never apart. (Maybe refrain from stealing anything this time.)