1. Firstly and most importantly, are you going to post ugly pictures of me on Instagram and then pretend like you think said pictures are funny in a flattering way? If you won’t be able to resist, tell me now so we can make this a casual fake friendship. I’d like to know in advance to not invite you out when there’s a possibility I might drunkenly and messily eat a hot dog while sitting on the dirty ground.
2. Are you a musician, photographer, writer, or someone who publicly exercises any other form of creative expression? If so, are you any good? If not, do you mind if I lie and tell you I absolutely love whatever it is you’re “creating”?
3. Are you a different person depending on who you’re hanging out with? Will I be forced to watch basketball with your sporty friends? Or worse, will you force me to eat some raw/live culture food when we meet your hippie friends for lunch? And if that’s the plan, will you be dramatic about it if I opt to just get a burrito and catch up with you later?
4. On that note, who is your best friend? Will we be competing for your attention? Please know I’m in it to win it.
5. How cool will you be if I poop in front of you? This won’t happen often but sometimes we’ll be at a bar or a party with only one toilet and I’l be in an anxious mood. If I’m in this kind of mood, I need you to pretend like we’re doing coke in the bathroom so I can think no one thinks I’m gross.
6. Can we have inside jokes, but not so many that our conversations will start to feel false and scripted?
7. Will you occasionally order food for me when we go out? Sometimes easy decision-making is exhausting for me, especially if it’s a Friday and I’ve spent my entire work week telling other people what to do. I need to trust that you won’t fuck me over and order something with mushrooms in it.
8. Do you have better taste in music than me? The answer to this is probably yes, because I still listen to Rilo Kiley as earnestly as I did when I was 17. So I guess the better question is, when you find this out, will you not judge me harshly for it?
9. If we discover we like the same physical activities, will you join my gym? Because I would hate that. We can go on a bike ride or swim laps on some weekends, but beyond that, I need my space.
10. How close are you with your family? I feel like the kind of intimacy you share with your family, particularly your siblings, is the best way to gauge how good of a person you are. Oh, for the record, my siblings don’t talk to me.
11. Can I be friends with your significant other? I would never call them to hang out without you or anything lame like that, but if we happen to be trapped in an elevator together, I’d like to not feel compelled to kill myself.
12. Will you read my things that I publish on the internet and laugh and cry at all the right spots?
13. How will you handle it when I start calling you obsessively? I get super excited when I meet someone I could potentially become close with; I won’t be able to fight the urge to see as much of you as humanly possibly. Will you be flattered by this (you should be), or will you make it weird? Also, know that I may show up on your front doorstep uninvited, but I will bring cookies!
14. Just how far can I take my shit-talking with you before it makes you nervous?
15. Are you comfortable sitting in complete silence together for long stretches of time?
16. Will you be available to give me immediate feedback when I text you title ideas for my unsold, unwritten memoir at 3 in the morning?
17. Can we buy each other beers and not keep track of who owes who more money? If we’re friends long enough, everything will probably even itself out. And if it doesn’t, no one will die so it’s fine.
18. Can you tell me really funny jokes, and then not make fun of my super loud, bellowing laugh? I know it’s startling and embarrassing, especially when we’re out in public, okay? I can’t help it.
19. When I rattle off my lists of reasons as to why I think Matthew McConaughey is an underrated actor, will you actually listen to me? It’s not good enough that you just don’t mock me. I need you to make a genuine effort to understand.
20. If I don’t feel like going into great detail with you about my sex life with my boyfriend, will you make a conscious effort to not make me feel like a boring loser? I’m rarely interested in having a Sex and the City moment with any of my friends, and I’m tired of feeling bad about that.
21. Are you comfortable telling me when I’m being ridiculous, selfish, or otherwise annoying? Because I try my best, but sometimes I will need you to tell me to get over myself so we can skip away, hand-in-hand and resentment-free, into the sunset.
22. What is our friendship’s Facebook presence going to look like? I need to know if you plan to tag me in posts that reveal our plans to get stoned and eat a stale bag of Halloween candy from Walgreens while we watch myFelicity DVDs on mute.
23. Will you become friends with my friends? Because I think I’d like that, so long as you guys don’t hang out without me.
24. Will one or more of my friends fall in love with you? Because I think I’d like that too – it shows I have good taste in people.
25. On days when I am attempting to work on a piece of difficult writing, crying and ravaged by insecurities and self-doubt, will you be able to lovingly say, “Oh shut up, Becky. You are being stupid” in a way that makes me feel better about everything? I’m sorry if admitting my neediness up front is off-putting, but I can’t help myself. I’m excited to maybe be your friend.