1. Hang Out Together Way Too Much
Watch an entire TV series together. And not simple things like The Big Bang Theory or Cheers. Find one that really gets to the core of being a person, one that has hundreds of characters and unfolds like Shakespeare went to AFI. Find a TV show which grinds against your optimism until the both of you are so enthralled it’s all you can wait to do. The Sopranos? That’ll do. Don’t even bother making viewing appointments. Just assume it’s what you’re doing that night. Soon enough this turns into meeting each other after work, late night snack runs, random road trips through the Farmville that is your state. Who are you going to go to that concert with? Who do you bring to that party you know you’ll hate? Who’s going to help you find a good falafel? These questions are now irrelevant to you. Meet your best friend.
2. Keep A Mental List of Grievances
The way they complain about never doing anything exciting then continue to do nothing exciting. The way they call themselves the “dreamer” and you the “realist”. The way they accuse you of crushing their dreams. The way they laugh when you express a political view, eat red meat, or refuse to watch Breaking Bad. That stupid tattoo they got on a study abroad trip which they’ll totally regret in a year. The way they are always at your place and never at their place. The time you bought a 12-pack of Mike’s Hard and decided they were welcome to take it home. Their useless degree. Their pointless fashion sense. Their inability to laugh at themselves yet mock any slight mistake you make. Their hatred of Queen, Sublime, Low Cut Connie, or anyone else you consider a faultless work of genius. The distance between the last time they said “thank you” and the first time they said “I hate you.” Their reliance on marijuana to have a good time. Their refusal to visit that new bar. The time they blamed you for never seeing Drive even though they never invited you when they went. The way they point out every day you don’t shave. The way they call you a hipster even though they’re the one with antique cameras, a different scarf for every season, and an F. Scott Fitzgerald tattoo. God, I hate that tattoo.
3. Let The Fighting Begin
“All you want to do is sit here and watch this stupid show! These people have nothing to do with your life! And what, you want to write about this kind of shit? Please. No one will ever read your ramblings about Christopher Moltisanti.”
“I suppose I could smoke pot and read screenplay tutorials all day, right? You think you’re future is so much more validating than mine and you don’t even know what it looks like! You survive off of scholarship leftovers and your father. I bought my own car. I moved off campus on my damn own. I didn’t need a rich uncle who owns a car auction to give me a brand new Sonata. I’m perfectly comfortable with my choices; you’re the one who’s miserable.”
“Only because you make me miserable! We never do a damn thing because you’re too scared! You want only the joy you find in your own head!”
“Bullshit! Who went to that protest and ending up meeting people? Who brought that band over here and actually had a jam session with them? All you do is get jealous because your poisonous mood is easing its grip against my life!”
“I don’t give a shit about your smellie hippie friends!”
“Right, because you have your own smellie hippie friends.”
“I told you! They do bathe, they just don’t believe in deodorant! It really can give you cancer, y’know. And at least they appreciate who I am.”
“They appreciate how much weed you buy from them. Relax that ego, sweetheart.”
“Sounds good. Now get out.”
4. Mix The Fighting And The Joy
Maybe we should go see a movie? No, then we’ll just fight about what we should see. Like when she got pissed in the parking lot of a Imagine Dragons concert. I payed for the tickets to make amends, dammit. Why’s she so pissed? Because I don’t appreciate every intricacy of her sick mind? She’s the one who left me at that Wawa. Sure, it was six months ago, but do you have any idea how embarrassing that is? Bumming cigarettes from the deli clerk as you contemplate how you’ll get home? Maybe I could call Peggy. She’s nice, appreciates me, and is immensely easy to be around. Who needs her, anyway?
5. The Blackout
FOUR MISSED CALLS FROM: Marla
MESSAGEs FROM: Marla
Pick up? R u busy?
You want to see that Oz movie?
FIVE MISSED CALLS FROM: Marla
MESSAGES FROM: Marla
Don’t be an asshole. R u okay?
When are you going to get over this?
I’m going back next month. Want to hang out before then?
I still disagree with you about the last episode.
EIGHTEEN MISSED CALLS FROM: Marla
VOICEMAIL FROM: Marla
“Fuck you, okay?! Do you know how degrading this? To just pretend I don’t exist?! This just shows how sick you are. And Alan agrees with me. He thinks you’re being immature. I could totally ruin your life. You know that, right? Call me if you want. Either way, fuck you.”
ONE MISSED CALL FROM: Marla
VOICEMAIL FROM: Marla
“It’s been, like, four months. Are you there? We can just talk about politics or movies and stuff. That’s what we should be, anyway. Just two intelligent people talking. I’m sorry, but do I really deserve this? You’re being an asshole. Didn’t Alan talk to you? Just pick up. I promise this time it will be different. I promise.”