1. The one who always pushes you to do more.
This girl is the equivalent of a shot of espresso in the morning, or seeing someone go 30 percent harder than you on the elliptical next to you. She is always pushing you to do more with yourself because she won’t settle for less, and knows that you shouldn’t, either. When she posts some Facebook status about landing her dream job, or shows up to brunch looking stylish and happy, not even a little bit of you thinks, “This bitch. Come on.” She makes you want to have it for yourself, and embodies the idea of surrounding yourself with the kind of people you want to be.
2. The one who is okay with just hanging out and talking.
When the two of you hang out, it’s like putting on a Snuggie and curling up in a giant armchair with a fresh bag of Crunchy Cheetos. It’s warm, familiar, and totally satisfying. You two always do the exact same thing — get together, open some wine, and have a five-hour conversation — but it’s always excellent. You can talk about anything, and there is never any judgment or bitterness, it’s just two girls exchanging ideas and giving advice (and actually listening to each other) once every couple of weeks.
3. The mom.
She does everything but kiss your boo-boos (and maybe sometimes she actually kisses your boo-boos). This is the girl whose purse is the Spice World bus, bigger on the inside than the outside, a bottomless pit of Altoids and tissues and tampons and ibuprofen and snacks. Her apartment feels like going to a parents’ house, but in the best way. Everything is put-together and warm, and you always feel like things are just going to be okay when you’re together. She has her shit together to such a degree that it seeps out of her pores and you catch a contact high off the dignity of it all.
4. The (amazing) hot mess.
The uninitiated would call her the “Samantha” of the group, but you know she’s so much more than that. She’s like your friend who is constantly pushing you to do better, except with alcohol and making out with cute guys in bars. She is the party girl whose zest for life is deeply infectious, and you know that any time you’re feeling down about life, you are one phone call with her away from going out to have the night of your life. Sure, sometimes she can get a little out of hand and maybe grab a hot cop’s ass, but it always works out. When you need a little hot mess in your life — and we all do — she is there to show you the life you could be leading.
5. The political crusader.
Yes, sometimes it can get exhausting, but you know that you need to be hearing it. She is up to date on all the important political controversies, is well-versed in every branch of feminism, and only takes two drinks to launch into a tirade about a piece of legislation that is FIFTEEN SECONDS FROM PASSING IN TEXAS. Hanging out with her is like a political science class you struggle to pay attention in, but always feel better for having attended.
6. The professional.
This is the girl you can connect on over all things work-related. She might be a coworker, she might just be in the same industry as you, but she gets it. You can complain about the nuances of your job and have someone who is actually engaged, and not just looking at you with that small-deer-in-pain look of “please stop talking about your job, it’s so boring.” Everyone needs a trusted girlfriend with whom to have productive, thoughtful, sometimes hateful conversations about work with. If you don’t, you will drive yourself insane.
7. The one who has known you forever.
Perhaps the most important friend of all, this girl has been around at least since you were getting food stuck in your blue-rubber-banded braces, and she loves you just the same. She has watched you transform into a full-blown adult, and you’ve seen the same with her, and it adds a layer of nuance to every experience the two of you have together. Sometimes she gives you that look when you’re trying to be particularly grown-up or fancy, and you just know she’s thinking, “Please, bitch, I’ve seen yourself drink so many cans of Surge that you threw up at a pool party.” It keeps you humble, and keeps you nostalgic. And honestly, isn’t that the best friend love we have?