Thought Catalog

5 Different Kinds Of Besties

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It’s no secret that girls are constantly talking about their best friend, implying that if this person didn’t exist the world would fall apart into a pile of smeared mascara and abandoned puppies. It’s less obvious, perhaps, that said bestie usually consists of at least five separate people who all hold the same, vague title. For those of you who are confused by this phenomenon, allow me to outline the different kinds of best friends that exist here in Lady Town (a new city I am building filled with Lisa Frank pencils and spreadable goat cheese).

1. The Life-Long

This is a girl’s obvious, serious, not-messing-around best friend — the person she met while wearing ketchup-covered overalls, and who now, some two-digit-number-of-years later, is much more like her sister than her buddy. She doesn’t need to talk to this person every day; that would be like checking in with your sibling every 24 hours, which would probably just elicit a lot of silence and maybe start a fight. She only gets drunk with this person occasionally; mostly they just sit on her parents’ couch around the holidays and watch bad TV. This person will be her maid of honor, a fact which she obviously knows because in Lady Town, this is like knowing where the post office is.

2. The Almost-Life-Long

This person came into a girl’s life post-ketchupy-overalls but pre-college-graduation. Though she hasn’t known this person as long as she’s known The Life-Long, The Almost has been just as (if not more) involved in every single detail of her semi-adult life. Points of conversation include whether or not it’s appropriate to date a guy who disrespects The Backstreet Boys, where that shirt ran off to after the Vomit Cry Ex-Boyfriend Party of 2010, and whether a certain red-ish bump is a deathly genital wart or simply an ingrown hair. This person may not be quite like a sibling, but she is soulmate material for sure.

3. The Specific-Context

This person was a girl’s best friend during that weird year her parents sent her to private school or during that terrible hostessing job she held for seven months before deciding her cokehead manager’s antics weren’t worth the extra cash. She and this person bonded within the strange bubble in which they met, and they now spend most of their conversations rehashing the funny things they used to do, like aggressively pregaming staff meetings or sincerely and vigorously stalking a particular male science teacher. They probably only talk and/or see each other a couple times a year, but this does absolutely no harm and serves to keep things interesting.

4. The Guy Best Friend

This person is vitally important to a girl’s sanity — he brings a uniquely male perspective to the discussion of her petty problems, and he will totally tell her when she’s acting like an over-analyzing girly witch-monster, a point which most of her other friends can’t quite get up the balls to voice. This person thinks the girl in question is totally dateable and deserving of the world, but he would rather drink a large helping of cat urine than see her topless. This is a super rare quality, so it is imperative that the girl treat it accordingly, as if it were a precious gem or a pile of frozen yogurt made of Ryan Gosling’s torso.

5. The Right-Now

This person is a girl’s best friend right here, right now. Their companionship is hopefully permanent but maybe fleeting; it’s too soon to tell and too vital to the present moment to worry over. This person makes life easy — she and the girl live in the same city and run in similar circles, allowing for ease of storytelling without having to provide too much background information. After all, friends living across the country can’t quite understand the hilarity that is 2nd Avenue Dreadlock Poop Man shouting “I like your new haircut!” The Right-Now totally gets it, though, and for that, she is perfect (in Lady Town, that is — we hold a very specific, unique set of standards, you know). TC mark

image – Ghost World
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  • http://gravatar.com/gondelman Josh Gondelman

    The Specific Context Best Friend is an under-discussed phenomenon. Kudos for bringing it to light!

    • Michelle

      I don’t have a specific-context best friend, I feel like I’m missing out. :(

    • jess

      totally agree–i have one of those and we rehash our old antics and recreate them no one will understand your relationship with the specific-context. and for the lady who doesnt have one, then you need to do something daring so you can HAVE specific context best friend. mine is from my gap year between high school and college!

  • David McClane

    #4: “The Friend Zoned Male”

    • maria

      “Friend zoned male” seems like too awkward a relationship to qualify as a best friend. We don’t need your drama in Lady Town.

    • Aelya

      The friend zone is a myth created by men suffering from a victim complex.

      • http://twitter.com/jesshett jesshett (@jesshett)

        Aelya, you are a genius. SPOT ON.

      • Dan

        Nope! It most certainly does! For evidence just look to how every person ever understands it and probably relates to it.

        No need to belittle men suffering from unrequited love.

      • Katerina

        Accurate.

    • Jen

      Either that or you’re the one who is friend zoned. I was over-the-moon for YEARS about my best guy friend, but he’s never felt the same. In the end it’s better though cos I’m his best gal friend and he is a commit-o-phobe who destroys relationships 3 months in.

  • http://gravatar.com/audidavison audidavison

    “This person thinks the girl in question is totally dateable and deserving of the world, but he would rather drink a large helping of cat urine than see her topless.”

    False. Boobs are great. If any guy friend says that he never wants to see you topless, he’s lying.

  • thatonetime

    Gay best friend? Maybe also #4

  • Pears

    If #4 is a straight male, 97% chance he wants to be in and around your private parts. It’s just science

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  • Sunset

    I’d have to disagree. I’ve had a guy bestfriend since high school and we both cannot stand the idea of being any more than bestfriends. :))

    • really

      that’s YOUR opinion ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarasuebeedoo Sara Suzanne

    We call #1 the ‘hetero-life mate’ in our ladytown (we stole it from jay and silent bob…)

  • http://givemeflight.wordpress.com Renee

    This is some oh-so-helpful clarification!

  • Jill

    Love this article. So this IS possible after all. LOL

  • http://justkipsweeming.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/663/ Besties | la petite

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  • http://nikkisramblings.wordpress.com Nikki

    Reblogged this on confessions of an escapist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hannakurian Hanna Roy

    Finally an article that makes sense to the question when people ask how many best friends you have!!!! :D

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