1. That friend who will get very nervous when you say you are thinking about getting a little nose stud (at 36) and then will call you later on that day to tell you that she is sorry if she over-reacted and you are a grown woman who can do as you like. She also will get very concerned when you start talking about noticing how good-looking the young men there are in this college town, but will later call and tell you that she has figured it out. That women our age are hitting a certain peak and it is normal (however she will be all in your business if you go any further than noticing.) I love her "after-she's-been-thinking" phone calls.
2. That friend, who no matter how long you wait, will not tell you how good you look or smart you are or anything else like that because she knows that sometimes you need a good ol' dose of "get-over-thyself."
3. That friend who has known you most of your life. Has let you borrow underwear. That dated your boyfriend and is still around long after he isn't. Has stood at your wedding and you at hers. Has traveled with you and still likes to hang around you. Has maintained that friendship whether from states or countries away. Who will always be your biggest fan and you, hers.
4. That friend that will get up at 5:30am to go "run" with you (which actually turns out to be a brisk walk because if you run, you can't talk about your life, your husband, your kids, etc.) That totally gets the insanity of your house and is at ease in the chaos thereby making you more at ease with the chaos.
5. That friend that will happily give you the very clothes out of her closet (that make your daughter think you are a rock star). Who has lived with you and still enjoys hanging out with you. Who, besides just being infinitely cooler than you are, is just an amazing person. Who knows all sorts of confidentialities of your past life and will take them TO THE GRAVE. Who tried to make you believe that guy was really into you in college, when you know the truth is he was just after her the whole time.
6. That very thoughtful friend who reminds you to think of others first. Who brings you fresh veggies and thinks that they don't make a difference to the challenges you are facing, when really they do. And who is always thinking of new ways to be helpful. Always.
7. That young friend who makes you feel so much smarter than you know you are. Whose enthusiasm for life is just infectious. Who loves your kids and actually wants to hang out with you and your family and be a part of it. Who reminds you that the "next generation" sometimes gets an undeserved bad rap.
8. That friend that you never really seem to get to spend much time with, but always has the right thing to say at the right time. Who is there to just make the path a little brighter.
9. That slightly further-up-the-ladder friend who still paints her toenails blue/violet. Tells you to shut up so your husband can hear God talking. Constantly pushes you just a little further into looking at your true self than you really wanted to go. That has been there, done that and can't wait for you to see the view from her rung. And gives you books to read when she knows the only time you will be able to read them is on the toilet if you lock the door. (or I guess you could read instead of blogging.)
10. That friend who has raised her children and now laughs at your stories as you raise yours. Who injects wisdom and relief into your heart in the most gentle and effortless way. Who despite the years difference, is an absolute kindred spirit.
I hope you have these friends and more. I do. They are priceless.