High school was a rough time for me. The girlfriends I had in junior high had for one reason or another become only acquaintances by high school. I had a girlfriend or two, but mostly I bided my time in high school waiting to get to college and start again.
By the end of my first year at Howard University, I had a group of girlfriends I loved and trusted. I still have them to this day. We’ve gone on raucous road trips, held each other’s hair when we’d had one too many, seen each other cry, and laughed for hours during nights of marathon conversation. We live in different parts of the country and don’t always talk as much as we used to, but when we do all the bonds are still there and I’ve come to rely on each of them in different ways. They each occupy a space (or two or three) in my life that I’ve come to find essential. What type of friend are you? And are you missing one of these types of friends in your life?
She thinks you can do anything, at anytime, anywhere. You can dance better than Beyoncé? Of course you can. You’re funnier than Amy Schumer? For sure! You can take over the world with your charm and intelligence and your hair, your eyebrows, your everything is always on fleek according to this friend. But it isn’t that she’s blowing smoke up your boyshorts, it’s that she genuinely believes in you. On your down days when you don’t think you can get that promotion or you’re sure that you’re never going to find love again, she’ll tell you without reservation that you’re amazing and that she’s proud of you.
The Challenger/The Calculator
You’ve talked to The Cheerleader already and she’s assured you that may indeed possess the power to cure the Zika virus, next stop: The Challenger. She gets out her five fingers and counts down the ways you cannot, will not, shall not fly to Brazil. She sometimes gets you down with her naysaying, but she’s also your best bet for a reality check and a game plan. She does believe in you (and by the way any girlfriend who doesn’t shouldn’t be your friend), but her practicality ensures that all the talk about how awesome you are might actually produce some results.
Not the emotional kind, no she’s the fun, amusement park kind. If you want to go get a tattoo and The Cheerleader has already said “You can do it! You can do it!” this is the girlfriend who will actually go with you and suggest stopping for cocktails afterwards. She is the best at an impromptu roadtrip and when you’ve gone over her house to watch the latest episode of Scandal, the cocktails will be fire and the story she tells you on the commercial breaks will have you open-mouthed, from both shock and laughter.
You can tell her anything, that new sex position, the time you stole that lipstick from CVS, and that you’ve been crying in the shower the last few days and don’t know why. She doesn’t judge and is a superb listener. Sometimes she will offer her careful and loving advice and sometimes she just asks the right question at the right time so you figure out the best solution for yourself. “You know, I think I am ready to start that business!”
Grab one of all of your girlfriends this summer for a road trip or just a summer night out at the park and give thanks for all they bring to your life!