MY FRIENDSHIP MANIFESTO
I believe in group text messages.
I believe in saying “best friend” and meaning it. In sitting in diners with a cold cup of hot tea for two hours.
I believe in answering the phone at two a.m. At four a.m. I believe in listening, no questions asked, to the voice on the other end of the line.
I believe in emergency meetups and gas money and thank you notes just because. I believe in virtual hugs and smiley face emoticons and email rants and Words With Friends games that go on just so you can stay close while far away.
I believe in sleepovers and Skype sessions and silly quizzes from beauty magazines. Inside jokes with origins long forgotten.
The feeling you get when you’ve missed this thing, this place, so bad that your heart aches when you return.
The split entrée. The designated driver. The one who agrees, reluctantly, to put the bumpers up at the bowling alley.
I believe in games from Target. Games in Target. Loud music and wet cheeks.
The feeling you get when someone knows what you need — even if you don’t.
I believe in reaching for the phone before it rings and more-than-obligatory congratulations and the communal sadness when It Doesn’t Work Out.
I believe in three a.m. meteor showers and spontaneous road trips to the beach and theoretical plots to egg houses in redemption.
I believe in writing their hearts onto these pages.
I believe there’s no designated time for friendship, no opportune moment for catastrophe.
If you are on the ground, hugging your knees, with no will to live, you call me for one reason. For ten thousand reasons. For a human voice on the other end of the line.
I believe in faith where there is none, in encouraging special talents, in nominating someone for what they deserve.
I believe in friendship that’s not half-baked but fresh out of the oven. Cookies saran wrapped and plated for the new neighbor.
I believe in giving generous servings of it, this little thing called friendship, hoping someone might return the favor.
Mostly, though, I believe in the kind that stays with you through all the awkward stages of growing up until you are ready — eager, even — to repay that favor.