How To Maintain A Best Friendship For 20 Years

by carolyn on October 20, 2014

Look back at your life and think about what you have accomplished. Maybe you went to college (“your mom goes to college”) or got married (maybe more than once, you overachiever). Maybe you’ve climbed like the tallest mountain ever or have seen Wicked 4 times in 3 different cities including London). If that last one was you (or me), Bravo! Maybe you’ve just gotten out of bed almost everyday for 11,220 times or so and did some awesome stuff along the way. One of my greatest accomplishments is the shared achievement of maintaining a BFFship for 20 years! You may be sheepishly racking your brain trying to figure out the last time you actually spoke to a childhood or college BFFL. Or maybe you’re celebrating 30+ years of marriage to your BFF and have totally got me beat. If that is you, comment below with tips of how friendship plays an important role in your marriage. Or tell me how you met. I love Love Stories! Better yet, set me up with your most eligible bachelor friend–you can be a part of my love story! But I digress… Here are 20 ways to maintain a long-term friendship. Make sure to share this with your BFF so that you are literally on the same page.

  1. One of you needs to be the photographer in the friendship.
  2. One of you needs to remind the other to put the camera down sometimes because despite what one may think, there is a limit to the number of #selfies one should take in one night. I don’t have the exact figure but it’s something like the (# of people-selfie taker) x (# of alcoholic beverages involved)/hours of event+1 selfie per person per hour of time spent on hair and makeup.
  3. One of you should have great makeup and hairstyling skills. In an ideal BFFship, both friends would have this quality. It’s no mistake that all of my BFFs have great skills.
  4. Realize that one day your BFF might leave you and move to another city. This will be heartbreaking but does not have to be the end of your friendship. It may even strengthen it. I still have a torn piece of a cardboard box where my BFF wrote a message when I moved from Atlanta to Savannah in 7th grade.
  5. Keep a memory box. Pretend it’s a relationship–because honestly it will probably last longer than your next relationship; or, in my case, all relationships combined. Ticket stubs, letters, transcripts of AIM messages, etc.
  6. Have a favorite restaurant that you go to all the time. Fall to pieces when said restaurant closes. Find a new restaurant.
  7. Make sure that you and your BFF balance each other out. Don’t worry about keeping up with sports, global crises, or current events if your BFF is into that. She’ll keep you in the loop. What? Ebola? BFF forgot to tell me about that one.
  8. Have morning conference calls. What better way to start your day than encouraging your BFF/complaining about your fatigue and how late you are for work.
  9. Know that there will be times/places/things/people/musicians who will, knowingly or not, sort of divide you. Shake it off!
  10. When your favorite musician is your BFF’s least favorite musician, express eternal gratitude for their permission to put said musician’s music on your shared morning playlist.
  11. Chug, chug, chug! Not talking about the hard stuff. Your BFF wants the best for you and you for her, so hold each other accountable for acts of health like drinking enough water each day.
  12. Adaptability. I’m talking about time zones. You can make it work!
  13. If you buy a pet to which the other is allergic… First, question your priorities. Then proceed to make sure one room is a pet-free zone for when your BFF comes to visit.
  14. If you’re in a long-distance BFFship, there are going to be times that you feel jealous of your friends’ local friends and wonder if they’re replacing you. They’re not. You’re irreplaceable! But if it will placate you, don’t hesitate to send your friend a timely sonnet, portrait, or whiny text to remind them that you exist.
  15. Always honor your best friend’s favorite month, even if it’s your least favorite.
  16. If you’re both single, crush on brothers or best friends. Constantly search for opportunities to marry into each others’ family. Dig into genealogy if necessary.
  17. Your best friend is amazing and you know it. It’s easy to get jealous of them but don’t. You helped make them the amazing woman they are and know that you’re probably equally amazing in different ways–and that is thanks to them as well.
  18. Sometimes you might feel so blue that you want to shut everyone out, even your besties. Fight that feeling. Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow, half sorrow.
  19. Have a Pinterest board for each other.
  20. Remember to wish them a happy birthday. If you can’t mail their present in time (it’s too risky) then acknowledge them on the internet.

Happy 28th Birthday Leslie Marie! Thanks for 20+ years of making me laugh until I cry, making me look so much better in photos than in real life, and for teaching me the ways of the world (i.e. Instagram, Foursquare, etc.). Thank you for teaching me how to play it cool and for all the times we haven’t played it cool. The world is a better place for your presence in it and my life is undoubtedly more survivable for your loyalty, hilarity, and love. I love your morning hair, your ability to find humor in any situation, and the strength you give me by both example and support. Can’t wait to watch you rock 28 and here’s to the next 20 years of friendship. Omg, there will be so much more technology you’ll have to teach me in the next 20 years. Leslie


Must Walk Dogs

by carolyn on September 10, 2014

My morning began with a microwaved 1/2 grande Pumpkin Spice Latte. It was the perfect beginning. I took the dogs out for their quick morning walk where they have a time limit of 5-10 minutes to do their biz before I rush to work. That might sound restrictive but Colby likes to dillydally–ain’t nobody got time for that.  There’s usually tension all around but between the sips and whiffs of cinnamon-pumpkin-coffee I felt atypically at ease. Does PSL stand for Purely Serene Life? Because that’s what I was living.

Unsurprisingly the euphoria continued. I stopped by Whole Foods and Target on the way to work to buy iced coffees, snacks, greeting cards, and, most importantly, pens. Two days ago, I used a bold gel point pen at Sylvester & Co. on Broughton St. and it was a game changer. I always felt I wanted the finest felt pen. And that’s fine for most writing, but I didn’t know what I was missing. That day, in that store, adding my name to their email list, was not unlike Harry Potter finding his wand. We were meant to be. Together we would achieve greatness and banish evil.  I needed that pen in my life. Luckily, Target had three.

Work flew by; I even stayed late as I networked on LinkedIn and tried to determine what my target audience wants to hear from our company updates. The answer? Neither of the posts I wrote.

I arrived home around 6 and fed Colby and Emma. I felt rather sprightly and decided that we should go on an adventure. Never mind that I had eaten literally less than a handful of food that day (work distracted me). Or that I had barely hydrated (we have a weird brand of water at work right now…you know how I am about that).

In a matter of minutes we were out the door. The sun was setting and I was clad in my usual black on black, tank on yoga pant ensemble.  We crossed the busy road where I fell the last time I ventured out of the neighborhood with them…in January. I jumped right back on the horse — eight months later. We were off!

I kinda needed to pee and we ran out of doggie bags before we were even halfway to the trail. We also ran out of sidewalk. So we trudged along the sloped grassy knoll with Colby rubbing his face against the grass for minutes at a time. He either loves the smell of grass or hates his gentle-lead collar. We made it through the marshiest part of the walk where I was slightly thankful for my allergies as they saved me from fully inhaling the signature rotten egg stench of the Islands. I wondered how my dogs with their heightened sense of smell didn’t drop dead from the stink but then I recalled their greeting habits and discerned that one man’s stench must be every dog’s perfume.

Finally we arrived at the adventure part–the trail! It was perfect timing. Single gal. Darkening sky. Uncharted paths. Knotty tree roots threatening to unhinge my slightly staggering steps. All of my past falls reeled through my mind. Broken feet, sprained ankles, and, most recently, the head wound. But I was sober this time. I’m not sure of the difference between the danger posed by a shot versus a tree root, but I hear that sobriety makes falls more socially acceptable. Did I mention I was parched? I imagined the dirty dust sneaking into my mouth and nose, absorbing what little moisture my body had left. Was I in a sandstorm? Paths diverged this way and that and I purposefully took what I imagined were the longest ones. I was still in Adventure Mode.  I came across the occasional male but Colby lunged at each man to the degree that they picked up their pace, ran off trail, and turned back with terror etched on their faces. Colby’s is a face they won’t forget.

I may never get attacked, but I also may never date again. With each heartbreak I endure, Colby becomes more aggressive and Emma gains more weight. I think during this last breakup, she may have actually put on more pounds than me–no small feat. At this point we were an hour in and Emma was lagging behind. I feel for you, girl, but we’re in this together.

Night fell and we were on a path that led us to a road perpendicular to that of our entrance. We were all worse for the wear. Even Colby, the Ironman of dogs, was so over it. I imagined that I might collapse from dehydration and a rare condition where someone really lazy goes for a hike. Admittedly the only thing that kept me going was the sweet sound of Taylor Swift singing her way through all the traumas–and the triumphs– of love. Back then I swore I was going to marry him someday, but I realized some bigger dreams of  mine, too. Like the dream of marrying someone who is at least as romantic as I am and maybe a touch more of a dreamer, with great ambition and height (6’1″+ please) and a kind heart and a clever sense of humor. *Sigh*

Also, I was concerned that if I fainted, Emma would only wait an hour or two before gnawing on my arm or leg. After all, she needs her post-workout protein. Colby would scare off any potential rescuers/knights in shining armor. I’d be done in and done for.

Then I actually applied what I think is something called “math” to my predicament. Regardless of how far along I was on my trail, the shortest distance was the diagonal between the two roads (aka my trail).  And so we turned back. You might say we were Homeward Bound, but you shouldn’t.

I loathe that movie.

Emma and Colby Survive




Like Me. Really Like Me!

January 27, 2014

Oh my goodness, y’all…sorry I haven’t been more present. I’ve been battling a number of short term and chronic health issues this month that have left me deflated and not feeling very creative. I could probably throw together some posts despite my ailments but I just want to give you the best of me — […]

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Text A Friend

January 14, 2014

These past few weeks have found me scattered, flustered, and overwhelmed. Every day seems to present a new challenge in the form of a broken water heater, a small electrical fire, a dog (or two) in need of behavioral modification, and so on and so forth. Then there are the constant reminders of ongoing issues… […]

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Two Are Better Than One

January 2, 2014

I’m on day two of my latest challenge — Stop.Challenge.Choose. by Take Shape For Life fueled by Medifast.  It’s a 12 week health transformation challenge. So, with some quick math we can see that I’m already 1/42 of the way done! And I’ve got to say it’s going pretty well. I’m following TSFL’s “5&1″ meal […]

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14 Ways To Be Your Best Self In 2014

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!! I hope that 2014 finds you happy, healthy, and beyond excited about the next 365 days. Here are some lessons I’ve learned in 2013 that I’m trying to implement this year to create more balance and joy in my life. I hope you’ll try them, too! Love yourself.  I hope and pray […]

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Rudolph the Red Nose Reinbeer

December 23, 2013

No, that isn’t a typo. Reinbeer is your everyday, boring beer transformed into festive, jolly beer! Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? If you haven’t, then this post is for you. This gift is cheap, creative, and sure to wow your recipient as well as all party guests lucky enough to witness the giving […]

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My Optimal Health Wish List

December 19, 2013
Grown-Up Christmas List

I hope that you’ve compiled all of your latest wants and distributed the holiday wish list to all of your nearest, dearest, and wealthiest friends and family. Here’s a peek at my list as it compares to Amy Grant’s “Grown-Up Christmas List.” I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about the dichotomy between our lists […]

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I Know Where I’ve Been

December 18, 2013
Before & After

If you’re a musical geek like me (and I’d like to think that you are), you probably have show tunes running through your head all day. Anything can spark a tune. Running late? Cue My Fair Lady’s “Get Me to the Church on Time.” Stewing over your significant other’s shortcomings and scheming of ways to […]

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7 Foods You Should Never Throw Away Again

September 3, 2012

  Sometimes my fridge looks like this. It is a magical place full of vibrant, colorful produce and fresh-off-the-farm eggs. This is when I love my fridge most of all. I can grab an orange or carrot if I need something quick, but I also have all the makings of a balanced and delicious meal […]

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