What is the definitive sign that a friend has moved into the inner sanctum of your friendship circle? Recently we had some friends around for dinner and over a few drinks we got to talking about what the ‘tell’ is that they have crossed into that sacred realm. You know, that friend you’d take swimsuit shopping, or ask to help you bury the body. As we went around the table, several ideas came up including:
- You can go to your friend’s fridge without asking and help yourself to whatever tickles your fancy.
- You’d be happy to turn up to your friend’s house for the evening in your slippers. The next level of friendship is arriving at their house in your pajamas.
- You would have no qualms about answering natures less appealing call in their toilet.
- You park in their driveway.
- You can get away with the ‘pop in’.
- You enter their house without knocking.
- You may, on occasion, discipline their kids in front of them.
- You don’t clean your house before they come over.
- You would go to bed while they are still in your home.
Recently I was babysitting the children of some close friends whom I have known many years. I thought about how I could show them they were beloved by me that evening by claiming some of those friendship benefits. Of course I would be raiding their fridge, that just goes without saying as one of the rights of the unpaid babysitter…but they wouldn’t be home to see and be emotionally blessed by it. I couldn’t park in their driveway as they would be going out and it would mean parking them in. Hmmmm. There was nothing left to be done than to turn up to their house on that cold and windy night in my pajamas, ugg boots and dressing gown. Yes that’s right, in my conspicuous, bright pink, fluffy dressing gown. Exposing myself in that way is basically like giving them a friendship medallion on a necklace where I have one half and they get the other half.
When I knocked on the door, I wasn’t sure of the reception I would receive. My friend opened the door and was surprised and then immediately delighted. She quickly grabbed her phone, took a photo of me and posted it to social media without my permission (perhaps another friendship tell right there). There was no look of ‘what the hell is she doing’. It was understood. Her husband, however did look a little surprised but to give him credit, he went with it. After they left, I poured myself a glass of white wine and raided their lolly jar. “There is no better way I can show them what they mean to me” I thought, as I chugged down a second glass of wine.
After reading my list you may fall into 1 of 2 categories. Either you have looked at my list and realised you do all of those things regularly to everyone you know. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have lots of close friends. It could just mean that you are an obnoxious jerk. Alternatively, you have realised that you have dear friends whose love tanks need a bit of filling up. If you’re the former, there is no known cure. If you’re the latter, you need to take stock of your friends. If there are any of them who you feel particularly close to, don’t fail to let them know that they hold a special place in your heart. Pop in today, unannounced and in your pajamas. Park in their driveway and let yourself into the house. Help yourself to a beer from the fridge, smack one of their kids and then go number 2 in their bathroom. Believe me, they will be touched.