There are a lot of dicks in the world. And when I say that, I mean derogatory dicks, as in assholes, as in mean people, not just penises. I’ve got nothing against penises. Also, just because you’re a dick doesn’t mean you have one. Not in my books, anyway.

Lately I feel like I’ve met and/or had to interact with a great percentage of the world’s derogatory dicks. It’s hard to get dragged down by other people’s negativity, even when you’re being so nice to them, doing your best, etc.

But whenever I’m stewing in a little pot of sadness, wallowing in self-pity, probably crying and eating something I shouldn’t be (like, say, an entire tray of vegan brownies) all I have to do is send one of my BFFs a text, or give them a ring, and I remember that everything’s going to be fine because they are the best. (Hence the ‘B’ in ‘BFF.’)

The other day, Jolene, one of my newest BFFs, asked me a very logical, organized question, which is just her style: “So what, exactly, makes a person a BFF, as opposed to just a really good friend?”

To which I said this: A BFF is a friend I love endlessly, a friend I can tell absolutely anything without fearing judgement, gossip, etc., and maybe the most defining quality, a friend I could spend 24/7 with without wanting to murder them in their sleep, meaning a friend I could easily live with, travel with, or marry.

Let me tell you about four of my BFFs.

This is Chelsea Handler. She's the celeb I think Jolene most looks like.
This is Chelsea Handler. She’s the celeb I think Jolene most looks like.

I met Jolene because she’s a Zumba® instructor. I went to her class – my first Zumba® class at a big gym (as opposed to the tiny studio I was used to) – and thought I was going to die. (A) Because I was nervous and self-conscious, but also (B) because Jolene is an insane instructor who jumps around a lot and I spent the whole class trying to catch my breath.

But even before the class had started, Jolene pegged me as a newbie and came to say hi. And we clicked. I had that instant “this is a cool chick” feeling about her, and I was right. Eight months later, she’s the jelly to my peanut butter, the Laverne to my Shirley, etc. I see her pretty much every day, I co-teach Zumba® with her, and I’ve never wanted to kill her. I’ve never even been annoyed with her. We’re so similar in so many ways, you’d think we’d make each other crazy, but I think we’re just the right amount of crazy to get along on an in-person and psychic level. It’s true friend love.

Jolene is amazing and lost over 160lbs, so she also doesn’t think it’s weird when I text her things like, “On a scale of 1-10, how stupid and/or noticeable would it be if I stuffed my bra right now to make it fit better?” when I’m having a wardrobe meltdown. We compare notes about how much our arms flap when we’re teaching. It’s great.

Also, we’re the same shoe size, and Jo has a lot of really cute shoes, so I have to keep her around for when I want to borrow them. (I have my eye on a pair of hot pink stilettos.)

This is Juliette Lewis, A.K.A. my girl Louise.
This is Juliette Lewis, A.K.A. my girl Louise.

My BFF Louise actually gets stopped on the street and asked if she’s Juliette Lewis. One day I swear I’ll take her out somewhere and lose her to a crowd of fans. And I can understand why: because she’s crazy cool.

Before Louise and I became friends, I knew her as this insanely cool alterna-sexpot (see: goth chick) who always came to opening nights at the theatre I was box office manager at. She had a wicked hairdo and she wore frilly underwear as pants. Basically, I had a crush on her and her sexy corseted confidence.

One day, she came out to audition for one of my plays. She walked in wearing a pair of sexy high-heeled boots or something, and being the nerd that I am, I couldn’t help but mention them. I think I babbled something along the lines of, “OMG you’re so cool and you always look so put together and rock the highest heels and I wish I were you will you autograph my left tit?”*

Louise proceeded to tell me a story about this time she went out to the grocery store and everyone was looking at her funny, which she didn’t get because she was just in a tank top and some sweatpants. Then she got home and her then fiancee (now husband) said, “Babe, you’ve got a false eyelash stuck to your forehead.” It was at that moment that I fell madly in love with Louise. She’s hilarious (yes, HILARIOUS, as in one of the FUNNIEST people I know!) and the craziest shit is always happening to her, but she’s got the best outlook on things: she’s always able to appreciate that the crazy translates into a great story and she’s always able to laugh at herself along the way.

Also, she saves stories for me, which I look forward to every time we get together. When I get a text saying, “Oh no, this is an in-person story only,” I know I’m in for a really good one. When she calls me whispering because she’s in a broom closet, I know I’m in for a killer story.

Mandelle was like, "No one tells me I look like any celebrities," which I think is weird, because she totally looks like Rose Byrne, but she has better hair.
Mandelle was like, “No one tells me I look like any celebrities,” which I think is weird, because she totally looks like Rose Byrne, but she has better hair.

Thank god I was refused a raise at my theatre job and decided to spite everyone by getting a different theatre job one year. Because if I hadn’t, I would have never met my BFF Mandelle. And I still believe to this day that is was pure fate, because my “new” theatre job only lasted five weeks, but I’ve gotten to keep Mandelle for nearly five years now.

She hired me as her box office assistant at a huge theatre company in town. On my first day at work, we were sitting at our desks, which faced one another, and she started quoting Elf at me. When I left at the end of the day, she was like, “Byeeee, Buddy! Hope you find your dad!” and I tried to play it cool, but I was internally GEEKING out.

SIDENOTE: To this day, we still call each other Buddy.

On my second or third day at work, Mandelle told me we needed to go for lunch together…away from the theatre. So we walked down the street, got some food, and she told me flat out (which is true Mandelle style): “I’m quitting this place.”

“Me too!” I blurted out, unable to imagine the theatre without her. Three days into our friendship, I already knew I didn’t want to be there without her. So I handed in my resignation, and so did she. That was in May. By June/July, we were already going on roadtrips together and talking all the time. Mandelle and I have done a lot of laughing together, and a lot of crying, too. She’s also the only friend I’ve ever had who made me a Birthday Tree, which is a Christmas tree decorated with birthday streamers, and with a big photo of me as the angel. Shut up, right? The best. I adore her.

And the only thing I hate about her is her fucking PERFECT, AMAZING HAIR. (Seriously. Perfect. Beautiful. ALWAYS.)

This is Margaret. Wait, I mean Rachel McAdams. No, no, it's Margaret...right?
This is Margaret. Wait, I mean Rachel McAdams. No, no, it’s Margaret…right?

Margaret didn’t show up to our pre-first-class orientation day at the University of Glasgow because she was still in transit from Detroit, Michigan, so I didn’t even know she existed until our official first day of class.

As soon as she opened her mouth, I was two things: (1) intimidated as hell, and (2) intrigued.

Margaret is one of those insanely smart, well-informed, well-read women who can say, “I hate mushrooms”** and sound like she’s at the presidential debates or something. So when she started to comment on a play and compare it to American politics, I was like, “Oh shit, this girl’s way smarter than me.” Luckily she doesn’t hold it against me that I know almost nothing about politics.

Mags and I had what I’ll call a blossoming relationship. We didn’t talk very much at first (because she was intimidatingly smart and cool!), but when we finally got started, we couldn’t stop. We became two North American peas in a Glaswegian pod, and we’ve been besties ever since. I still can’t go shopping without accidentally almost texting her to say, “Want to come with?”

Margaret was there for me when I got hit by the monster rash and I needed to go to the ER. She was also there for me when my uncle passed away very suddenly and I needed someone to come over just to watch me cry and help me pack a suitcase and book an emergency flight to Portugal to be with my family.

Thank goodness she was also there every time I wanted to indulge in really awful reality TV. We also did a lot of travelling together, which I think is a true testament to our friendship. I still wish every day that we could somehow live in the same city, because Chicago’s really far away and I miss her daily. (The OBVIOUS solution to this problem is that I should move to Chicago.)

Also, Margaret brought her ridiculously cute dog with her to Glasgow. And we all know how I am around ridiculously cute dogs.

Me and Audrey, my canine BFF.
Me and Audrey, my canine BFF.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re like, “Wow, Andrea, first of all, your BFFs sound like the coolest ever, but secondly, what’s the lesson attached to this long, rambling blog post?”

The lesson is this: There’s no need to let the derogatory dicks of the world bring you down, because your BFFs will always be there for you to:

(A) Make you feel better.

(B) Remind you that you’re loved and supported to matter what.

(C) Trash talk the assholes for as long as you need.

I’m a lucky girl. I love you ladies!

People say I look like Ginnifer Goodwin, which is the first celeb lookalike I actually agree with.***
People say I look like Ginnifer Goodwin, which is the first celeb lookalike I actually agree with.***


EDITED TO ADD: Guys, I just realized that I have NEVER had a fight with ANY of my BFFs. Like, ever! That’s how brilliant they all are.

P.S. There aren’t actually enough words to express what these women mean to me. Also, if I really got going, you’d probably find me, still sitting at this laptop like a week later with a 50,000 word blog post in front of me, sobbing uncontrollably and muttering things like, “Shit, seriously, they’re the BEST.” And I wouldn’t even be drunk. That would be sober crying. So there you have it.

*That’s an estimation, FYI.

**I don’t think Mags hates mushrooms, but I sure do.

***Shout out to Ryan for his mad Photoshop skillz. Thx for the BFF mash-up!