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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, June 16, 2024

Ode to female friendship

I’ve recently acquired a new female friend.

When I first met my new friend, I didn’t think we would get along. To describe her, I would have used the word “sharp.” By which I mean, she had sharp edges, uneven and rough.

Her speech had an underlying competition to it that I couldn’t stand. Her eyebrows punctuated her arguments. You could tell she thought she was right all of the time.

Now that we are friends, I can admit that she is usually right. And she’ll tell you that you’re wrong with her whole body.

She’ll give a patronizing smirk that settles on her small face. It’s a terribly annoying look.

Despite that face that she makes, I can’t help feeling she is one of my favorite people these days.

She does hilarious things. I often find her lying on the floor of our home in the midst of some mood she might describe as “weirdy,” sometimes with yogurt spilled next to her.

She used to pretend not to have feelings, even though she’s one of the more emotionally literate people I know. She has embraced my ramblings on bodily functions and will counter my every gross menstruation story with an equally gross poop story. She knows I like funny sex anecdotes and will recall them sporadically, to my delight. She is resilient and brave and also loves to snuggle. She even listens to me while I agonize over this damn column every week.

However, sustaining friendship has always been a challenge for me. I have been accused of demanding both too much and too little.

Friends cannot always be weird and funny together. Sometimes the embarrassing stories run out, and the people you like most wander around, sleep-deprived or angsty. There is a sort of fear in this for me -- a fear that I will no longer be entertaining to people, and they will lose interest in being my friend.

That is why this next part is so important. This new friend has seen me very angry.

We were driving back from New Hampshire on I-95 a few weeks ago when we began screaming at each other. This was not the sort of fight that I have had before because a) I don’t usually fight when I drive, and b) I don’t usually yell. This was an eruption of pent-up grievances and hurt from the previous month, and it all came tumbling out as we sped down the highway.

It felt horrible and wonderful, and insane to be showing someone else (besides my parents) how angry I could be. I was singlehandedly giving her all of the fodder she needed to justify my excommunication. Like HA, you were angry with me, anger is sin, be gone with you!

In the end, though, she didn’t do that.

For all the entertainment we provide each other, it’s that screaming match that really won me over. She had seen what my anger looked like. She had stared it in the face with that look in her eye that said, “You don’t scare me, not one bit.”