I think mothers need a no-bullshit friendship manifesto.
That way, we can go into new relationships knowing we’re in agreement on a few critical factors, thereby avoiding the awkward situation in which you realize one person is into drama and the other isn’t. I’m never into the drama. I think I’m too old. Or tired. Or there’s just so many more interesting things to think about.
Like Michael Scott from The Office, for example. What’s more interesting than him?
You know what’s amazing? Friends who aren’t into drama.
I actually don’t have any of the other variety. I think I either scare them away or I run away. One can never be sure.
However, I often hear about mothers getting on other mothers’ cases for perfectly reasonable mother-behavior like being a fucking flake. And I’m baffled.
It ain’t right!
This aggression will not stand, man.
As if we don’t have enough to deal with. As if kids and domestic life partners and jobs and uteri aren’t enough of a damn problem, some people think “You didn’t call me back in a timely manner so now I’m mad at you” is a logical addition to the list. We can’t do that to each other. We just can’t.
So behold, the No-Bullshit, No-Drama Friendship Manifesto:
- I will not get on your case for not texting me back in a timely manner.
- I will not get on your case for not calling me back in a timely manner.
- This is because I will soon be the one not calling and texting you back in a timely manner.
- If you tell me you’re going to call me back “in a few minutes” I understand I may not hear from you for 3 days.
- I know this is not because you don’t love me.
- If I need you for real, I will harangue and harass you until you acknowledge me. This process includes, but is not limited to: calling, texting and emailing (repeatedly), instant messaging, tweeting, tagging on Instagram, showing up on doorsteps, actually leaving voicemails (!) and/or contacting spouses.
- This will not annoy you because you know you’re a fucking flake.
- This will not annoy me because I know I’m a fucking flake.
- If you don’t RSVP to my kid’s birthday party for 3 weeks then call the morning of the event and say “Uh, yeah, um, sorry, but can we come?” I’m not going to express profound irritation through a suppressed sigh and deep pause, rather I’m gonna be like “Yeah that’s cool, but do you have any candles? I forgot the effing candles.”
- And I’m going to be happy you came, because we’re friends.
- When my kids are acting like shitheads and you’re like “Hey child, No.” I won’t get all righteously indignant. Instead I’ll look at you in gratefulness for dealing with the little bastards so I don’t have to.
- When you get pissed at your husband, I will agree he is the most sorry d-bag to ever walk the planet and we shall plan for the day when we live on an all-female commune with organic produce, llamas and wool spinning-wheels. And redwood trees. And the ocean.
- Even if you’re clearly the asshole.
- When you swear in front of my kids I won’t care. Because obviously.
- The dinners you make uniformly blow my mind.
- Whoever has the youngest (or worst behaving child) at the moment gets to make decisions. We all understand that children are often foul, insane little creatures and it needn’t even be mentioned that we DON’T BLAME YOU.
- Maybe your house is clean. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe who gives a rat’s ass?
- When I say something stupid that could be conveyed as insulting or whatever, you’re not going to get all overly sensitive and weird, calling mutual friends and psycho-analyzing what, exactly, my problem is (probably going back to childhood), rather you’re going to call me out on it and then I’m going to apologize and we’re going to move on, LIKE ADULTS, because occasionally adults say stupid shit, the end.
- When you say something stupid, I’ll either do number 18 or, and I know this is revolutionary, I’LL LET IT GO.
- We tell each other the truth (except the asshole part when fighting with domestic life partners).
- When my jeans are sagging, you’re going to lovingly take me shopping. Or you’re going to not notice. These are the only two options.
- The only time I’m going to one-up you is to prove I’ve screwed up worse than the time you’re currently feeling terribly about.
- I will not give helpful parenting advice. You will not give helpful parenting advice. WE ALL HATE THE MOM WITH HELPFUL PARENTING ADVICE.
- I understand that “on time” means “not as late as I usually am.”
- When our conversation gets interrupted nineteen hundred and forty seven times by one kid or another and that thing I was going to say that was so funny and interesting is forgotten entirely, I won’t get hurt feelings.
- When I borrow a baby item, don’t return it, then, 2 years later, when you ask for it back and I’m like “Yeah I don’t think we have that anymore,” you’re like “oh okay” but then, 4 months later, when I find it in a bin in my garage, you’re like “It’s cool.”
- Because we’re both fucking flakes, except when it matters.
And we’ll know when it matters, because WE ARE FRIENDS.
And when it matters, we show up no matter what with whole heart, or fist, ready to build or struggle or soothe. Ready to hold or make or remake, maybe for the hundredth time.
We show up with tears and sweat and annoying kids and food, laughter and some yelling, a cracked voice and a steady ear.
Because we are friends.
We let go of the bullshit and just love. And if there isn’t love, we let go of the charade and find some real friends.
Because really, what the hell else is there? Just a bunch of humans bumbling along.
This week, my ass was saved by one of these friends. There’s something spectacular about this, all of it, the no-bullshit friendship.
The soft place and rock. When it matters.