A woman’s circle of friends is a fascinating thing. Each friend possesses different skills, powers and talents that nourish and enrich your life in different ways.
Here are five main friend types:
Every woman needs a sister, even if she doesn’t have one. She’s the friend you’ve known a very long time, who has shared your heartbreaks, career highs and lows, battles with colleagues, relatives and other mates. She has shared your deepest insecurities and embarrassments, and not least, your darkest secrets. And through it all, she provides a willing ear and unwavering support, even if her advice is not always what you want to hear.
It’s not that you never fall out. She told you straight that you’d lost the plot when you wanted to text that unsuitable guy, and threw a wobbly when you arrived late for her birthday dinner. But understanding and forgiveness is always close to follow, and when you hit life’s troughs, she’s the one you call to download your miseries.
It goes without saying your ‘sister friend’ lives close-by or at least in the same town, because you need her counsel almost daily on the phone and at least weekly over lunch or dinner. She’s the first to wish you happy birthday, and to visit with magazines and chicken soup when you’re sick. And above all, you can depend on her to defend you in an argument. Loyalty, thy name is Sista Soulmate.
BFF (BEST FRIEND FOREVER)
You met in primary school, and the bond remains unassailable, even though she lives across the seas and a handful of years pass between you seeing each other. Your lives may look pretty incompatible – she’s married and a stay-at-home mom to three kids, you’re a single careerist married to the job – but when your BFF arrives at the airport, you seamlessly pick up where you left off the last time you saw her.
It takes no time at all before you’re chattering and laughing and reminiscing about old times, when she scored an own goal in netball, when you got 10% for French, and when you were both in detention rote-learning the dates of The Great Trek. Those heady years of youth, and the crazy choices you both made as boys entered the scene, will keep you going for hours and hours, so when your BFF is in town, prepare for a few very long nights poring over photos and catching up on lives lived on different continents.
Luckily Skype has bridged the communication gap, and it’s a lifesaver when you hit a wobbly and no-one but your BFF will do. The calls and emails may thin out, but the umbilical cord of your friendship will remain strong until death do you part.
GOOD TIME GAL
Your Good Time Gal is the one you call on when the vixen within is up and ready to party, the sista who always seems to be up late and doesn’t mind jumping in her car to meet you for a cocktail and to check out the other midnight denizens. This is a happy-go-lucky relationship that seems to be confined to boozy parties and jazz bars, but that’s OK because you both get something out of it – the opportunity to let loose and break some rules.
Being an inveterate socialite, your Good Time Gal is also well practiced in the art of flirtation, so she’s useful to observe if you’ve become a bit dusty in that department. And you’ll be able to catch some residual attention when she lures an admiring fish or two into her net.
A word of caution. Party-loving night owls sometimes harbor problems, like an unhealthy love of the liquor, so be sure you aren’t helping to fuel a habit, in her or you. Also, don’t confuse her with a BFF or Sista Soulmate. She’s not likely to turn up at hospital after your tonsillectomy, unless she’s sneaked in after visiting hours to tot up your tea with a dash of whiskey.
An essential in your pack of homies, Tomboy Tammy is everything you aren’t – good with pliers, a dab hand at changing a washer and she even recognizes what that noise is that your washing machine is making. She is a braai master of note, and when your car breaks down, she’s soon there in her overall and a pair of jump leads that she knows how to attach without turning the air blue with swearwords.
The great thing about your tomboy friend is that she’s more reliable than your boyfriend or husband, and she doesn’t require sex in payment for her favours. She just likes mucking in and making things work, and what she gets from you, of course, is a good friend who listens and enriches her life with different perspectives and ideas, and coffee on tap.
Tomboy Tammy is also full of stories of DIY woes much worse than yours, from collapsed roofs to burst geysers, and you’ll find a happy relief in these tales in which she always comes up with the girl scout solution. She’s a practical, salt-of-the-earth, can-do kind of girl, someone who makes you feel that everything’s going to turn out alright. A vital cog in your friendship machinery.
A work day just isn’t the same without your Office Pal, your colleague in the trenches who knows exactly what you mean by that tweak in your brow during a discussion with the boss.
She’s your friendly alter-ego during working hours, which means she always second guesses correctly when you’re late and looking a little lack lustre, volunteering to take your place at the 10am status meeting.
She also knows your computer password, and can fire off an urgent e-mail if you’re stuck in traffic.
At lunchtime she’ll catch you up to get the lowdown, and you’ll have a daily ear for boyfriend woes, domestic troubles, child challenges and of course, boss or colleague issues, as long as you offer your ear in return.
Your Office Pal can be young or old, and with a very different background to yours, which goes to show that teamwork transcends boundaries and a friend doesn’t fit a predictable profile.
Although you might not share lives after work hours, your Office Pal is as important as anyone else close to you, sharing all those hours you spend doing your job to make ends meet. Partners in production, warriors in the wage war.