I’ve always been the type of person who has trouble planning, organizing, and understanding detailed mathematical things like finance. Through the years my best friend Justin, who is good at all of the aforementioned things, has always helped me with managing money, and other things that require attention to detail. His ability to help me in a pinch was tested again the day after his girlfriend’s birthday.
The day after the birthday, I was attending a wedding. It was black tie optional, but luckily I had a black suit. Or so I thought. Unfortunately, I waited until 11 AM the day of the wedding (the wedding started at 6 PM) to look in my closet for the suit. After rifling through my closet, I realized my suit was not there. I immediately texted Justin: “no suit in my closet”.
I had one hope left: perhaps it was at the cleaners. I went to the two cleaners in my neighborhood—one of them said they had nothing, and one said I had never even been there as a customer before. Oops. In the meantime, Justin reminded me that I had used my suit in Baltimore for my niece’s christening and left it down there. I texted Justin again:
RICH: “No suit anywhere—but I do have black dress pants.”
JUSTIN: “OK, I’m on Fifth Avenue. Bring the pants and we’ll match them with a jacket.”
Suddenly I felt a huge sense of relief. I had some support in my time of crisis.
As Justin and I zipped through stores, we realized we were going to have to get a whole new suit. No fabric or color was matching the black pants I owned.
We hit the jackpot when we tried H & M. They had a lot of suits and they were cheap. I frantically squeezed into pants (and took a swim in some) while Justin ran back and forth retrieving different size pants and jackets until we got it right. His final contribution occurred when I was considering what tie to wear—he pointed to the wall at a New Wave looking tie that Blondie’s band may have worn: “skinny tie,” he yelled triumphantly. Justin had demonstrated impeccable loyalty and commitment to my crisis, along with a keen eye for fashion. That skinny tie was going to make waves.
We walked out onto the street and Justin said:
“Wow we got that done pretty fast.”
“We are still a pretty damn good team in crisis,” I said.
That night at the wedding, I was moved by a part of the program that explained the ring tradition:
“The exchanging of the rings signifies that in married life, the weaknesses of the partner will be compensated by the strengths of the other; the imperfections of the one by the perfections of the other. By themselves, the newly-betrothed are incomplete; together they are perfect.”
So, Justin and I have had our friendship play out this way. He’s always been able to help me out, organize me, and I’ve always been able to keep life loose by being stupid (not really a fair tradeoff, but he seems to like it).
The night before my suit crisis, a bunch of us celebrated Justin’s girlfriend’s birthday. I was talking to a friend and we agreed to walk down the aisle together at Justin's wedding since we would both be in the wedding. I also shared a little speech with her that I was saving for whenever Justin and his girlfriend got married. After the suit crisis, I was faced with the reality that Justin, while he’d ultimately always be there for me, some day would have his attention divided after he was married.
So, I realized some of the things I had to have in the perfect girl (and it’s not as creepy as just being a female Justin, though that wouldn’t be that bad either).
Somewhere out there is a girl who will drop everything at any moment to make sure I’ve crossed my Ts and dotted my I’s. All I can offer that I can think of is making her laugh—and I’m really good at fixing things.
But, this past weekend, my friend not only demonstrated what a best friend is, but he reminded me that when I find the right girl—she’ll be a best friend too.
There’s definitely a difference between significant other and “just friends”, but do you find that “the one” has an element of being a best friend to you? Have any of you learned what you want in a significant other by your experiences with close friends?