Girls and Girlfriends
Oct 6 2011
Yes, it’s really true that girls give each other a hard time for existing, because we are each the CEO of our own complicated, beautiful, diseased empires, and that can get competitive. As a wizard-poet of girl-on-girl friendships I think that bottom-lining all of it is this waaaay bigger deal of affection and radness that is taken for granted. Hold my hand while we do this, girl.
Your periods will sync up, based on which one of you is on the pill. Forget this as a yucky boy joke and revel in the pussy wisdoms and harmonies. You can travel together AND not have to pretend all is well when you find yourself outside with a backpack on at 5 AM literally shaking from exhaustion and regretting the day you laid eyes on her and the book she was reading and knew you were going to be something. You can be your “worst self” and also explore the frightening depths of that self. You can keep a pair of jammies at her house. AWWW, right? I don’t even see my go-to that much, except how she lives in miniature behind both of my eyes, all day.
I really do apologize to the gay girls who get shafted by Girl News, but the thing is, so much of what I have to say about the experience of being a girl is informed by liking the weight of a cock in my hand, and, more crucially, because gay girls have so much more stuff figured out than us. Like, y’all are way further ahead on getting therapy and finding out what your disorders are called and why do you want to hang out with me, anyway, when you’re basically a Jedi? Oh. Gay girls are Jedi. FIN.
Not to get too daggy about it, but the girl who knows every single thing about you before you smartened up and changed all of it is a good girl to keep around.
On the one hand, she isn’t actually your friend because she doesn’t know your last name or see you in the daytime or care what your job is; on the other hand, so? A party girlfriend exists only to serve nighttimey concerns, which constitute a truly wild but predictable tornado of clothes + boys + money + drugs + access. Trying to be real-life friends with the girl you have the most fun with at three, four in the morning, is just laying out an elaborate, salty shitcuterie of pain on your life placemat.
THE PERFECT GIRL
From all angles and in every light, this girl is perfect and her life is perfect and it’s made more, incredibly perfect by her wanting anything at all to do with your off-the-rails-ness. She has easy though devastatingly good and understated clothes and this enviable way. She is always the heroine of a better Woody Allen movie. You can’t get too up-close or hang out too much because that would ruin it.
She’s, like, almost too supportive, too. And after you hang out with her you wax pathetic to your Go-To, or an either-sex BFF, about how much you like her and want to be like her and want more more more more and they’ll be like “You’re annoying me right now.”
Maybe she converted to Cunt when she got in a big-time relationship—or maybe you did—or maybe she got increasingly bitchy in barely perceptible spurts but it doesn’t really matter. You can’t be friends with every girl, and not forever. God is dead.
THE IMAGINARY FRIEND
I seeeeee you, Jenny Slate! You too, little chick on Hollywood Blvd. who showed me your titties with wide-eyes that one time, but was clearly reaching out in a cool buddy way. Imma find you.
You have to seduce this friend the same way you seduce a guy, like, withholding your time and attention, and also some of the less glamorous details of your life, only to reveal them when the time is right, slowly and sexily from your sleeve like an Ace of Actually I Am Free on Friday Night. Why are some girls like this with other girls? I don’t know. “I love you I need you I want you” is the same as “Hi” in Girl World, so a workable, accurate translation of this vibe is really difficult to settle on.
Oooooh does this chick have a drug problem, actually?
That was a trick! They’re not your friends. It’s not fair that guys get “bromance” and we get “frenemies.” I hereby reject this forever. A tip? If your FUCKING GIRLS don’t have your back, in this cold world of hook-ups and ex-boyfriends and bosses and the general atrophy of human care and love, launch them into the abyss.
For multiple @-replying, thematically linked YouTubes, 22 emails per work-hour, and an understanding of why annotated, footnoted explanations of even a not very serious problem are worthwhile, this chick is kind of what differentiates girl life from boy life.
YOUR BUDDY’S GIRLFRIEND
Noticeably absent are the women who date your guy friends and aren’t on-message about Platonic Friends, so remain wary of you. (Fuck that; their fault.) But you know how sometimes your guy friend makes intros with his new girlfriend and you clench your little cub-hands into stress-fists going into the bar, but then she’s fucking great and doesn’t say his name for no reason over and over and over, and is kind of like “How are YOU” and you’re like, either totally ashamed for being a presumptuous cuntrag, or are just like YES!
THE SUMMERTIME FRIEND
You know, it’s all about your delirious, met-at-a-party-and-fell-hard insta-love for each other, and you immediately create an acidy micro-culture of biking around and intently doing the things you needed each other for, and when you pause to eat fruit that you bought with pooled money you let it drip down your hands and arms and faces and stick the seeds on your forehead because DOYOCITY that’s how you see how many boyfriends you have.
Because the stakes are so high for such a short period of time, the friendship is frenzied, swooning, alchemical, too bright, blinding. You might end up sleeping on a couch in the lobby of a cold marbled condo building while she sees about a guy upstairs. When it’s over, it’s final.
Obviously, you’ll share a Venn section or two in order to be friends, and actually, whatever the bond is it will have to be a tight one. But for the most part this chick conducts her life, vagina, and brain in ways that blow your fucking mind. I made up this thing called The 50/50 Rule which is just the idea that the best-ever boyfriends, girlfriends, and roommates are half exactly like you and half exactly different, and it’s held water ever since despite being one of the dumbest shits I ever said. On a road trip with three boys and me and my rad friend Amy she asked if she could use my towel because she forgot one—and, for context we were sleeping beside each other in the back of a truck—and I handed it over, like, “I never even knew two people could share a towel” with my face all Precious Moments. Revelatory.
Ugh; even acknowledging that there are No Gets who don’t know cues like “I’m not into it, thanks for applying” makes me feel squirmy and terrible. Alternate name for this chick is “The Protegee” but that might be even meaner. Errrrrrr.
MYSTERIOUS, SPOOKY THEMES
Out of my top-ten most life-important girlfriends, six are A-names: Andria, Allison, Alexis, Amy, Amy, and Anna. Is this because of demographic trends of the 1980s or am I haunted???
This is the friend whose stuff and ideas and face and voice you embarrassingly but fervently memorize and catalogue and remember forever and ever because you want to be like her somehow and so badly that it negates everything you thought you had really down. I can trace so many things about myself to my Aspirational Friend (always older, always cooler) from freshman year. (Secretly, I call her “Too Cool For School”… aaaaand that’s the very bottom-est scrapings of my shame reserve barrel, you’re most welcome.)
THE ALPHA BITCH
I have no insight on this because I am one, because of a pattern established in public school wherein I was socially adept but cared more about reading and spinning a globe around and around and being alone than going out or talking on the phone or whatever, which automatically makes you kind of the Don of Girls, at least until you grow up and need things. Also I already have two hatefully gorgeous and cool much-older sisters to worship, so what was I going to do with a posse of little hairballs with friendship pins?
That said, like any alpha I secretly love being topped by other girls, and almost all of my friends are either big sisters or older than me or both.
Tell me if this exists? I shop by myself because being on someone else’s exhaustion/blood sugar/shoe pain schedule isn’t productive.
Assuming that you have a secret, possibly addictive behavior that is kept from maybe even your Go-To, you have to have a bish to do it with. Especially if your bad behavior is being a straight girl who does it with bishes, HEY-O!
You and her are like eternal, undying life partners on the internet but no fucking chance you’d make it through a coffee in real life. Own up.
Trick number two! Is your mom your friend? No, unless you have a Party Mom, in which case, I’m sorry. Don’t tell your mom about boys, that’s disgusting.
Follow Kate on Twitter @KateCarraway
Previously - Girls and Boyfriends
Tao of Terence: Psychedelic Drugs, Art, Music, and Other Drugs: An Interview with Finn McKenna
Why I Stayed in an Abusive Relationship
Weediquette: Stoned At the Doctor's Office
The VICE Reader: An Excerpt from John Darnielle's 'Wolf in White Van'
This Tinder Addict Is Also a Virgin
Getting Drunk Off a Humidifier Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be
Kristin Cavallari Hosted Fashion Week’s Worst Party
My Father Was a Terrorist
Ryan McGinley's 'Yearbook' Show Shut Down an Entire City Block
I Worked for a Puppy Mill