Remember the Five Men Every Woman Should Have in Her Life from The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love? If you’ve never read it go do so right now and come back after you’ve finished snorting coffee through your nose. I couldn’t have gotten through the last few years without my friends. And although there are a few that I consider my closest friends I really need the whole network to keep me sane. Yes, it’s a multi-person job 😉 I believe all women are social creatures, much more so than the male of the species, and there are people we all need in our lives. Read through – I bet someone will come immediately to mind for each category!
~Someone to Shop With~
This one can be tricky. We all need someone to help us make decisions about what looks best on us. But you can’t go shopping with someone too far off your own size. The last time I tried shopping with a size three friend it was a total bust because we weren’t even in the same parts of the store and I left feeling like a cow. It will also suck all the fun out of the experience if one person’s budget varies greatly from another’s. I love thrift shops and consignment stores – a bargain gives me a huge thrill. I don’t even walk through the designer sections of the nicer department stores for fear I’ll snag the beading on a $900 little black dress as I walk by – yikes!
~Someone Who Understands Your Job~
In a perfect world our spouses would understand perfectly what we did all day. This almost never happens. And we all need to decompress and bounce situations off a neutral third party to gain perspective – that’s when this friend comes in handy. Some people will say this person cannot be your boss, but in certain situations I think it can. I had a boss whom I could lock myself in a bathroom and call when things got really crazy. She’d listen to my rant, knowing I didn’t expect her to do or say anything, that I just had to tell someone about it who understood – she was a life-saver.
~Someone With An Equally Dysfunctional Family~
Not that any of us want to air our dirty laundry on a daily basis, but it’s so freeing to be able to talk honestly about things going on in your extended family without scaring your lunch companion. I have to admit I’m “this friend” for many people, probably because I can always see the humor (albeit often dark humor) in family situations.
~Someone Who Shares Your Hobby~
If you have a not of hobbies, this may mean a lot of friends. Someone to run with, someone who loves to scrapbook, a photography nut, a book lover, a quilter, a bike rider. But remember – these are people who share your hobbies, not parents of children who share your children’s hobbies. Big difference.
~Your “Extension Agents”~
You may need just one, or you may need many. These are your go-to resources people. Someone who sews, someone who knows how to lay tile, someone who’s a great cook, someone whose house runs smoothly, someone who is always perfectly accessorized. If you’re lucky you’ll also have a plumber, an electrician, an IT specialist, and a car mechanic you pal around with (but most of us aren’t so fortunate).
~A Pharmacist, Nurse, or Doctor~
Everyone is going to face medical issues for themselves or family members sooner or later. Having someone in the medical field who can explain things is invaluable for peace of mind. Sometimes the most important thing they do is tell you the right questions to ask.
So important. I was lucky enough to work with women in my first job after college who were all at least a decade older than me. I soaked up marriage, parenting, and professional knowledge like a sponge. And a woman a few years older is the perfect person to ask for skin care advice – because hindsight is 20/20!
What’s the use of learning all this important stuff about relationships, parenting, and aging if you don’t have someone to share it with? Plus they’ll have cute kids you can play with when your own are sullen teenagers.
This is the person who tells you how wonderful you are. They will convince you that you really can run the Cub Scout Pack like you just volunteered to do and that odds are your children will grow up to be perfectly normal human being no matter what they insist on doing when they’re three. They cheer each pound you lose, each mile you run, and each load of laundry you complete.
This is the person you call when you need someone to “talk you out of your tree”. Truth be known, your husband and children should send flowers to this person on a regular basis because she’s the reason you haven’t murdered them all with a butter knife . . . yet. She’s also the one who talks you out of painting your bedroom acid green, getting all your hair cut off, buying things on infomercials, and doing all those things that would have gotten you locked up in jail or a padded room.
What do you think? Are there categories I missed? By the way, the picture above is of me and Dianna, who has at times been called on to fill all the above roles (except “older friend”, of course!)
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