Last night, I had a date night with one of my best friends here in Portland. I didn’t realize until we were settling into our beers and nursing our tequila shots that I had really needed a night with my girl. It’s funny, because when I met this particular friend years ago, I never expected our friendship to last beyond those a few months (never mind becoming sincere friends). She’s a little crazy, a little compulsive and very reactionary. There was a time I had scrambled around town to pick her up to meet with another friend for drinks, and she leapt out of the still moving car, onto the sidewalk and booked it- all because of a text message I’d gotten from our friend saying she was bummed that we were taking so long.
But that’s changing. I think we’re getting older. And what I realized last night, was that we were performing a form of therapy for one another. If I don’t want her for a best friend, who do I really want? Someone predictable? Of course not- I can’t handle anything predictable. If I know the ending to a movie when we’re only five minutes in, I can’t watch it. I don’t want to be able to guess what’s happening, I want things to be intriguing. And Brynne is fun- we get each other’s humor. We can watch Chopped at 2:30am after going out drinking and laugh at ourselves curled up together on the couch. She’s gorgeous and she’s all about female empowerment. She isn’t afraid to be loud and she remembers everything. These are all traits that I adore in others. So why would I want to have anyone else as a best friend?
“Nobody’s perfect,” is a true and classic saying. You just have to decide what you’re willing to compromise on and what you aren’t. All of these thoughts rolled around my head during date night at the bar, and then again this morning at breakfast- especially when the conversation turned to dating. One of our other great friends, Nadine, had recently hung out with a guy, Paul. When we asked how she felt about him, Nadine came right out and said, “I have to be less vain.” Apparently Paul was a little on the plain side in terms of dress for Nadine’s tastes; but he’s interesting, very sweet, and thoughtful. He has a good job and is working on a film project to document the vinyl scene in Portland. So the only thing flawed in him was his amount of stylistic flair. Hearing Nadine recognize this and openly call herself on it was a blunt and extremely self-aware move. It was refreshing to hear someone admitting a personal flaw like this.
I brought up another guy, one that had been pursuing me. He is interesting, thoughtful and handsome- but I wasn’t sure if he was the “right” handsome for me. And then I realized I needed to get over myself too. As Nadine said it, we sometimes have the image of the person we’re going to be with in our minds, and when that image doesn’t match our reality, we balk. I want to stop balking. I want to live with one of my best friends that I’ve known for years and I want to date someone who is interesting and who cares about me. Who gives a damn if it isn’t what we thought it’d be? We shouldn’t. If we get too caught up thinking about how something should be, we’ll miss the chance to actually have it when it arrives.