Whoever said that best friends were the chocolate chips of life was definitely onto something. They’re the sweetness, sprinkled in between the muck of life – they’re the cause for celebration and excitement; they’re with you, always, even when you’re sure you don’t need them (but you always do).
They’re tender and always in style. Best friends, like chocolate chips, never lose their secret touch — they always add a little something extra to the mix, a little something sweet. So it makes sense to treat them as synonymously as we do our favorite, timeless chocolate treats.
Best friends are… well, best friends are everything.
You always think you know how much you need and appreciate them, but then the thing happens to you that you’re not ready to handle alone and suddenly, swiftly and unapologetically, you realize just how life-saving a friendship with your favorite person really is.
We reserve a special type of intimacy for our best friends; we tell them everything without ever having to say a word. We share secrets, we swap stories – and sometimes, we look to them to reveal the things we’re most afraid to tell ourselves.
We spend our lives running into and out of our best friends’ arms. We live and die by the connections that we build with them. We find them in the wind, the trees, the sun.
We see their face in a stranger as we’re passing the Seine or feel the comfort of a phrase they’d use rolled off the tongue of a local out of breath and hiking up the Andes.
Though we might not always be physically with them, we are never spiritually, emotionally or mentally without them. We carry them everywhere, through everything.
From an early age, we learn to protect and covet that relationship. We learn that friends may come and go but best friends, now they are worth celebrating – and holding on to.
We weave in and out of touch, sometimes just hours and other times, we let the chaos of life and love and family and work carve out deep craters of space, yet we fill them quickly and absentmindedly.
But life happens and it wedges itself in between, into small crevices and swiftly into small holes; in places we never even thought to safeguard. But magically, without fail, best friendships prevail, navigating their way through.
And, all along, we make promises to each other. Some spoken out loud and some silently promised. We make them to each other and for each other because we love, respect and want more than anything to protect one another.
We want to preserve what is good and sacred and what has kept us held together every time we’re threatened with falling apart.
We make these promises because we want to know that something gold can stay. We make them because we know that nothing and no one will ever love us this good, this wholesomely, this proudly, this honestly.
1. I promise to disagree with you often, love you always and respect whatever it is you decide.
2. I promise to tell you that he’s all wrong for you, but support you regardless
3. I promise to hold your hair back, even though it’s 9 am and you’ve been puking for the last eight hours and I don’t even know whose apartment we’re at.
4. I promise to take the fall for something you did – knowing full well that you’d do it for me in a heartbeat.
5. I promise to fight with you, to force you to step outside of your comfort zone.
6. I promise to laugh at you when you fall: down the stairs, at a party, on the sidewalk, on the catwalk. I promise to laugh so hard I actually start to pee a little.
7. I promise to tell you when you’re making a mistake – and then help you get out of it.
8. I promise to remind you, always, that things could be worse.
9. I promise never to show up empty-handed and to bring enough wine and cheese for the both of us.
10. I promise never to tell you that things will be all right because, honestly, I don’t know if they ever will be.
11. I promise to protect you from others – and sometimes even from yourself.
12. I promise to be there when you need me, to come running as fast as I can and to be with you in spirit, in person or on the phone, so you’re never experiencing the tough stuff alone.
13. I promise never to bite my tongue and always to tell you how I feel – especially about the heinous pink top and those hideous sequined pants.
14. I promise never to sugarcoat the tough stuff and always to tell you the truth, even if it’s the last thing that you want to hear.
15. I promise to stand up for you, stand up to you and stand with you, even when I have no clue what we’re standing for.
16. I promise always to be your right-hand woman, your partner in crime, the yin to your yang, the Bert to your Ernie – no matter how many years it’s been since college or how long has passed since the last time we blacked out together.
17. I promise never to stand idly by while a man who you love disrespects you.
18. I promise never to tell you not to do the stupid stuff we all know you’re going to regret eventually. Instead, I promise to do them with you and we can regret them later.
19. I promise never to assume you want to share that chocolate bar, that pint of ice cream or that jar of Nutella – so I’ll just bring two instead.
20. I promise to let you run off and lose yourself, find yourself, reinvent and reimagine yourself, but I promise never to let you get so far as to forget your way home.
21. I promise never to tell anyone about that one time in college, or that one trip to the Caribbean, or that one time we… I promise to protect your secrets like they were my own.
22. I promise to make you want more, to make you reach for more, to make you want to do better than the shoes you’re standing in now — even when you don’t know what you want.
23. I promise to love you, unconditionally, through every high, low, peak and valley life takes us through.