Sometimes Sucky Friends Are The Best Friends
Okay, before you get all huffy and think I’m talking smack about my friends, just hear me out.
The other day I’m sitting in the driveway of one of my friends. We’ll call her Beth, because that’s her name. And Beth says, “Hey. How are things going?” in that way she has of saying it like she really wants to know. And because we’re real with each other, I don’t say, “Couldn’t be better! The birds are singing and I’m happy to be alive.” Instead, I gave her my real answer:
“I’m in such a funk I can’t stand to be around myself. I’ve got so little business coming in this summer, that the family’s about to go on an 8-week Ramen Noodle diet. I just came back from the gym where I worked out for thirty-five minutes before realizing I never turned on the flippin’ stairmaster. The “check engine” light has been on in my car for a full month, so I’m pretty sure I could blow up at any moment. I got bleach on my favorite yoga pants which I have been wearing for nine days running, and if you drive by my house and see all the crap in the yard, I’m convinced you would hear the theme music for Sanford and Son. My son asks me a thousand times a day what is he supposed to do if he can’t play video games. And if my husband doesn’t stop whistling I’m going to claw my eyes out. He’s so happy, I’m sure he’s having an affair. And I’m having a really bad eyelash day.”
“Wow,” she says. “Sucks to be you.”
“How’s your day?” I ask. And here’s her answer:
“I have to teach summer school this year, and if I thought I hated kids before, I’m pretty sure I hate them now. I fell asleep at the pool yesterday and almost let my kid drown. I have to bake four dozen cup cakes for our family reunion by tomorrow. For us, Ramen Noodles would be a step up. Remember when I thought painting the kitchen lime green was a good idea? Well, now, not so much. Every time I walk in there I want to hang myself. Our neighbor’s kid sprained his ankle on our trampoline and I’m pretty sure we’re about to be sued. And I agreed to head up Vacation Bible School next year where I’m thinking the theme will be “Just Kill Me Now Lord.”
“Wow,” I say. “Sucks to be you.”
And we both smile. Big sloppy happy smiles. And I drive away feeling like a weight has been lifted, feeling like a million bucks. And she skips into her house with a whistle.
And it occurs to me that sometimes, we don’t need the friend who looks stunning in a bathing suit – the friend whose kitchen could star in a home and garden magazine – who knows exactly where her kids are at any given moment. Sometimes the friend we need is the one whose life is an utter mess – who actually makes us look good in comparison. Some days we just need the friend who sucks.
If you ever need that kind of friend, you know where to find me.
Just another example of how we can find humor in everyday life.
Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker, Huffington Post Contributor, and cast member of The Fashion Hero television show airing on Amazon Prime. She is also the author of Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale, The Land of If Only, The Story Formula, and The Affirmation Journal for Positive Thinking. She was a featured entertainer for Holland America Cruise Lines, keynote speaker for the International Toastmasters Convention, and has keynoted major conferences and corporate events from coast to coast. She just launched her one-woman show Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale in theaters, and it is being booked all over the country. In July of 2022, she was inducted into the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame.
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