“You don’t need a ton of friends, Honey. You only need a few really good friends who are always there for you,” stated my Mom.
I’m sure I nodded outwardly while fighting the urge to roll my teenage eyes with the limited understanding that she in fact, did not understand teenage friendship– thankyouverymuch. Mothers always have a way of being right. Especially when they have valiantly braved the Battle of Little Big Horn that is raising a teenage daughter.
Years later in College, her words came back in true comfortable fashion as I found myself sharing life with a handful of sweet friends. We sat in a hushed library and snickered softly while flipping through Greek vocab cards. We passionately rid our room of a cricket once in the middle of the night. We slid down the stairs on a mattress, just for fun. We made Quesadillas like real Senoritas and killed our fair share of house plants. We baked each other birthday cakes, laughed hard, and occasionally ate a vegetable. We opted out of Doctrine class a handful of times* to usher in spring with ice cream and a sunny walk. We drank hot tea with scones and talked about the future. Then when the immediate future came knocking on our little townhouse door, we watched each other fall in love, get married, and grow up seemingly all at once. We stood by in satin and millions of bobby-pins and watched each other walk down the aisle to a sunny tomorrow. We have shared both in one another’s great happiness and unexpected sadness.
Today we’re all spread out in several corners of the world. Babies on our hips, our knees hugged by littles. I often wish we could cash in on one more girl’s night, one more night of serious conversation punctuated with the occasional snort-laugh. I know that we would have even more to say now that God has given us little copycats with our same quirks. Even though I may wish we could share the same zip code again– we are still strongly connected. The love that grew us together as we grew up runs deep. Whether we steal a couple hours together once a year or we keep up across the miles with pictures and messages, my life is enriched because of those women.
I recently read a book that caused me to reflect and appreciate those friendships forged over mid-terms and mall trips. Melanie Shankle’s newest book, Nobody’s Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendshipis every bit as warm and comforting as a day with my girls way back then. Y’all. I loved this book almost as much as I love Melanie!
She hilariously recounts her growing up with friends stories, both the ones that lasted a lifetime and those that came and went with the seasons of life. Melanie is respectful and caring as she shares and invites the reader into that sacred space of close community. I literally walked away from the book feeling as though I personally knew Melanie, Gulley, Tiff, and Jen! This is Melanie’s third memoir (you can find the other two here.) The first two, Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living Room were equally as delightful, but Nobody’s Cuter than You adds a new element of roll-on-the-floor laughter. Still, Melanie tenderly shares those unexpected heartaches of life and the importance of “having your people” there with you through it all.
The unquestionable BEST part about Nobody’s Cuter than You, is that it brought about my own reflection of how unbelievably blessed I have been with dear friends. Friends I could not live without out and would not dare try to. I would whole-heartedly suggest this book as a gift to anyone you wish to say, “Nobody’s Cuter than You!”