1) When they stop by unexpectedly for a visit, you don’t panic if your house looks like an episode of Hoarders.
Most of us do a great job at keeping our home a sanctuary, but sometimes, particularly for those of us with small children, the couch cushions are on the floor and there's something smeared on the wall that looks suspiciously like peanut butter. We hope.
I've deep cleaned before the maintenance man has come over to change a filter before, but for my best friend? She can move the junk mail and a box of tampons off the chair while I wash out a mug from the pile of dirty dishes in the sink so I can pour her a cup of coffee. True friendship knows no dirty house bounds. That doesn't make sense. Moving on ...
2) “Girls Night Out” means bras are optional while you drink wine on the couch.
Of course, the two of you could get in your heels and tear the town up like you're still in your early twenties, or you could get into your yoga pants with a bottle of wine to vent, laugh hysterically, then turn on HGTV to take bets on who's gonna "Love It" and who's gonna "List It."
If they're a true friend, you'll have just as much fun doing either. Well, depending on your age - probably the latter if we're being honest.
3) You’ll wreck your diets for each other without question or remorse.
A typical BFF conversation may go something like this:
“My husband and I are fighting, please tell me you can meet me for $2 margarita Tuesday."
“Well, I’ve hired an expensive trainer, haven’t had sugar in months, and I’m finally seeing results after hitting a long plateau. Go ahead and order me the margarita they serve in a giant fish tank - I’ll be there in 30 minutes. Oh, and get the nachos - desperate times call for desperate calories.”
A true friend will make the cheese covered sacrifice. You're worth it.
4) You’ll spend the whole day shopping together and then get on the phone for another two hours once the kids are in bed.
Two close friends will talk about our dreams, goals and hopes for our family. We will also talk to ad nauseam about how a pair of knee high boots we just bought won't zip up past our calves. And, for good measure, we'll also live chat during "The Little Couple." The conversational topics we can cover for hours never ends.
A mystery most men will never understand.
5) You have an agreement that, if one of you dies, the other burns your private journal, trashes your period panties and deletes anything embarrassing on your browser history.
Do husbands ever need to stumble upon our Google search of “Can obsessive wiping cause a crotch rash?” while mourning our death? No, not really. Do our parents need to know what really went down during your class trip to New Orleans 10 years ago? They'll pass, thanks.
Like a good mafia cover up, some things need to be destroyed upon on our deaths and our a best friend is the only person you can trust with the evidence.
6) They’ll like your status update when no one else will.
We can't hit 'em out of the park every time, AMIRITE folks?! Maybe our status update about how much we love a fresh tomato wasn't our best online work, but damn it, sometimes we just need to express ourselves!
While everyone else scrolls on by not giving a crap, our BFF will tap tap tappy a little Like on it just to say, "While I was also bored with this status update, I see you. I hear you. And I'll stand by you while you embarrass yourself online."
7) They know how you’re feeling based solely on the amount of selfies being posted on social media.
When a best friend says, "Hey, I haven't seen much of you lately - are you doing ok?" what they really mean is, "Hey, you're not filling up my feed with pictures of you making duck lips while holding up a skinny vanilla latte. Does the baby have another ear infection?"
They know us better than we know ourselves.
8) They know more about our sex life with our spouse than our spouse.
There's no talking point off limits with a BFF. There are things our friends know about our sex lives that our man isn't even aware of and he was the only other person there at the time. It's an understanding everyone is aware of and no one ever talks about. In the words of Celine Dion, "And that's the way it is."
I know the Celine song was a bit of a stretch, but it's been stuck in my head for close to an hour and I had to get it out. Now it's probably stuck in yours. You're welcome.
9) They’ll let you know if that empire dress makes you look pregnant without hesitation.
If it's coming from our best friend, we're not hurt, we're relieved they saved us from an evening of ignorant bliss that will come back to haunt us in photos later.
But there's a caveat. A good friend knows that “Girl, how much lube did it take to get you into those pants?” once you’re already at the baby shower is too little, too late and will put you into a tail spin of shirt tugging muffin top checks that serve no one. A good friend knows when to white lie it out until it's safe for everyone involved. That's how much they love you.
10) When you decide, against your better judgment, to sing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” on karaoke night, they’ll clap and cheer like you’re Justin Timberlake while no one else gives a crap.
Someone just sang "Shoop" from Salt N Peppa and brought the house down right before your name was called to sing a romance ballad so far out of your range that not even the good Lord knows what you were thinking. But with a good friend by our side, we should fear nothing. While you start singing as people go to the bathroom, talk loudly over you, shout and laugh at each other and otherwise completely ignore you, your BFF is throwing out periodic "woots" and air high fives your way.
The point is, they have our back before, during and after we make an ass out of ourselves.
11) They're so loyal, if someone hurts you they'll go from Anne of Green Gables to The Real Housewives of New Jersey on someone's ass real quick.
Did someone say something awful about you? Were you treated badly? Did some idiot judge you with their eyes while your child threw a public tantrum?
Then you better hold your friend's earrings, because it's about to get real.
A mature best friend will lovingly let you know if you're in the wrong in a situation, but if someone blatantly hurts you - you know they have your back. And in a world that can beat us up like this one can at times, a loving, loyal friend is a rare gift indeed.
So while you may have to remind them, "That person apologized and we're cool now, you can stop giving them dirty looks," from time to time - rest assured, you're loved.
Review the list, add your own if you must. If you know someone that hits most or all of these points, you might just have yourself a best friend. Lucky you. :D
A couple of these nuggets were written with the help of HooHas Contributor, Sara Baxter. Post originally publised, July 28, 2014.