Early this morning, after I’d rolled myself out of bed, just late enough to miss the yoga class I’d ambitiously told myself to attend, I was taking stock of everything in my kitchen and realized there are a few staple items I’m going to need before starting the Whole30 on Tuesday. Despite the fact that it was 6:25 and the sun wasn’t even up yet, I texted my lovely friend M for advice on the best time to go to Trader Joe’s (answer: pretty much never), and then we just went back and forth for a bit, catching up on our Thursday nights, until it was just past 7 and I needed to finish getting ready for work. M and I frequently text this early in the morning about anything and nothing – I think since I live alone and her N doesn’t wake up until after she’s left for work, it’s a chance for both of us to have a conversation before starting our days. M is the only person (aside from Mama B on occasion) who I text with that early in the morning, so when I heard my phone chirp early yesterday, I assumed it was her. Imagine my surprise when it was a message from my anchor G, who not only is NOT a morning person, but is an hour behind NYC in Texas. Immediately nervous something was wrong, I frantically opened the text to read “I just need a minute,” and as I read on I smiled: first, because everything was fine, and second, because there are some conversations you can really only have with your best friend at 7 in the morning from across the country.
In this day and age, there are some really weird ways that we show each other affection. People write “Happy Birthday!” on Facebook instead of calling or even texting, and sharing your Netflix password, or better yet, your HBOGo account, is the highest honor a friend can bestow. The really good friends always check with the photo subjects before posting a group selfie to Instagram, a quickly-becoming unwritten rule for a good friendship, and you can maintain entire relationships through a small tablet between long text conversations and maybe a late-night Facetime now and again. Sure, there’s a personal aspect that’s missing with these types of interactions, but when you have friends scattered all over the country, plus a busy job, it’s hard to find that half-hour or hour to sit and catch up on life. I mean, it’s not like I’ll text just anyone at 6 in the morning – let’s be real, 9 times out of 10 the only thing I want to hear before 7am is the buzz of the coffee maker and Weather on the 1s (NYC gets it). But for a quick conversation to confirm if I should stock up on coconut butter from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, or maybe a conversation to help a friend through a frustrating moment, I’ll respond any time of the day.
G and I are in a similarly interesting place in our lives, as we’ve had a lot of personal experiences that mirror each other in the past two years. She also dealt with a life-changing break-up, she also dealt with someone who wasn’t mature enough for the promises he made, and she’s also navigating single life with a cautious yet reckless abandon, something I picked up from her because I admire it so much. We’re really good at keeping up with each other on the phone, long Sunday afternoon phone dates where I pace my apartment as little miss follows, laughing at everything and sharing all the details, but every once in a while we need an early-morning bitch fest to get out the frustrations of being 20-somethings with someone who understands exactly how the other is feeling. It’s in these moments I’m so grateful we can text quickly instead of waiting for the long Sunday calls; it’s a chance to bitch and moan to someone across the country so you don’t take frustration out on anyone around you. It’s also a great chance to stay attuned to the little details of our lives, the way we did in college, when an early morning bitch-fest meant someone breaking into the other’s dorm room and climbing into her bed, demanding a hug and stealing as much of the comforter as possible. It’s comforting, almost, being able to share a few minutes in the morning, because it makes me feel like she’s two doors down again, waiting for me to walk to class.
I don’t think our morning text sessions will ever reach the level that M and I text. After all, M and I live two blocks away instead of 2,000 miles, and are basically in constant contact all day, between grocery lists, videos from work and coordinating weekend plans. It’s nice to know that the option is there, though, when I really need G for just a minute. Sometimes that just means one of us has a date later that night and we’re nervous, or sometimes it’s the morning after the date and you need to share details. Sometimes it’s just an excuse to send angry words in ALL CAPS because it’s frustrating to be the only single person in your group of friends, and sometimes it’s half-joking complaints that those friends will never understand what we’ve been through, though god knows they keep trying. I’m sure the next time I see her name on my phone it’ll be a long conversation over the actual phone, since we’re way, way overdue. But in the meantime, it’s nice to have “just a minute” here and there to stay in touch, regardless of whether I’ve had my coffee yet or not.