Back when I was in my 20s, I used to hear women my age (mid-40s) say that if you are fortunate to have one true friend, consider yourself blessed. At the time, I was like "One? Just one?" but, on this side of wisdom, I totally get where they were coming from—now. It's one thing to know a lot of folks or to even enjoy several different people's company.
But when you're heartbroken and someone sits with you on the phone throughout the entire night or you lose a job and someone financially sacrifices in order to help you get through the following month of bills—yeah, if you find one person who is willing to have your back in that way, that is who is truly a friend. And that is the ultimate kind of blessing.
A couple of months, I wrote a piece on 10 things that you should expect from friends, in general. What separates your best friend from them is the fact that not only is your BFF loyal, honest and supportive, they also do it better than anyone else that you know.
I don't know about you, but after a lot of blood, sweat, tears (and even a little bit of drama), if someone were to ask me who my best friend was, I wouldn't have to hesitate. I immediately know who's shown up and out in my life. If you can totally relate, take a little time out of today—National Best Friends Day—to let your bestie know just how much you love, respect and appreciate them by doing one (or a few) of the following things.
Have a BFF Movies Night
A really popular friendship quote is by author C.S. Lewis—"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What? You too? I thought I was the only one!'" From music to food to movies, chances are, there are things that you and your bestie thoroughly enjoy, even if no one else does. In celebration of some of the things you both love, pick a night to watch some of your favorite flicks together. To make it even better, hit up Postmates to order some of the food you both like to eat too. It's like a sleepover…only, for grown folks.
Make a Photo Album of the Two of You
If you've been besties for a while now, there are probably a ton of pics that you've both accumulated over the years. Why not turn them into prints, print doubles and make a photo album for each of you? One way you can do this is downloading the Walgreens app; that way, you can send your pic files over, they can print them off for you and you can pick them up when they are ready. Another option is to use photo sites and apps like Canvas, Shutterfly, PrintStudio, Free Prints and HP Sprocket (it lets you turn your pics into stickers).
Handwrite Them a Letter
One of my girlfriends has some sort of VIP card at Hallmark. Every time she tells me that, the first thing that comes to my mind is "Hallmark still exists?!" The last time I saw one of those was basically the last time I saw a Borders bookstore (which is kind of sad when I really stop to think about it). The next thing that comes to mind is the reminder that making the time to handwrite notes is still a really sweet thing to do. In fact, Lifehack once published an article stating that we should pen letters more because it's a classy move, it speaks to the importance of the relationship and research proves that they make us, the writer, happy too (among other things).
Why not bring a smile to you and your BFF's face by handwriting her a letter of appreciation? I can't think of one reason why they wouldn't love you to the moon and back for making the time to do it.
Treat Her to a Mani/Pedi
If you want to observe National Best Friends Day by taking your BFF on a date, there's no way you can go wrong by surprising them with a mani/pedi date. If money is tight, a few hacks that can save you money is to ask the salon what mani/pedi deals they have available, removing gel polish at home, bringing your own polish along or, expanding that movie night suggestion I made and doing each other's hands and feet while you're watching Love Jones or Brown Sugar—for the billionth time.
Get Something Customized on Etsy
If you want to get your friend something nice, but you want to avoid anything that says "mall shopping" all over it, do what I do about 7.5 times out of 10—get them something on Etsy. You can customize just about anything you can think of, from T-shirts and body products to jewelry and art.
Case in point—one of my closest friends, emailed me not too long ago to tell me that she would be sending me a Harriet Tubman stamp; that way, while we're waiting for the hater president to get out of office, we can still see Harriet's face on our $20 bill if want to. (Gotta love that Etsy!)
Bring the Friendship Bracelet Back
From what I've read, friendship bracelets have been around, almost since the beginning of time. Indians in Central and South America, along with Asians in China, are who initially made them popular. According to tradition, once you tie this kind of bracelet on to your wrist, you should make a wish and it will come true. This kind of bracelet is also something that's supposed to remain on your wrist until it is too worn to stay on, making it a symbol of all of the love and work you put into your friendship.
Sites like Amazon have a variety of friendship bracelets that you can buy. Or, add an extra special touch by making one for you and your friend instead (one style that looks great at any age is here).
Invent a Specialized Drink (then Certify It)
Here's one of the coolest ideas I've heard of in a really long time. You might've attended a wedding before where they couple featured a signature drink. Well, why not invent a drink—cocktail or mocktail—that's either in honor of your friend or your friendship overall? Then, after you do it, make the drink "official" by getting it certified?
If you go to Bartender's website, they've got a way for you to print out the recipe (along with your name) so that you can have the "cocktail right" to your creation. Then you can frame it so that your friend can always remember that there is a drink that is theirs—or y'all's—and no one else's.
Write Their Attributes. Blow It Up and Frame It.
Several years ago, I decided to do something extra-special for a friend of mine. She really wanted to be married at the time, but she kept choosing guys who went totally against the grain of what she claimed she was looking for. We had discussed her dream attributes so much that one day, I put them all down on a piece of paper, in a special font, had it blown up (it was huge) and mounted. The moment that I handed it to her, she was in tears. My motive in making it wasn't so she could have another piece of art to put on her walls; it was so she could remember what she was deserving of, the next time she considered settling.
If you've got someone in your life who personally or professionally settles more than they should or you simply want to personally remind them of how awesome they are, take out a moment to write their attributes, desires or goals down and turn them into a poster. It's one of the best shots to their self-esteem they could get. It's one of the best displays of love that you could offer them as well.
Get Them a Few of Their Favorite Things
My confidant is the ultimate girlie-girl. My godchildren's mom takes Bohemian to an entirely different level (speaking of Bohemian, bless your life and watch this video about the day in the life of Lenny Kravitz when you get a chance). One of my favorite people has Ann Taylor written all over her. And then, there's me—graphic tees, Pumas and silver jewelry. What this all boils down to is none of my friends even remotely have the same taste in…just about anything. But, I kind of like it that way.
A part of what comes with being a good friend is paying attention to a friend's likes/dislikes/tastes. It's not about getting them what we want to have but being in tune with what will put a smile on their face; what they will truly adore. Retaining what that is and then handing them a couple of those items on National Best Friends Day is how you can make it super special as well as memorable for them. It's a great way to be a good friend to your best friend!
Take a Best Friends Trip
At this stage in my life, I'm pretty much the only single woman out of my circle of close friends. And since most of them are not only married but mothers, a trip generally consists of me going to see them and having play time with children as much as Netflix binge-watching with their parents. But if you and your BFF are not married and/or don't have kids (it's easier to do a trip with your friends when you're married and without children), another thing that you can do is take a trip together.
Now that you know that 6/8 is National Best Friends Day, each and every year, you can both download an electronic vision board so that you can plan for something 12 months from now, or you can take a weekend-long road trip, or the two of you can spend the night in a hotel up the street, just to get a change of scenery. Whatever it is that you come up with, just like a vacation is a great way for couples to reconnect, it's also a cool way for friends to do the same.
(If you need some travel ideas, we've got an entire section devoted to being out-and-about right here.)
Featured image by Getty Images
Originally June 8, 2019