Friendships are funny things. Funny haha and funny weird. I admit upfront that I'm a horrid BFF who is lucky enough to be blessed with two friends who accept me as I am. Somebody slack. Really, really slack. This is how slack: I read their text, grin...and never respond, I read their emails, hoot with laughter...and never reply, I listen to their voicemail messages, wince at reminders to call them and let them know I'm still alive...and never return their calls, I view the pxts they send me of their children and go "Awww!"...and never send any of my nephews in return, I talk to them by phone occasionally and promise we should do catchup lunch/margarita night/icecream breakfast...and never do. The list goes on. I truly always mean to stay in touch more, I just never seem to. The downside is that I miss out on so much of their lives and wonder why I'm amazed that the oldest of their daughters is now at tertiary. When did this happen? The upside is that when we finally do manage to get together we spend hours making the most of it. In the last two weeks I've been fortunate enough to have spent two such girl' nights in with friends old and new, and those of you who know what I'm talking about will understand this next comment. BFF dinners/get togethers are made of this: chocolate, tears, wine, pointed comments, cheese, loud talk, chips with dip, dinosaur lollies, embarrassing questions, rum and coke, Sherlock and John *sigh* and, as ever, love and laughter. And so, in honour of just such people, here are five fictional friendships that I admire. (And sometimes wish I could embody).
Do you have a favourite fictional friendship (book or film)?
It / Stephen King
It was the children who saw - and felt - what made the town so horribly different. In the storm drains and sewers 'It' lurked, taking the shape of every nightmare, each one's deepest dread. As the children grow up and move away, the horror of 'It' is buried deep - until they are called back.
Tosca's comment: Seriously, a lifelong friendship forged by a vow to rid the world of a homicidal killer demon clown with lethally sharp teeth. (I prefer not to see my irrational dislike of clowns as 'coulrophobia,' even if maybe it is). Children all affected by Pennywise in some horrific way or another wanting to save the world. Or their tiny part of it, anyway. What isn't to like about the relationship that develops between the Losers Club? Somewhat extreme, as friendships go, so I'll cut myself a little slack for not being this kind of a BFF.
Anne of Green Gables / L.M. Montgomery
As soon as Anne Shirley arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever...but would the Cuthberts send her back to the orphanage? Anne knows she's not what they expected--a skinny girl with decidedly red hair and a temper to match. If only she could convince them to let her stay, she'd try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes or blurt out the very first thing she had to say. Anne was not like anybody else, everyone at Green Gables agreed; she was special--a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreamed of the day when she could call herself Anne of Green Gables.
Tosca's comment: Anne Shirley *sigh* I wanted to be Anne. I wanted her adventures, I wanted her friendship with Diana Berry, I wanted to grow up in Green Gables and, most of all, I wanted a Gilbert of my very own. This book has timeless appeal for me. Anne was a little intense, though, because I wouldn't call my BFFs my 'bosom buddies' even though I guess that that is, in essence, what they are. Although there is no way in Hades I would ever stage Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott with them. No way, no how. Not for all the raspberry cordial in the world. Speaking of raspberry cordial! Came across the blog Yes and Yes Because Yes is More Fun Than No! where Yes and Yes has a Literary Nibbles post for raspberry cordial BECAUSE she has an Anne of Green Gables Cookbook. Which I didn't know even existed. How could I not know this? I shall have to rectify that.
Charlotte's web / E.B. White ; illustrated by Garth Williams
Wilbur, runt of the litter, is reared by Fern the farmer's daughter, and is saved from slaughter by his friend Charlotte, a literate spider, who weaves words such as 'radiant' or 'some pig' in spider's webs over Wilbur's pen.
Tosca's comment: If I had to think of the first kids book that made me cry, and that I'd read all by myself, it'd be this one. I was 7 and incredibly dorky. (Possibly there were other books before this one but Oscar Wilde's stories don't count because mum read those to me, and seriously, I remember sobbing like my heart was breaking every time she'd read The Happy Prince). I watched the cartoon with my parents in the early 80s, and cried like it was the book all over again. Back then I wouldn't have been able to tell you what about the story I liked. Now, I could probably say that it was more that the book was about life and death, about how nobody can stay the same forever. Things have to change, life has to happen, and you can make some incredible friends in between it all.
About a boy / Nick Hornby
Will Behr lives on his own and does not want children, but he does see the point of single mothers, especially if they look like Julie Christie. Then he meets Marcus, whose parents have split up and who is being persecuted by bullies. Marcus discovers that Will has a lot to teach him about life.
Tosca's comment: An unlikely friendship between 12 year old Marcus and 36 year old Will (who seems more immature than Marcus most days). Marcus doesn't fit in at school, and Will is a poser. Possibly, that's too harsh an assessment of Will on my part but he really is a total git. Their friendship, and the way Will becomes a grown up (seriously, who buys a child's car seat and attends single parent group sessions to pick up women?) is the best part. I admit that I cringed all the way through their rendition of Killing Me Softly.
The sisterhood of the traveling pants / Ann Brashares
During their first summer apart, four teenage girls, best friends since earliest childhood, stay in touch through a shared pair of secondhand jeans that magically adapts to each of their figures and affects their attitudes to their different summer experiences. ALA best books for young adults 2002.
Tosca's comment: Sure, my friends and I wouldn't want to wear the same pair of jeans even if we could all get into them or find a pair magical enough to fit three extremely different body shapes, but that's not the point of the book, or of the friendship. And, ok, so a couple of the characters irritated me times eleventy-hundred (Bridget and Lena, to be specific), but I liked how the story was more about four young women learning to grow up without growing apart and drifting away from each other. They think that the jeans are almost-but-not-quite magical and are what holds them together, they don't realise that it's their friendship that is the true magic. Yeah, it's Friday, I'm allowed to be sentimental on a Friday!