I believe that friendship is an indispensable part of life. Throughout school, I was painfully shy and had a very hard time making friends. Although I had a few friends throughout school, it was in college that I developed the friend dimension in myself, learning what being friends was all about.

I believe that friendship is about sharing your shortcomings as well as your strengths. I like when friends open up about mistakes that they have made since no one is perfect. I hate when friends try to act like they are perfect. I had one friend that always boasted that everyone thought she was perfect and never shared any real shortcomings with me. So I was never very close to her.
Throughout my childhood, my best friends were these twins. We came from very similar backgrounds and have known each other since we were five. However, I was very different from the two of them. Although we got along, I never opened up completely to them, and I do not believe that they did to me, either. They did not understand many of the problems that they had since they never had similar feelings. Even when we were children, we had different tastes. I always loved to play dolls and house, which they never were fond of. Despite our differences, I still thought of them as my best friends. I still know them today, but do not keep much in touch with them.
In eighth grade, I went to boarding school, and my friend was this girl whom I was with 24/7. We had a lot in common, such as being animal lovers, bookworms, and introverts. I have fought with her more than I have fought with anyone else, combined, but I was still extremely close to her.
Later in my life, I finally had a very close friend. She and I had similar beliefs and dreams. However, I was lacking in maturity and street-smartness while she was exceptionally mature beyond her years and knew how to live on her own. I considered her my best friend. She, however, did not believe in best friends and considered her boyfriend her best friend. During the years that I knew her, she was mostly into her relationship with her boyfriend and not much into friendships. However, I learned a lot from her about life. I do not think that she valued me as much as I valued her, however. I would also like to now comment on the idea that your significant other is your best friend. I really do not believe that your significant other should be the one to be your best friend because first and foremost, your relationship with that other is of a romantic partner, not a friend, although the significant other can and should also be a friend to you. It is like saying that your mother or sister is your best friend. By saying that your significant other is a best friend is placing him/her in comparison with your other friends, which is like comparing apples to oranges. I believe that you should have a platonic best friend whom you consider your best friend when you have a significant other, even if you are closer to your significant other. Platonic friendship is irreplaceable and indispensable. Maybe when you get married, it will end up that your best friend is your spouse since you share all of your life's tasks, journeys, and lessons with the spouse, much like you did with your platonic best friend. However, when you are unmarried, you should keep a platonic best friend. If I was in an unmarried romantic relationship, I would consider my closest platonic friend my best friend, rather than my boyfriend. It is only when I enter marriage and take an oath to always be there for the other,that I should consider my husband my best friend. Also, after marriage, one does not have as much time for friends as before, as friendships might end up not being as much a priority. However, when I marry, I hope to still stay strong friends with all my friends even if I have different priorities.

I found another close friend in Carly whom I acted in Night School with. I was very impressed with her from the moment that I saw her and wanted to be friends with her. She really came across as very intellectual and talented and had many similar interests to me. I became friends with her after we performed Night School when she founded the Lipstick Lunch gathering where we wear lipstick and catch up on our busy metropolitan lives. I think of the Lipstick Lunch girls as my clique of friends, my best friends right now. Carly and I have gotten very close since starting the Lipstick Lunch. We come from different backgrounds, but have a lot of the same thoughts and beliefs. We both love literature, writing, and acting. Even though we come from different backgrounds, we still appreciate and respect each other's backgrounds. I loved visiting her family home. Carly told me that she wants to visit India one day.

I have also gotten very close to Kerry from Lipstick Lunch. She is so attractive in her sunny, bubbly, chirpy, and happy personality! I knew from the first Lipstick Lunch that I met her that we would make great friends. She and I both love reading and creative writing and are romantics at heart. We went to the Mermaid Parade together. Carly, Kerry, and I hang out as three many times, and it has been a lot of fun.

I like everyone in Lipstick Lunch for their different personalities. The other two original Lipstick Lunch girls, other than Carly and me, are Cynthia and Mireille. I love how Cynthia is so rational and calm, the voice of reason just as Miranda is for Carrie in Sex and the City. Carly is like Carrie in her confidence, bubbly personality, and love for journalistic writing. Carly, like Carrie, is also the leader of the group, the one that runs Lipstick Lunch. I am like Charlotte (as I mentioned before) in being romantic and believing in fairy tales.
I admire Mireille for being confident, intellectual, and proud of who she is. I love that she reads classics all the time. Just like me, she likes writing and acting. I admire Kait for being so intellectual, literary, and sophisticated. I would like to know Kait better as she comes to more Lipstick Lunches and get closer to her. Elena is one girl that I brought into Lipstick Lunch. Carly said that she added dynamic to the group and that she is a perfect balance of the left and right brains. Elena is so sweet and easy to get along with. I also really love the charming, charismatic Lada for being so cool, relaxed, and yet smart. I have gotten along very well with Alex whom I feel is a kindred spirit. She and I both enjoy fantasy, magic,  literature, and Spanish. I also really love Cindy who is so warm, friendly, bubbly, knowledgeable, and intelligent. Adrienne is a new girl from a Pop Culture Conference that I brought into Lipstick Lunch whom everyone loved. She is so friendly and easy-going and intellectual and artistic. I am so glad that she will be coming to future Lipstick Lunches. I will also write about Allison, Kerry's sister who was fortunately able to come to Lipstick Lunch when she was in NYC. I really loved Allison from before I met her. First of all, I love the name, Allison! Second of all, Carly & Kerry said very charming things about her. When I met Allison, she was so charismatic, bubbly, friendly, and easy to click with! She fit in right well with the Lipstick Lunch clique. I hope I get to see her again.
Whenever I am Lipstick Lunch, I am happy and can be myself and sincere and can attract people to me as a friend. I remember when I was talking about the Mermaid Parade, I told this new girl that she should come and that I would love to have her there! And I felt so happy and sincere saying that.
Writing about Lipstick Lunch has made me so happy, loosened me up, and write from the heart! I am so glad to finally have a group of friends and hope that we can be friends forever!
I would also like to write about another special friend, Leslie. We went to elementary school together and were best friends in first grade. She and I had a lot in common even at that young age. We are both imaginative, creative, and artistic. We both have a delicious outside-the-box imagination. We are both interested in writing and theatre although it would be an understatement to say that she is ahead of me in those fields. Leslie owns a dance theatre company called the Movement Workshop Group, which has produced beautiful, unique, ingenious pieces! Her pieces were the inspiration for a novel that I am working on. Leslie, like me, is like a kaleidoscope, full of different colors and mirrors at once. She even created a dance piece called Snowglobe where she, in one part, represented a snow globe turned upside-down! In my ideal life, I would be best friends with Leslie in elementary school and even beyond. I was thus very complimented when she told another of my friends and also one of her friends that we were best friends in first grade! So I guess that I do have more of my ideal life than I think! I know that Leslie will be a wonderful addition to the Lipstick Lunch where she will fit in well!

I will also write about Melissa, a classmate from my doctoral career. I first met her in a Caribbean Literature class. From there, itself, she showed herself to be unique, creative, and intellectual. Since then, I wanted to be friends with her. Everyone says that she is a lot of fun! We have so far had a few deep-bonding experiences where she shared with me stories about her childhood and the very romantic story of how she met her now fiancé. Just like me, she loves fairy tales! That is something that you do not find in many people. I got to hang out with her again after years a few months ago, between both our very busy schedules. She also would like to join Lipstick Lunch, and I hope that on a day in the near future, the schedules or hers and Lipstick Lunch will click.
A lot of classical writers have written about friendship. I will explore the topic further. My favorite professor from Rutgers, Professor Ronald Levao, held a graduate seminar on Friendship in Shakespeare. I wish that I could have attended it so that I could offer some intellectual perspectives on friendship. You will hear more from me on this topic once I have researched it further.

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