The Business of Friendship 

Today has turned into a bit of an impromptu nostalgia fest; part fuelled by the fact I can hear my housemate watching Spiceworld through the wall, but mainly because of the ‘How Much Of A 90s Girl Were You’ quiz doing the rounds on Facebook.

Just in case you were wondering, according to Popsugar, I had my 90s pop culture and trends down. Oh yes, from my Kappa Jacket and chunky platform loafers to my Coffee Shimmer lipstick – I was as 90s as Mr Blobby wearing a Fat Willy’s t-shirt.

That’s right, I can still remember a time when Samantha Janus was capable of facial expressions. I don’t think I’ll ever love a man with the same overwhelming intensity that I projected onto Drazic from Heartbreak High. And if I’m being completely honest here, I fear I may always mourn the death of the Global Hypercolor t-shirt; an item of clothing that not only encouraged sweating, but celebrated it with a rainbow of human secretion.

All very useful baggage for a 31 year old woman, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Click-bait quizzes of this sort do a great job of convincing you that you were a typical teenager. An edited flashback of a life where all that mattered was swapping nail varnish and discussing the latest Friends episode like it was world politics. As we’ve discussed before in a previous post, it’s only now through the magic of hindsight that I realise that I was anything but a typical teenager.

In fact, I wouldn’t class any of my friends in our little gang as archetypal teenagers, and that’s probably why we gravitated towards each other. It’s only in hindsight that I realise that some of the things we did were perhaps a little odd for girls of our age.

One prime example being that me and my friends had business cards. A group business card, no less, with all of our home phone numbers listed proudly in black and white. Lord knows why, this was in the days before pre pubescent YouTubers were topping rich lists and as far as I can remember we only had a paper round between us.

‘So, what business were you in?’ I hear you ask. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say we were in the business of trying to pull boys we met on the bus.

We built an acronym out of the combined initials of our names and called ourselves “ACKBW”, which we set in a bold typeface across the top of the cards, with the following written underneath:

             “The Rebels”

               “We Rock” 

We were savvy enough to include a clip art picture of a sun wearing wrap around shades to reinforce just how inexplicably cool we really were, yet completely oblivious to the fact that a gang with business cards is the very antithesis of anything cool or rebellious.

 

One could argue that what we developed was an early prototype of Tinder. Just think, if you’d been the lucky (or unlucky) lad that found one of our alluring business cards slipped into your hand on the 256, then you, Sir, would have had a 1 in 4 chance that one of us would be interested. The odds would’ve been very much in your favour.

But one wouldn’t be so bold as to make such a claim. Nor is one sure that our cards ever left our own hands or tiny leather backpacks, despite the fact we could already recite each other’s home phone numbers off by heart.

Nearly 20 years of friendship, marriage and mortgages later, and I can still recite those old phone numbers off by heart, because those childhood friends you meet in your formative years are some of the most special bonds you’ll ever make.

They’re the ones that know all your awkward moments, your struggles and heartbreaks, because they lived them with you.

Even when you did that weird thing with your hair.

They’re the ones you want standing next to you at the school reunion when you lie about inventing Post Its.

And they’re the ones that have more ammunition on you than anyone you will ever know, so be nice to them.

Always
.

Because they probably have photo evidence too.

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