Five friends every woman should have

[I've added my comments to my best friend, Terri... thanks for being my friend - but then again, if you stop being my friend, I'll have to kill you; you know too much!!]

By Michelle Burford

-- "Friends are the family we choose for ourselves," writer Edna Buchanan once said.

I consider the "family" I've gathered -- with five kinds of pals I count on for completely different things -- among the wisest choices I've made. If you can find even one who embodies any of the characteristics that follow, you can consider yourself fortunate.

The Uplifter: This woman's favorite word: yes. You could tell her you're trading your six-figure income for a career in offtrack betting, and she'd barely pause before yelping "Go for it!" Don't you need someone who looks past the love handles to notice the extraordinarily gorgeous you?

[MgrofChaos: Thanks for encouraging me to "hang in there", when I felt discouraged, and to "go for it" when I was nervous about starting something new.]

The Travel Buddy: When the hotel in St. Lucia is a bust, one characteristic becomes all-important: flexibility. This agreeable companion need not be the girl you traded pinkie swears with on the playground; it's enough that she's comfortable with quiet (between gabfests) and is a teensy bit mischievous (as in tequila after midnight).

[MgrofChaos: Hurricane season in Puerto Rico; driving on a two lane highway in the mountains... 'nuff said!]

The Truth Teller: Intent is what separates the constructive from the abusive. Once you've established that the hard news is spoken in love (not in jealousy or malice), you'd be smart to seek out this woman's perspective.

[MgrofChaos: Credit freeze... again, 'nuff said.]

The Girl Who Just Wants to Have Fun: One Saturday a pal and I -- and yes, we're both over age 12 -- pored over every glitter lip gloss in a drugstore aisle for an entire 45 minutes. Forget the crisis download (for that, see the Uplifter); this partnership is about spontaneous good times.

[MgrofChaos: Paper Direct catalogs... remember those? 10 hours on the phone in the early nineties (our personal record)!]

The Unlikely Friend: "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive," Anaïs Nin wrote. My friends -- some twice my age, others half, some rich, others homeless, some black like me, others Korean, Mexican, Caucasian -- have added richness to my life that only variety can bring.

[MgrofChaos: Who knew that Algebra could truly change your life?!?]


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