A couple of years ago, the hubs and I were watching this little movie—you may have heard of it— called Sleepless in Seattle and I had an epiphany. I said, “Dude. This is our love story.” And he looked up from whatever he was reading and said, “This movie?” And then I went, “Um, I wasn’t talking about me and you (duh), I was talking about me and Vee.” I mean, hello? Why would I have been referring to us? Hubs and I are high school sweethearts, very much like another story I love, but nothing like Sleepless, one of the greatest friendship stories ever.
So he gave me the typical look that says “my wife is totally nuts but I kind of dig it” and went on his merry way while I scrambled to call my other better half (because I have multiple better halves. Work with me). After divulging what I was watching and hearing the obligatory “I love that movie!”, I rambled off an explanation of how this epic tale about Meg Ryan and Rosie O’Donnell (with some side story about Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks) is just like her and me.
Our real life relationship is that way. We talk about love, and books, and our kids, and more love and we laugh and create a ton of inside jokes that annoy everyone we come in contact with. We take turns being the crazy uncertain Meg Ryan character (because someone has to be the Rosie O’Donnell voice of reason) and encourage each other to embrace the insanity and just go with it. In fact we even say, “Is this crazy?” And the response to that question must ALWAYS be “No. That’s the craziest thing about it.” And hence, the MFEO thing was born— but you can read more about that here.
Most people can relate to that kind of unwavering loyalty between friends. Some have that one friend who has been there through everything; others—like me—have a couple of pals who make them laugh, cry and help to keep them sane (or something like it). This level of dorky devotion has inspired us to look at the literary friendships we love. Because really, what are you without your besties?
1. Mia and Tina- The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot
Guys, I love Tina Hakim Baba. She is the bestest best friend any girl could ever ask for. She is a force of strength in Mia’s kooky, crazy life and the sweetest part is that she understands what it means to be a bit different. Like Mia, Tina is followed around school all day by a bodyguard (because her dad is a wealthy oil guy and because he’s way paranoid). Tina helps Mia to be unashamed of who she is and supports her in all circumstances (unlike a certain friend. I’m talking to you Lilly Moscovitz). And the best perk of this friendship? Tina is crazy obsessed with romance novels— the kind with ridiculous titles like “The Sheik’s Secret Baby”—and not only does she share them with Mia, she draws much of her advice straight from the pages of those novels.
Here one of my favorite exchanges between them:
Tina: … Let’s face it, Mia. You and I are going to be the Last Virgins at Albert Einstein High School.
Mia: Wow. That sounds like the title of a book.
Tina: You should totally write it!!!! THE LAST VIRGINS.
Mia: Two girls cursed with Israeli-trained bodyguards, paid by their fathers to protect their daughters’ precious gifts…with their lives!
Tina: No man shall know them- UNTIL PROM NIGHT!!!!
– Princess on the Brink by Meg Cabot
2. Jenna and Cameron –Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
As children, they were drawn together as the social outcasts of their grade school, but it was the tragic horrors of abuse that bonded them forever. This story shows that time and circumstance can never change the indelible mark certain people make in our hearts. For Jenna and Cameron, spending years and miles apart doesn’t change their connection, which is stronger than steel.
I’m talking about the ones who, for whatever reason, are as much a part of you as your own soul. Their place in your heart is tender; a bruise of longing, a pulse of unfinished business.
Just hearing their names pushes and pulls at you in a hundred ways, and when you try to define those hundred ways, describe them even to yourself, words are useless. If you had a lifetime to talk, there would still be things left unsaid.
3. Harry, Hermione and Ron- The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
These three met as young children and have been through the ringer together. And when the stakes are at their highest and people are turning on Harry or hiding away out of pure fear, is it any wonder that the two people who stand beside him are the two who have always been there?
“We’ll be there, Harry,” said Ron.
“At your aunt and uncle’s house,” said Ron. “And then we’ll go with you wherever you’re going.”
“No—” said Harry quickly; he had not counted on this, he had meant them to understand that he was undertaking this most dangerous journey alone.
“You said to us once before,” said Hermione quietly, “that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We’ve had time, haven’t we?”
“We’re with you whatever happens,” said Ron.
– Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
4. Frankie and Anna – Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Frankie and Anna offer the most realistic picture of a lifetime friendship and its growing pains. These two are next door neighbors and have always known everything about each other, but when they lose Frankie’s brother in an accident, they see the fine cracks in their seemingly perfect relationship. At times it’s a bit painful to watch, but their story shows the love that it takes to see yourself and your friends for who they are and the maturity that leads to forgiveness.
Inside her head, Frankie had the map to my entire life, and I to hers. I hated that my feelings for Matt were uncharted and unmapped like a secret buried treasure.
5. Macy, Kristy and Monica- The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Oh y’all (yeah, I’m not from anyplace that says y’all. Not sure where that came from), I love these girls. Macy is a girl who just doesn’t see herself as she should. She doesn’t realize how bright and funny she is and how deserving she is of someone who loves her—not just in a romantic sense, but in an all-encompassing way. Kristy and Monica, sisters and fellow employees at Macy’s summer job, are the perfect antidote. Monica is a quiet, unassuming friend offering little criticism and simple, straight advice (she is the inventor of words like bettaquit and donneven. Clearly there’s genius under all that mumbling). Kristy has this amazing energy and is the kind of girl who is instantly accepting of those around her. By opening up about overcoming her own insecurities (she has bad scars from a car accident and instead of hiding, she plays up her beauty and walks with pride), she helps Macy to branch out and embrace a new life without her jerkypants boyfriend and without needing the approval of the family members who take her for granted. Also, they help Macy to do one of the most important things we can do with our friends: they show her how to laugh at life again.
“You and Wes,” she said, triumphant, “are just like this .”
She was holding a book, a paperback romance. The title, emblazoned in gold across the cover, was Forbidden, and the picture beneath it was of a man in a pirate outfit, eye patch and all, clutching a small, extremely
busty woman to his chest. In the background, there was a deserted island surrounded by blue water.
“We’re pirates?” I said.
She tapped the book with one fingernail. “This story,” she said, “is all about two people who can’t be together
because of other circumstances. But secretly, they pine and lust for each other constantly, the very fact that
their love is forbidden fueling their shared passion.”
“Did you just make that up?”
“No,” she said, flipping the book over to read the back cover. “It’s right here! And it’s totally you and Wes.
You can’t be together, which is exactly why you want to be. And why you can’t admit it to us, because that
would make it less secret and thus less passionate.”
So what does all this mean? That you should grab your MFEO(s) and give them a big ‘ol hug. Cheers to good friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I really looked for the MFEO video, but could find it nowhere. Even this video doesn’t get straight to the point. The main idea begins at around 1:33.