Four underrated ‘firsts’ between new friends:
1. The first time you catch each other’s eyes during someone else’s stupid moment. Okay, stay with me on this one, because that first sentence seems convoluted. But picture this: you and your new friend are hanging out with some third-party person, and this third person (whom I will name Jimbob) says something stupid like, “I think chocolate is dumb,” and then you and Newfriend just casually glance up into each others eyes and look away. Now I’m not talking a full-on glance, but like a MICROSCOPIC eyelid lift. Yeah, to anyone else, it seems like you just simultaneously twitched, but you know. You said it all right there. Through just a furtive eye-glance, you communicated, “Jimbob’s obviously an idiot. Also, hi! How’s it going? We should talk later.” It’s a beautiful thing. And Jimbob had no idea.
2. The first “you would!” Example: “Oh my God, I still own Backstreet Boy’s Millennium album and it’s in my car RIGHT NOW!” and then your friend laughs and says, “You would!” This not only means that you can joke about each other’s stupid interests, but you know each other well enough to not be surprised by them. Heartwarming. (Full disclosure: I don’t still own this cd, but I really wish I did.)
3. The first time you allow yourself to snort-laugh. Okay, I’m going to start this with a little background. My sister laughs like an idiot. No, not an idiot; she laughs like a donkey is raping a monkey. And those two distinct animal sounds combine into this cacophony of horror. You can pick her out of a crowd by her laugh, and she is well-known (you know, among family and friends) for her crazy guffaw. But I slowly started noticing the rest of my family’s laughter too: my mom’s whinnying, my dad’s high-pitch cackle, and my other sister’s deep-voiced “HUHhahHUHhUHUh.” So, one day I said to donkey-rape-laugh sister, “Jesus, we are a family of crazy-weird laughers.” Donkey-rape-laugh sister looked at me sagely and said, “Fuck, Lisa–all laughs are weird.” This is true. We get bogged down by hearing so many polite laughs that we forget sometimes what a fucking guffaw sounds like. It’s ugly, people. But I guess beautiful at the same time. So this moment is not commemorating the first time your new friend (or you) said something truly funny, but the first time you just let it go and slapped them in the face with your gut-busting laugh. Me personally? I sound like a snorting, wheezing Frenchman.
4. The first time one of you picks up the other’s catchphrase. Yeah, shut it. We all have catchphrases or, you know, catchwords–weird shit that we say that is more-or-less unique to our vocabulary. Now, we’re not like Homer Simpson where we have to say “d’oh” every day for twenty-something years, so our catchphrases can change very frequently (I went through a phase where I said “baller” a lot. Oh wait, I still do. But less). And one day–maybe because you’re hanging around this person a lot or maybe because they think that you’re particularly endearing, you’ll start hearing them says stupid things like “baller” a lot, and you’ll think, “Oh my God, did they get that from ME?” and then you’ll get all verklempt.