1. Taking close up photos of their faces when they are not paying attention…
Hilarious right. The gormless, half open mouth pose which most of us (excluding those horrible, ridiculously photogenic people) seem to default to every time we are unaware that a photo is being taken. It’s a classic way of expressing your love for your friends, usually followed with the line, “HA! That’s going straight on Facebook…” (even if it is an empty threat and the photo is just going to join all the others in your phone gallery).
However, picture (if you’ll pardon the pun) quietly staring at somebody you’ve never met before through your phone, taking a picture, then zooming in and laughing at their face (to their face) before threatening to post it on the Internet. I’m not certain, but I think you could get arrested for less. Acceptable with friends, definitely not with strangers.
2. Taking whatever they just said to you and turning it into a song. Regardless of whether or not it required a serious answer.
Let’s face it, if a friend walks up to you and tells you they are having a bad day, a full blown rendition of Daniel Powter can only help right? Something which is made all the more effective if yelled at the top of your voice in a room full of people. This will either force your friend to crack a smile, in which case you know you’ve helped turn their day around, or push them to burst into tears. Whilst this may be because they are blown away by such an emotive performance, it is more likely this is your friends way of saying, no it’s actually bad. At this point, whilst tempted to crack out some Adele, it is probably time to quit the singing and step up as a BFF. But nothing has been lost by that original (may I say beautiful) rendition of Bad Day. In fact, look how far it has brought you.
If a stranger approaches you and says they are having a bad day, firstly kudos to the stranger for reaching out to another stranger, there is probably less likely to be a positive response to you breaking into song. In the same way that responding, ‘Can you heeaaar me‘, to strangers down the phone is not likely to be received well. However, the consequences of this one are most likely not to become more severe than a few strange looks and possibly a few rumours. Therefore I am tempted to say go for it, socially acceptable or not, it is entertaining for anyone who is not a fun sponge.
3. Presuming you are welcome to share their food and not holding back if you’re hungry. They’ll understand right, their your BFF…
As a true friend, your BFF wants you to be happy. Happy friends are not hungry friends. This is a fact. This means it is okay for you to break a corner off their sandwich or delve into their bag of crisps. It even means it is okay for you to dip your food in their sauce at the dinner table, or just go for it and take something off their plate. You would do the same for them in their time of need and they know it.
Whilst these are things we do without thinking every day, consider doing the same in a restaurant to somebody you have never met before. I imagine this wouldn’t go down very well and that you wouldn’t remain in the restaurant for very long. Sharing is caring, but the angry man who looks up to see you tucking in to the other side of his steak is not going to see it that way.
4. Noticing they pronounce something in an unusual way and never failing to repeat it in a mocking accent when they do.
We all have a friend who has an accent that leads to all kinds of hilarity. This is one of those jokes that just keeps on giving. Never is it a dull moment within a group of BFFs if you have a friend there who pronounces words differently. Think about it – if you are ever struggling for a joke, all you have to do is lure this friend into saying something funny. Laughing at people because of the way in which they have been brought up to speak, it’s a classic.
Laughing at strangers because of the way they speak is probably not going to win you any friends. Actually it is quite offensive when you think about it, bordering on Xenophobic… which makes laughing at your friends because of it that tiny bit more hilarious, but also means it is something which has to be reserved for your friends. Unless you want to get punched in the face.
5. Casually hitting or throwing objects at them when you can’t get their attention.
Nothing quite says true friendship like interrupting a friend by hurling something at their face. Or alternatively tapping them until they realise that you do still exist. Or, thinking about it, pushing them in a bush for the hell of it. In fact, the beauty of this one is normally the fact you didn’t actually require their attention for any reason whatsoever, you just felt the need to show them what a great friend you are and remind them how much they value you. Everyone loves spontaneity. Your friends are no different, try it next time you see them – they may seem fairly annoyed at being shoved in the shrubbery at first, but deep down they will find it hilarious.
I can personally testify that pushing people into the foliage is a steadfast way of building lasting friendships. I can’t however promise that any of the above is acceptable around people you don’t know. I’m not saying don’t do it (you never know, they may respond well), i’m just saying it is probably not a good idea. I think the popular term is assault… perhaps best saved for your friends.
6. Expressing your love for their parents and constantly reminding your friend that they love you more than their own children.
For this one let’s consider the stranger situation first. So imagine you are walking down the street, see a stranger and announce to them that you absolutely love their parents (and that their parents probably love you more than them). I can think of several ways in which this will end, none of which would be good. Let’s just consider a few possibilities:
- The stranger has no parents, finds the whole thing deeply distressing and goes home in tears.
- The stranger has a terrible relationship with his/her parents, and goes home in tears.
- The stranger has a great relationship with their parents, but is deeply self conscious and on hearing that they love you more than them, goes home in tears.
- The stranger is so confused that a stranger would say such things to them that they believe there is more to it and can’t sleep for days. This inevitably leads to sleep deprivation and eventually, they go home in tears.
- The stranger looks at you like you are a sociopath, you lose all confidence in your ability to talk to people, and you go home in tears.
- The stranger starts yelling at you for being such a weird person, you remind them that they are only angry at their parents and not at you, you’ve both had a traumatic experience and you both go home in tears.
- The stranger punches you in the face. Neither of you go home in tears but you do have a black eye and a broken ego.
I could go on, but you get the point. Saying these things to people you don’t know is just too risky. Saying it to your friends however happens on a regular basis. The beauty of it, is that it is probably true. This isn’t because your parents don’t love you, but that they can see your friends make you happy and they love them for it. There is also the fact that your parents don’t have to give your friends money or deal with them 24/7. In fact it is perfectly logical really. You know it. Your friends know it. Your friends parents know it.
Strangers don’t and neither do their parents.
7. Repeating the same jokes for 10 years and still finding them as hilarious as they were the first time.
The best thing about all the above things is that they never get old. Well, they probably do get old and very tiring for anyone outside of your group of BFFs… but for you, they are as great as when they happened the first time.
For this reason, I will always indulge in building a collection of hilarious up close photos of my friends, I will always feel comfortable eating their food, I will continue to sing their words back to them, I will always seize the opportunity to push them into a bush, I will constantly remind them that their parents love me more than them, I will continue to laugh at the words they have been saying the same way since we first met, and most importantly of all, I will always believe it is ‘cool’ to laugh at the fact I have a job, I hate the name ‘Maddy’ and I work in a bank.