People throw around the word “best friend” left and right, but what exactly defines a “ride or die homie”? I know what it means for me. Now that I’m getting older (there is proof of this because I recently purchased an under eye cream), I now understand the basic elements that make a great friend. I’ve been in plenty of the classic type of friendships: the frenemies, the one-sided friendships, the “let’s hangout” but never do friends, the friend that will drop you the minute “man pleasure” is on the table. So tons…
To the late night chats! To the drunken messy nights! To the silence that is not awkward! To the no judgement eating sessions! To call them out on their shit! To telling them how they really look in that outfit…it’s all cuz we’re homies.
Me and my lady friend (the co-founder of The BBB) have gone through a lot, we don’t like to label anything but we’ve declared our bestie love…Even more so cuz I left the state and broke up our shared duplex family. But proximity isn’t the only thing needed to be friends.
I have taken 4 famous BFFs to really articulate what it means to be a best friend…
1. Cory Mathews and Shawn Hunter (Boy Meets World)
These two have the classic element of “balance”. Cory was a super anxious “good guy”, whereas Shawn was the kinda orphan “bad boy.” He wore a flannel around the waist like a juvenile boss. The best part of their friendship for me was that Cory always was family to Shawn. Shawn later had hottie Matthew Lawrence, but still Cory and Shawn were hermanos.
2. Illana and Abby (Broad City)
I’m obsessed with this show. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll find all the episodes and devour them. Illana and Abby give a refreshing look at female friendships for folks in their 20’s. Illana is a bit of the crazy impulsive one, whereas Abby is the more practical “responsible” one. All in all they have each others back and really champion one another. I think a hazardous thing in “friendships” is competitiveness. Why is it so difficult to support one another??
3. Daria and Jane
What I love about this duo is their “keeping it real” delivery coated in large amounts of sarcasm. This is the only language I’m really fluent in, not so much English and even less Spanish. I feel that together their power only increases, I feel as though this is the same feeling folks get when Marb$ and I are in the same place at the same time. Our power together delivers tons of bitch face and sassy comments when you say something stupid.
4. Liz Parker and Maria DeLuca (Roswell)
In the “courting” years, Marb$ and I discovered that we were the same 8th grade dorks that were obsessed with Roswell. I should have known from that moment we were gonna be hetero life partners. When I was a middle schooler, Liz and Maria were not only the epitome of besties, but they were fashion icons for the time (1999-ish)! I want to rock a choker!! But I’ll look like I’m dying. The element of their relationship I always loved was their need to always spill secrets to one another. I mean they held the epic secret of ALIENS. If you have a secret…isn’t it fun to tell your bestie? Especially boy drama.
The older I get, the more I realize how much my “things I want” have changed. When a person is younger you have these wide-eyed larger than life ideas that you think are so amazing and so attainable.
I thought I’d take a look at my WANTS as a 28 year old, as opposed to 18-ish
18: I’m gonna have one by 23 and be making BANK! Not sure what it is yet, but I’m gonna be a woman about town with such fucking class. Drinking mojitos and shit. Buyin what I want!
28: I’m going to school to be a Marriage and Family Therapist, a draining but solid career. But right now I’m a grown adult-baby hybrid being supported by even more shitty loans…So career is “in progress.”
Me speaking to life:
18: Let’s rent a beach house and fill it with a billion people I semi-know and par-tee! I’ve seen a lot of movies so this works out great!
28: Anywhere I can lounge by some sun and have some drinks in silence. It’s gotta be cheap and preferably with one or 2 other people. I need peace. Maybe an ice mask?! I heard Palm Springs has a great senior citizen scene…
18: A guy who is sensitive, but not too much of a push over. A total artist but doesn’t even know it. He is broody and complicated. He reads but plays the guitar. He goes to the gym but isn’t a gym rat. He loves his mom. He is 6’3″. He has dark hair. He is born between the months of August and December. He can speak 3 languages, etc. Or just Pacey Witter.
28: All you need to have is a job that provides some sort of pay stub, a car, your own place, and a pulse. And don’t be a liar.
A Friday night
18: A concert where I stand up the entire time, all for the love of music. Surrounded by tons of people who love the same artists I do. This is so CITY.
28: Alone in my room with Netflix, a burrito, and an entire family size wine…things are about to get scandalous and real.
I always seem to go through waves of things I’m obsessed with. I literally devour things for a period of time and then I don’t care and move onto the next thing. But because I want to influence the world’s hot or not lists, I want to share my current obsessions.
I don’t have a television, therefore when I geek out on current TV programs, it’s all done via streaming Googled links.
Ads for this new HBO show are all over San Francisco, especially giant posters right off the Castro MUNI station (well done marketing folks), therefore I was curious. It’s about a group of friends living in San Francisco. The entire first episode is on YouTube (HERE if you care to watch). This show has been described as a show about “gay guys living in San Francisco,” but it’s so much more than that. I feel it has such a realistic approach of life and dialogue that is universal to all types of folks. Also, they film this show in San Francisco, and it carries such a great backdrop. And the music! I love!
“Morgan Murphy: Irish Goodbye”
This stand-up special by Morgan Murphy is quite funny for those who enjoy such dry sense of humor, which is basically my way of life. She has a great bit where she talks about music festivals, I feel that same way…
She’s from Oregon, so that’s cool.
White girl stuff
As of late I think I’ve jumped on some weird moody white girl kick, and I’m ok with that. When I say this, I mean I’ve been listening to a cocktail of Lana Del Rey and Lorde. Their music sounds so cinematic, like it needs to be the background to epic movie montages. I was embarrassed to like Lorde because she’s legally still a child I think. But Pandora kept shoving her in my stations, so I caved. I enjoy it…
I had a pretty epic “self” moment where Lana Del Rey’s “Young & Beautiful” brought me to tears. Talk about being an unstable bitch. I had those kind of weird tears that fall into your ears because I was in my bed being so emo. I never really listened to her music, and just judged her of course for being some rich white girl. But that song alone sold me. Whatever.
Cry with me…
I subscribe to a bunch of channels, but recently discovered the best duo in YouTube history. I love me some bestie love and comedy, and Superfruit has so much of that going on. Scott and Mitch are part of an a cappella group called Pentatonix, which won a show and all that stuff. But this YouTube channel is dedicated to whatever topics they want, which always includes their weekly obsessions…which basically inspired this post. Watch them!
So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream
(tons of flavors…I likes to fuck with German Chocolate or Chocolate Peanut Butter)
I go through waves of ice cream cravings. And since society tells women to feel bad about eating, I thought heyyy I’ll try this kind of hippy ice cream I found at Whole Foods. (Disclaimer: I only go to Whole Foods because I’m lazy and it’s up the street from whereI live). But shut the fuck up, this is the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Sorry DQ soft serve, you’re dumped for this. Because it has things on it like “gluten free” and “dairy free” therefore my mind thinks that I’m basically taking vitamins and can eat an entire pint in one sitting while watching Couples Therapy (this happened last night).
I have no idea why I like Diet Coke. I understand there are no calories, but super science chemicals that I take in will kill me. I have never liked Diet Coke, but when I moved to SF I started drinking it out of nowhere. There is something about drinking a cold diet coke that just satisfies my life at the moment. True story: I drank a can of diet coke hungover in the shower like a trashy bitch.
Mrs. Renfro’s Jalapeño Green Salsa
Have you ever wanted to taste fire? This is second best. This salsa had me by my phantom balls. But so delicious! I add a little to spruce up my homemade nachos (just melted cheese on chips), bomb! Hot as fuck, but I approve. All meals should end in tears anyway.
My cultural identity is on a constant Kinsey scale continuum–some days I’m exclusively American, some days I’m exclusively Mexican (*Some of us, like my friend, who I’ll call “Tiffany News”, are not Mexican. Tiffany is Salvadoran*). One day, I’m all about listening to Selena, and the next day, I’ll say something super-white like, “hell yeah, I love 80’s music.” Truthfully, the whitest things that has ever crawled out of my mouth has been, “Yes, Frasier is funny.” Culturally, I’m always DTF…Down To Fluctuate.
Although I am able to stand my ground as an adult, it was hard for me growing up. I’d try to pick up a hobby, or like certain music, and I’d be accused of being, “too white,” or “too Mexican.” There was no winning! Weird Brown girls that love Dawson’s Creek and Telenovelas get no love!
I’d like to also note that there was an underlying class issue here. My parents were poor, therefore, I was poor. I didn’t have access to many things because of this. For example, I get accused of being too white for being into yoga. Yes, people practice yoga in Mexico, but of course just like yoga here in the United States, people with money can afford yoga classes. Yoga is a luxury. I just hear George Lopez white-voice saying, “OMG, LMAO, BFF…”
Venturing into unknown territory is extremely frightening. I would throw myself into things without knowing anyone who may have pioneered the way before me. Various questions run through my head like, “Am I going to look stupid if i fail miserably?” or “Do they see me and automatically think about how different I look?”
Below is a list of things I have forced myself to conquer, regardless of what anyone else thought– including myself:
I’ve been practicing yoga sporadically since I was 18 years old, but it wasn’t until about a year ago that I decided to get a little more serious. Since I’m still a beginner, I had to self-talk myself into taking a class in the Pearl District. I was afraid of walking into a class full of ripped housewives that took yoga and pilates classes on their husbands’ dime. I remember standing in front of the yoga studio, taking a deep breath, and thinking, “You are privileged enough to do this for all the weird brown girls that can’t.” And I did it. It was like pulling a mental band-aid. Sure, I walked into a class full of hard-bodies that casually said, “Oh, I’m taking this class as a warm-up to my Ashtanga class after this,” but I was there to do my thing. Namaste, mija.
I was introduced to sushi in high school. My best friend at the time really enjoyed it and taught me how to eat with chopsticks. Of course because I was a newbie, I ate wasabi like it was candy and instantly regretted it. It was like eating 1,000 jalapeños at once. I didn’t know what wasabi was, but now I know what to do when I want my sinuses cleared.
Since we are on the subject of seafood, its only fitting that I incorporate the Red Lobster story. Stefanie Tiffany and I were extremely broke after college, and were collecting money to leave her sister’s house. One day, we decided to splurge on some makeup and a delicious meal. Neither of us had been to Red Lobster, or had lobster, so we decided to boldly go forth into the world of fancy seafood. Because we are both wound up like corkscrews, we both began to panic because we didn’t know to actually eat the lobster. My mind raced back to an episode I had watched of Queer for the Straight Guy; the one where the straight guy looked like a moron in front of his lady friend as he used pliers to eat lobster. When we sat down to eat, we YouTubed “How to eat Lobster” on our phones. True story. Below, you will see a how to eat lobster, because I love you enough not to make a pendeja/o out of yourselves. I like how the guy in the video calls the lobster cracker, “ubiquitous.” He’s like, “Oh, this old thang? pfff no big deal. I ate lobster Gerber as a baby. I’m about this life.”
College/Advanced High School Courses
My only window into the world of college was the show Felicity. I was twelve years old, and I thought that everyone’s college experience must be universal. Everyone gets a job as a cool barista in between classes, right? Her biggest problem was switching from pre-med to art, and going back and forth between two guys (Team Ben), sign-me up! What I didn’t realize was that Felicity was a white girl with money. Felicity didn’t have a dad with a pick-up truck that helped her move into her dorm, and a passerby never called her a “country bumpkin” as she was moving her shit into her college apartment. Nope, that didn’t happen to her, but it happened to this girl.
Felicity had the luxury of looking like her classmates, and partaking in the collective cultural atmosphere. It is the loneliest feeling in the world when you notice you are the only person of color in your classroom. It’s like being dropped into the sea with only your floaties. Unfortunately, the journey to actually get into college was so daunting, my classes then intimidated me. I figured if it was so difficult to get in, the classes must be hard! Nope. Everyone’s kind of an idiot. I always had to self-talk myself in class sometimes before I realized: I am just as smart as everyone else, and I have a lot to contribute. By my fifth year (See, felicity didn’t even have a fifth year) I was not contributing my opinions in class, I was barking them. It was very DMX, not so much Felicity.
Traveling/Airplane Etiquette/Fancy Hotels
Stefanie and I will forever be the two old ladies that arrive way too early. We’re like the two old muppets, Statler and Waldorf. When we would travel in a big group, we’d be the ones on time before anyone else, with our purses on our lap like viejitas. Everything has to be perfect to avoid delays, missing flights, and looking like a total idiot. Our parents immigrating to the United States doesn’t count as “jetsetting,” or “globe trotting,” so we don’t know how to travel without having our butt cheeks clenched the whole time.
My favorite part of traveling with my friends is the reveal of the hotel. Its like we were all part of the Make a Wish Foundation and our dying dreams came true. Immediately, one girl will be taking in the view, another will be walking around with a plush white robe for no reason, and then there’s one girl who will ruin it with, “you guys, I have to go to the bathroom…”
As you can see, I dive in head first to these new experiences, sin miedo. I’ve had to adapt as best as I could.
When TLC sings, “Stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to,” I feel that this is applicable to my social life. Simply put, I need to not think I’m a young bad bitch– I’m an old bad bitch that’s had her fun. I’m now used to sitting, drinking, talking, and judging other people. I’d rather sip wine and have a great conversation. The days of taking two hours to get ready while trying to flounce around in high heels are done, and I need to tattoo this on my forehead. Due to some shitty fucking life circumstances and my partner in desmadre gone, I’ve become the ultimate hermit. However, I did make an effort a couple of times to put on nice clothes, some lipstick, and pull myself together.
Given my shitty life circumstances I mentioned, my brain decided to purchase a one-way ticket to a mineshaft. I have been the proverbial wet blanket; the sad clown smoking and talking about his “bitch of an ex-wife” in front of the kids at a birthday party. When I am in these places in life, alcohol and I are like Bobby and Whitney (RIP, girl). I also grow a “DO NOT PRESS/SELF DESTRUCT” button that somehow gets pressed anyway. At one recent outing, someone decided it would be a great idea to load me up with free vodka. Free. Vodka. Superman would also consider free vodka comparable to kryptonite. Anywho, I said and did some dumb shit to some random strangers. And just like that, the bouncer shooed me away like a stray cat. At this point, I feel I may need a face transplant before I can go back.
The second time I went out, I was lured out with the promise of a free drink by my gal pal (see how “free” is a theme?) I got semi-fancy, wore some heels, and was armed with the desire to go with the flow. I walked into the venue and felt like I was an alien that crash-landed on earth. Naturally, I drank to make that feeling go away, but not to the point where I made an idiot out of myself. In non-chronological order, here is a list of things that happened that night that re-affirmed I was a senior citizen:
My friend was doing the Roger Rabbit dance in the middle of the dance floor and kept saying, “Bitch, we’re getting Taco Bell after this.” When you care more about getting food afterward over talking to cute guys, that means you’re old.
Cute guys were all 23 and under.
If you go into the middle of the dance floor, someone always has intense “fresh-cut onions” body-odor. Always. Portland doesn’t believe in deodorant.
Someone ALWAYS farts. The heat created by people dancing doesn’t help this situation.
I saw a really well-dressed guy at the bar, and just as I was like, “Oh hey boo,” he began to twerk on another guy. My gaydar is mal-functioning.
There is a plus side to this situation. I drank and didn’t pop-off, so that’s great news! I’m not a complete Amanda Bynes mess! I’m just going to own loving wine and chillin:
I saw this band when I was 16 and it was epic. Swedish band with synth noises, my teenage shit. I revisited this album as I was moving. Still sing it like a true champ like I’m wearing my chucks all over again.
This is Wiz Khalifa and I should be embarrassed, but I’m out and proud with this song. It has an old “slow jams” vibe about it, therefore it’s a TREAT. My default favorite music genre is anything and everything slow jam-ee.
Another CD I revisited in the move. For a whole term of college, I took only women studies courses and volunteered in the Women’s Resource Center. In my time there, I would listen to this album every morning with my coffee. I just felt so COLLEGE.
My first day of summer classes creeped up on me, and I couldn’t have been more nervous. I felt like I was five years old again, but without my kitten sweatshirt and fresh box of crayons. I was so nervous, I had to call both of my parents. It was my way of breathing into a paper bag.
I didn’t realize how physically being back on campus would affect me; these memories I had, good and bad, flooded into my brain. In typical Maribel fashion, I started to freak myself out. I felt old. I felt like I should have one of those backpacks with the wheels on it. In a flash, my knowledge of computers was gone. What’s e-mail? What’s Facebook? My legs went numb and I needed my Pops to tell me, “Good luck, Mija, tu eres esmar (smart)”
If there is one thing I live for (aside from gay approval), its the approval of my professors. When someone tells me I am right, or they don’t like to argue with me in class because I know my shit, I get drunk with power. I was nervous that I would miss some minor detail and somehow fail in my class, and in life. I am dramatic, I know this. However, I am learning a new subject I never studied in my undergrad, so of course I was scared.
Even though I felt old initially, my past work and life experience ended up being useful. Although I may have looked like Dora the Explorer with a backpack on (Mora the Explorer in this case), I was a grown up. There was an instance in class where everyone surrounded me to ask me questions about the real world. “Is it really that hard to find a job? Did you end up working in the field you studied? Yes, it really is hard out there for a pimp, and no I didn’t work in the field I studied. I worked in a profession that sparked my interest in urban planning, I’m not out doing anything media or communication studies related. However, both disciplines are very useful and intersect sometimes in my world.
Some things to note if you decide to go back to school past the age of 25:
Wearing a backpack regresses your age by five years.
…or wearing a backpack can make you look like a loser that lives in their mom’s basement
Keep your mouth shut unless you are sure of what you are about to say or ask. If you start talking about something unrelated to the lecture, you’ll sound like you’re exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Most of the good looking guys in your class were probably born between 1990-1994, or whatever year the Lion King came out.
People still get married between the ages of 19-23. They have a maturity I can’t comprehend, but my Friday and Saturday nights are way cooler.
Overall, my experience was a good one. Homework still sucks, but I do enjoy the subject matter. I recently finished my first summer term class, and in case you are wondering, I received an “A” because that’s what boss bitches do.