How to not fight with your bestie

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I've known Rumi for what seems like forever.

We didn't just know each other as acquaintances and then become friends after some time, or anything like that. No. It was one of those friendships. Those times when you meet someone and you just know you're on the same wavelength...instantly.

Almost to the point where we knew that if one of us lied to our parents or someone, we could always get the other to take our side to support our claim whether they knew it or not. It was like, we both were always in on it. You could always figure it out too because we would immediately start giggling and snickering and no adult could make us tell on each other. Partners in crime, but mostly a giggling duet.

As it had soon turned out, we did become adults and as omnipotent as everyone made growing up sound like, we drifted apart, pretending to be stoic adults. Very smart and mature adults who, pardon my French, had their shit together.

We still pretend to be that sometimes.

Well, time bent over itself like the flat circle it is, and Rumi and I did happen to somehow end up in the same city.

And, nothing had changed.

The only difference was that the giggling now also included uproarious laughter and unabashed inappropriate references to things we were too naïve to talk about when we were younger.

And so, a few years went by and we were once more kindred spirits; going out dancing every weekend, trying to diet together (and mixing up every diet), imagining how our ideal house would be, talking endlessly about how to redecorate every room we saw, spending hours putting on makeup and trying on clothes, coming up with crazy business proposals that we were sure were just waiting to happen but we thought of it first, binge-watching every makeover TV show that the idiot box could throw at us, pretending to be the CIA as we decoded every little thing any boy ever said to us, confusing strangers as we switched accents like we had split personalities, and of course, cooking food like we were the judges (not the participants) of all the MasterChef episodes.

So, about two years ago, we had hit a moment when we were starting to accept that 'maybe' we 'might' be able to create something that 'could' be fun for us... together. As you can tell, we were nervous about our comfortable friendship changing once we started a sorta business together.

To be honest, we had done projects together before. Fun projects. Many many times. We were so good at it. We could carefully and methodically talk the entire project over and have it done even before you blinked twice.

We were always tuned in to the wavelength. It was our wavelength. We owned it.

But, this was different. There was a weird urgent energy to prove to ourselves that if were such good friends, we were going to be better co-workers. Or business partners.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Oh no, this is how all my favorite bands break up". Well, thankfully, Rumi and I always knew that we could never be your favorite band.

The first three months, there were some hits and misses but we were fine. The next three months, we gritted our teeth and tried not to say anything hurtful. The three months after that, everything we said to each other felt like weapons, even if it was just a 'hi'.

And, we were mortified!

Neither of us could figure out what went wrong. We both didn't know who was to blame. Was it the other? Was it both of us?  Were we just bad people? Was our unflinching faith in our lifelong friendship just a sham?

The silent bitterness had creeped into every aspect of our lives and we started looking for ulterior motives in everything, past and present. It was unconscionable and we felt guilty, but we couldn't stop it. We even looked for celestial reasoning in astrology (Indian, much?).

One event that had never happened to us was now looming around the corner. It was an event we both had never experienced -- we had never fought.

All that relationship advice that essentially said 'arguments and fights meant that you cared' -- we had doled out that nugget of wisdom to others frequently. But, it had never applied to us. We'd never required it.

So yes, we hadn't ever fought with each other. We didn't even know how to actually start it. It was unprecedented territory.

Looking back, we can't help but shake our heads at how silly we were being then. Because, instead of airing out our differences with each other, we just simply stopped talking.


One fine day, we stopped talking. For a month.

We were miserable.

Friends and family could see it. If they tried to help or even ask, we bit their heads off. We never even admitted we were fighting. That's how deep in denial we were. We were mourning the loss of our friendship but were stuck in the denial phase, on loop.

There is a thing about wavelengths that is easy to forget. While you're riding it, it seems calm and steady, even though you're in fact constantly going up and down.

Our mistake was that we had forgotten that it does go up and down. It doesn't stay the same.

Might as well pull out our best gear and surf on it, eh?

To this day, I don't know how we made up. All I remember is that once we started talking, it was like those times when you meet someone and you just know you're on the same wavelength...instantly.

Love ya, Rumi.

Aigu to you too! ~Ray