The last piece in our series on pals ahead of National Friendship Day on Sunday comes from our very own Sarah Millican, who has progressed from furballs to an absolute doozie.
I’ve had many best friends in life. As a nine-year-old, I wrote about one of them to the Junior Hamster Club newsletter (my first published work). Another was just a piece of wool with a pretend dog at the end.
When you get older, it’s harder to make friends in general and damn near impossible to find a new best one. They’ve all been stuck together since tap class, or primary school, or are best friends with their Mam, which is weird.
I made the grave error of having a husband and best friend that was one and the same. HUGE mistake. When one leaves, they both do. It’s tricky to say, “Hey I know you don’t love me anymore, but who will I moan to about work, dance at when I’m happy and set the world to rights with over a pot of tea and a box of fondant fancies? …Oh, you don’t care. OK, thanks, bye!” NEVER AGAIN.
So post-divorce I was on the lookout for some cock and a new best friend. Definitely separate things. I wasn’t actively looking for the new best friend (WINK) but in some small way, every conversation I had with a woman was a sort of audition.
“Lizzy is the straightest, most honest person I know. She is the only person I’ll call while in the bath. She is the person who told me I’d get ‘used to’ the smell of dogshit.”
We worked in the same massive open-plan office together. We knew each other to say ‘hi’ to but it wasn’t until we were both deemed trustworthy and picked to take the desks outside our manager’s non-soundproofed office that we really became friends.
Lizzy made me laugh in a job that was slowly draining the life out of me. We’d drink Red Bull and sometimes take Pro-Plus to jazz up the last two hours of a nine-hour shift. I was the only person who could keep up with her on the walk to Greggs for lunch because we both walked fast and hard.
When our department was closing and we were asked separately which civil service office we’d prefer to go to, we both said the same. We didn’t care as long as we were in the same building. I firmly believe that you can get through any job if you have someone to roll your eyes at. That belief started with Lizzy.
We’ve been best friends – bezzie mates if you will – for 12 years. During which time we’ve both individually been through a fair amount. Mine, the brokenness of a surprise divorce and the oddness of fame. Hers, learning to walk again after an accident left her paralysed.
Not long after her accident, we were chatting and she asked how I was. I had a migraine but I said to her, “I’m never going to complain to you about such nothingy things”. And she said, “you have to be able to moan to me, otherwise how will we be friends?” So while this amazing, strong woman taught herself to walk, I continued to blether on about heavy periods and hard gigs and hopefully made her laugh too.
She is the straightest, most honest person I know. She is the only person I’ll call while in the bath. She is the person who told me I’d get “used to” the smell of dogshit. She is excellent for advice and for crying to and laughing with. Nowadays our walks are slower as we have to pick up dogshit (I only retch at the poorly ones) and Greggs is everywhere anyway.
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Sarah Millican is a comedian, writer, reformed workaholic, feminist, cat and dog mam, wife and lover of food.