Wednesday, January 16, 2013

18 “Best Friend Dates” You Should Go on NOW.
Before Either One of You Gets Hitched.
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Photo by Georges Hoyningen-Huene, 1930s.

          I spent this past Shabbat celebrating a good friend’s Shabbat Kallah. It was a Shabbat that offered socialization, delicious homemade treats, rounds of Banana Grams, and of course excited “girl talk.”
          Following that Shabbat, I truly looked forward to seeing my friend walk down the aisle, for her eyes to glimmer in the way only a bride’s eyes can, and for me to bust a couple of clumsy dance moves on the floor (my specialty).
          Yet, what resonated with me the most over that weekend was the bittersweet rush of nostalgia. As the girls began to gush enthusiastically over the Kallah’s description of her gown, my thoughts floated lazily to the day I first met my friend.
Photo via Elle Brazil
        It was our first week of seminary. Our school took us to Tiveria for a Shabbaton. On Erev Shabbat, we girls kicked off our sandals and splashed around in the waters of the Kineret. I was bobbing along aimlessly in the sea when I was introduced to this friend. “Hey! I’m Eliza” she said. We started to chatter about the seminary’s food (meh), the classes (prolific!), and our instant love for Israel (*sniff*). I then asked her which college she applied to for next year. She threw a shy glance my way and murmured “Harvard.” “What?!” Cough, cough! I had just gulped a sizable amount of salt water and was spluttering ridiculously.
         It turns out that this friend would become a genuine inspiration to me. Not only because I could now brag to others, “Well, you think you’re cool? I have a friend who goes to Harvard! Hmph!", but also because she is extremely down-to-earth, open-minded, kind, and determined to become the best she can be. She had only become observant a year prior to seminary and her newfound joy for Judaism was infectious. I began to see spiritual matters in a more attractive light after chilling with her in Machane Yehuda for a couple of hours.
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         Reminiscing on how I first met my (now married!) friend has compelled me to mull over on how I met all my other married friends. Now, us single ladies know that once a friend weds, it’s often “adios muchacha.” There are always exceptions to this clich├ęd rule of course, and I’m praying it doesn’t extend to my relationship with this particular friend. But, then again, one never knows…
        The point is to enjoy your leisurely time with all your AVAILABLE (a.k.a. single) friends now, before one of you gets hitched on to the marriage wagon. Once your friend falls in love, it’s all roses, glazed eyes, and Tori Wigs vs. Freeda Wigs discussions, to which you politely nod your head.
        And you can definitely say goodbye to those late-night “where are the real men?!” chats that you savored, while propped on your elbows and happily downing Pepsi and nachos. Oh, and random shopping trips to Manhattan? Fuggedaboutit! Well, unless you’re helping her choose the best Tupperware or a new duvet.
       So, here’s to single friends: Let’s maximize our freedom while we have it and not take it for granted. Let's laugh endlessly into the depth of the night, under the starry sky, strengthening our relationships, strengthening ourselves, and enjoying all the benefits of the single life.
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Below are 18 "Friend Date" ideas from Thought Catalog at

1. Go to an amusement park together and try all of the rides you’re normally too scared to go on. (Make sure to eat the cotton candy and snow cones after you spin around in circles for hours.

2. Stay up all night when it’s nice out and drink wine under the stars, talking about all the things you’re usually too embarrassed or afraid to admit.

3. Treat yourselves to a nice dinner out at a fancy place when one of you gets a Groupon for it. Order dishes made for two and laugh when the waiter and other diners look at you bizarrely.

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4. Pick a recipe that you’re almost 100 percent sure you’re not skilled enough to make, and make it together. (Feel free to have a fair amount of wine throughout the cooking process, even if it means you’re more likely to mess the recipe up). 

5. Go to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch and pick produce while wearing adorable, hand-knitted scarves. Instagram pictures of yourselves and basically make everyone else want to vomit with how adorable you are. 

6. Get absurdly dressed up and go to your high school reunion together, only to get buzzed on champagne and judge everyone in the corner together.

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7. Watch all of your favorite movies all day curled up under blankets, drinking hot cocoa and eating popcorn. 

8. Take a road trip on the weekend to a place in your area you’ve never been before. Find a place to couch surf, or sleep outdoors if the weather is nice. Bring a cooler full of snacks and drinks to share with people you meet along the way.

10. Go to a zoo. 

9. Listen to a new album that you’ve both been hearing about for a long time but haven’t taken the time to listen to yet, and then talk (or possibly blog) about what you think of it.

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10. Go to a really fancy store where you know the salespeople are going to be really bitchy and judgmental, and take all the time your little hearts’ desire looking at things/trying them on, regardless of the sideways glares you’re getting.

11. Go to a thrift store afterwards and pick up things infinitely more interesting and for 1/100th the price.

12. Go to a museum and pretend to understand the first thing about art. 

13. Spend all afternoon in a coffee shop, reading books next to each other and watching people come in and out.

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Lily Donaldson & Cara Delevingne for Goelia Travel Collection Winter '12

14. Learn a new sport together, even if you’re both terrible at it. Even if you give up after the first tennis lesson, or ski session, or turn around the ice skating rink. Give it a try and don’t laugh at each other (too much). 

15. Play board games at your house with fancy cocktails and yummy snacks and good music, and don’t worry about who wins or how late you stay up. Try to remember that having time with them is precious, and should never be taken for granted. Even if they always beat you at Monopoly. 

16. Have an arts-and-crafts session where you make one another paintings to hang up in your respective apartments. And hang them up, even if they look terrible. They’ll be the best piece of wall art you’ll ever have. 

17. Go for a long walk in the park, not necessarily talking, but just enjoying being in a beautiful place together when the weather is nice and the animals are out. 

18. Go to a pet store and play with the puppies until you’re essentially in tears over the fact that you can’t have one.

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So, grab a bud (nope, not the beer-well, actually you can grab that too)and do these activities RIGHT NOW.
Until Next Time!

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