Sure, OK, fine, having a best friend is about love, companionship, support and all that other touchy-feely crap. But more importantly, it's about knowing that there's someone out there who has seen you at your grossest, and still wants to go to the movies with you. Though a lot has been written celebrating the emotional strength of female friendships, I think we need to celebrate another element: the intimacy and closeness you can only feel with someone who has willingly helped you deal with the constant parade of grossness that is existing in our fragile human bodies — and still loves you, respects you, and rarely brings up that time that you puked into your own purse on the bus coming back from Bonnaroo.
And the frequent, freewheeling grossness of female best friendships is even more important to talk about when you consider the fact that lots of people still don't want to admit that existing in a female body is often (wildly, hilariously) gross. If we live in a world where many folks don't even want to admit that women fart, isn't admitting that you once helped your roommate tweeze an ingrown hair on her labia kind of a revolutionary act?
In that spirit, here are 18 of the grossest things that best friends do with and for each other. Read on, and celebrate the fact that closeness and grossness are hopelessly, helplessly intertwined. Also, could you pop this zit on my back for me? I can't reach it and it is driving me nuts. Love you!
1. Going To The Bathroom In Front Of Each Other
Hanging out in the bathroom together is Best Friend Gross Realness 101. In fact, I've often found in my own life that the moment when you make the decision to pee in front of each other because the bathroom line at this party is just way too long is often the day you realize that you truly have found a new best friend.
2. Performing An Armpit Smell Check
Do you need to take a shower before you leave the house, or can you get by with just deodorant, a little Febreeze, and not standing too close to anybody else? Only your best friend can really get in there and give you the hard truth about whether you're a garbage person.
3. Adjusting Each Other's Boobs
"Your left one keeps kinda pointing to the side ... no, stop squeezing it, you're just making it worse ... no, now it's point to the other side ... you know what? Just let me take care of it. Jesus, what is this bra made out of? Styrofoam?"
4. Hanging Out Chatting While One Of You Is Naked
This is not a hard and fast rule of best friendship, of course; plenty of people deplore casual nudity and would sooner eat a bag of live beetles than shoot the breeze with their bestie while she airs out her cha-cha. But for those of us who secretly wish that life were clothing-optional, platonic love means never having to hear "Stop Donald Ducking it!"
5. Cleaning Each Other's Puke Off The Floor
A centerpiece of many a college best friendship, cleaning your pal's semi-digested tacos off the bathroom floor while she sleeps it off on the couch is perhaps Best Friend Realness 102: Advanced Beginners. Don't worry, she'll do it for you when the day comes. And if that day never comes, you can hold this over her head forever, and use it to get her to loan you all her best clothes.
6. Cleaning Each Other's Puke Off Each Other
Of course, mopping up puke from a linoleum floor is one thing; washing it out of your best friend's hair as she drunkenly mumbles about how you guys should start a band, no, really, it would be so good, is quite another. And yet, in the course of a best friendship, you may well do both. Hey, someday, you'll look back on this and laugh. Or put a lot of energy into repressing the memory forever. Either/or!
7. Picking Things Out Of Each Other's Teeth
It was just easier than spending five minutes trying to explain to you which teeth that poppy seed was stuck between, OK?
8. Wiping Off Each Other's Boogers
We will also politely pretend not to have noticed the approximately 10,000 times we have caught you picking a booger and then kind of inspecting it, as if you were assessing it for scientific research. We're supportive like that.
9. Popping Each Other's Pimples
When you have a zit on your shoulder that hurts so much that it is driving you into the mouth of madness, and you just can't quite reach around properly to pop it yourself, there's only one woman for the job.
10. Discussing Each Other's Sex Lives In Extremely Graphic Detail
If something hilarious happens when you're performing oral sex on someone, and you don't tell your best friend about it, did it even really happen?
11. Helping Each Other Pluck Errant Body Hairs
Best friends can provide more than just a steady hand when plucking the random hairs that seem to randomly sprout around your body; they can also reassure you that, yes, everyone has toe hair.
12. Examining Each Other's Poop
Can't tell if you're dying from internal bleeding or just ate beets last night and then forgot about it? Your bestie is on the case. Bonus points if you Snapchatted it to her because you're in different states.
13. Forcibly Sharing Gross Food
"Ewwww, these crab-flavored potato chips are so terrible, taste one."
14. Examining Each Other's Junk
Is that an ingrown hair or an STD? Sure, you can try to describe your weird labial bump through a closed bathroom door, but that isn't really going to bring you any peace of mind. The only thing that will is having the person you trust the most and respect the most in the world spread your legs like a gynecologist, and tell you that it's just a pimple. Who even knew you could get a pimple on your vulva? That's life with your best friend — constantly learning new and exciting facts about life (and also vulvas)!
15. ... And Helping Each Other When Something Gets Stuck Inside Said Junk
You might think this is a thing that only happens on TV, but I've got news for you: real things get stuck in real vaginas every day. I mean, congratulations to you if you've never gotten a piece of broken condom or a busted-up tampon caught way up inside your Lana Del Rey, but many of us have, and let me tell you, the angle alone pretty much makes it a two-woman job.
Who is that other woman who will helpfully poke you in the vagina? I don't want to give too much away, but you guys went on vacation together last year, and you're currently wearing a sweater of hers that you borrowed without asking.
16. ... And Helping Each Other Insert Things Into (You Guessed It!) Each Other's Junk
Though this is more commonly the domain of high school and college-age BFFs, who coach each other through the arcane mysteries of tampon insertion, it can apply to best friends of any age and in any situation. Who knows what mysterious objects you two will have inserted into each other's vaginas in a totally platonic way over the course of a lifetime? Diaphragms, menstrual cups, oh my! This is what makes life such an adventure!
17. Sharing Toothbrushes/Deodorant/Unwashed Clothes
What? I forgot to pack mine on this trip. Oh, come on, it's fine! Because if I have any communicable diseases, you definitely have already caught them.
18. Farting In Front Of Each Other With Total Abandon
Hey, you've pulled things out of each other's vaginas and touched each other's vomit — so now is hardly the time to start introducing stately decorum, right? Plus, you guys had tacos for dinner, so it's not like anyone is shocked. This isn't dinner the Queen of England we're talking about here. This is a hang out with your farty, vomity, booger-picking, wonderful, eternally supportive best friend. Give her a hug for us. And then tell her that she really, really needs to take a shower.
Images: Apatow Productions/Relativity Media, Giphy (18)