The 25 Stages of Female Best Friendships

Somewhere in this world, right now, there is a woman who is writing you an email so packed with inside jokes, it would take skilled linguistic researchers days just to figure out what the first sentence means. This is the same woman who listens to your repetitive work and dating dramas, over and over, even though she is not being paid $200 an hour. She is the same woman who can always be counted on to pick you up from the airport, complain about picking you up from the airport, and then get pizza with you on the way back from the airport. She is the same woman who has seen you “shower” with a handiwipe, try to pierce your ear with a safety pin, or straight-up eat a pat of butter when you thought no one was looking— and she still wants to be seen in public with you.

That might all be a little bit intimidating, if you hadn’t also seen this woman cry over getting a B on a term paper, try and fail to pull off harem pants (twice!), or fall in a puddle of her own pee on a camping trip.

This woman is your best friend, and today, we celebrate her in the only manner befitting someone of her glory and majesty: with a bunch of GIFs that tell the story of your life with her. Here are the 25 stages of young female friendship, from age 3 to 30.

1 to 3 Years Old

"Our moms are friends, or at the very least sit next to each other at Gymboree classes; therefore, I love you."

3 to 5 Years Old

"You shared your toys with me, didn't laugh when a bee got stuck in my hair, and told on your brother when he knocked me over. You are the coolest person who has ever lived, aside from the Disney princesses."

5 to 7 Years Old

"Oh my god, Timmy touched you! Don't worry, I have a cootie shot right here. See, I'm always well prepared, and you're willing to take risks, like going within 10 feet of a boy or putting your head under the water in the pool. That's why we make such a good team!"

7 to 9 Years Old

"The first rule of our secret clubhouse is: No one is allowed in the clubhouse without our permission. The second rule of our secret clubhouse is: We start every meeting by reading aloud from this copy of Anne of Green Gables. The third rule of our secret clubhouse is: We always put each other first, forever."

10 to 11 Years Old

"What do you think getting our periods will be like? Probably awesome, right? OK, whoever gets it first has to tell the other the second that is happens. We are going to make such phenomenal mature adult women!"

12 to 14 Years Old

"Will your mom drive us to the mall? I'm not talking to mine right now. Anyway, I have enough change to buy us a Wetzel's Pretzel, I think."

15 Years Old

"Ugh, I can't believe my parents grounded me just for staying out past curfew and then trying to climb a drain pipe to get back in the house. I wish we were related. You're the only person who actually gets me! Wouldn't it be awesome if we were sisters? We could just hang out every single night. Oh, by the way, I sort of borrowed your sweater the other day without asking."

16 Years Old

"It's not my fault that you don't get true love! Darren and I may only know each other from study hall, but we are going to be together forever! We're going to move to Alaska and live off the land! YOU NEVER UNDERSTOOD ME!"

16.5 Years Old

"You were right about Darren. I'm really sorry. I don't think I'm even 100 percent clear on what living off the land means. Anyway, I'm glad I got my head back on straight so we can really enjoy the end of high school. I'm sure we're going to be best friends forever, but I think senior year is going to rule. Should we try to go to the same college?"

17 Years Old

"Well, your college is only three hours away from mine! We could make that trip every single weekend. I will make that trip every single weekend! And maybe I can transfer into your school next semester or something. God, it's going to be such bullshit even being away from you for orientation, though. Everyone at this school is going to be such a loser. Promise to text me every day!"

18 Years Old

"Oh my god, being away at college is friggin' terrifying; I'm so lucky that I met someone that I have so much in common with during the first day of orientation! This place is going to be great!"

18.5 Years Old

"Well, OK, I was wrong about that girl I met at freshman orientation. But I'm so happy I finally met you, someone that I actually have stuff in common with in this hellhole. I don't seem to have much in common with my best friend from back home anymore, which is painful and weird, but my in-jokes and midnight pizza runs and Bravo marathons with you are making me feel like the world isn't totally bleak."

19 Years Old

"Do you want to be roommates off-campus? We could totally, like, hold really sophisticated cocktail parties and get monogrammed robes and stuff. We are such total grown ups (but this would all be so scary without you)."

20 Years Old

"Yeah, Steve seems cool, I just hope he doesn't get in the way of our spending quality girl time together. Our friendship is still our No. 1 priority, right? Sisters before misters!"

20.5 Years Old

"Ugh, I'm glad you finally got rid of Steve. That guy was just holding you back, and keeping you from bonding with us, and doing all the things that are genuinely important to you. You are a beautiful, brilliant flower, and he was crushing you! Now, which themed kegger do you want to hit first? The Sharknado one sounds pretty good, and you look perfect. Tonight is going to be amazing, I can feel it!"

20.75 Years Old

"Well, how was I supposed to know Steve was off limits? You guys have been broken up for months!"

21 Years Old

"I'm not really friends with a lot of other women. Too much drama. Now, what do I have to do to get a single malt scotch and some male validation of my poor life choices up in here?"

22 Years Old

"I am so sorry about the way I acted at the end of junior year. The fact that you were even willing to meet me for coffee makes you a total saint. Could you ever possibly forgive me? Also, I'm sorry, I kinda borrowed your sweater without asking, here it is."

23 Years Old

"Wouldn't it be great if we could just date each other? I mean, I'm not really proposing that we should, but wouldn't it be so great and easy? What? You're the only person I really like, is all I was saying."

24 Years Old

"My job is intense, our rent is ridiculous, and every dude I date is a total goddamned joke. The real world sucks so bad. I would literally be dying out here without you."

25 Years Old

"What if we backpacked through Thailand together? What if we bought a house upstate and restored it? What if we learned capoeira and got really good at it and became, like, world-famous capoeirists? That could be a job, right? I can't wait until we're old ladies together, sitting on our front porch and yelling at kids to get off our lawn."

26 Years Old

"Yeah, Bill seems pretty cool and all, but he best not get in the way of Taco Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays, or Fiona Apple Fridays. Uteruses before duderuses!"

27 Years Old

"Oh, you want to move in with Bill? No, that's cool. Um, I'm sure that I can find some other roommate. No, no, don't worry about it. No, I love him, he's great, you're great together. Don't worry about me, I'm fine! I'm sure we'll still see each other constantly."

28 Years Old

"You're my real best friend, Random Craigslist Roommate Who Has a Hamster That She Keeps in the Living Room! My old best friend never really understood me... OK, well, fine, she understood me, but she never understood the real meaning of friendship... OK, well actually, she was a great friend, she just couldn't fit me into her life after she got serious with her boyfriend... OK, I guess she tried to hang out with me a lot after she moved out, but I kept saying I was busy ... um... I have to make a phone call."

29 Years Old

"I am so sorry about the way I acted when you moved out, I'm so happy for you and Bill. You look radiant, by the way. I'm not even mad about this heinous bridesmaid dress that I am wearing. I'm just so happy that we got over our rough spot, and have the rest of our lives to be best friends. I love you so much. What? I just have something in my eye. Do you want a drink? I could really use a drink. Waiter!"

30+ Years Old

"I can't believe we've spent so much time seeing each other at our best and worst, and we still just want to get together and shoot the shit and eat some pizza. I love you."

Images: Giphy (27)