Friends is a very broad term. There are about a thousand different categories you can break that into- Facebook friends, work friends, your more than acquaintances but not the type you’d call to just-go-see-a-movie friends. Then there is the Holy Grail of friends, the ride or die friends.
Ride or die friends are the lightest of the friend groups because when you hang out with them you get to take off all the armor you wear to face the world. You can talk politics, share secrets. You’re not hiding any part of yourself. The rest of the world you always hold back something, but your ride or dies get you in all your honest-to-a-fault, sarcastic glory.
It’s easy to recognize ride or die friends in the wild. They can communicate in ways an outsider can’t understand. A look or a short phrase has them cracking up. They’ve crafted their own bubble where inside jokes abound and laughter is easy. They don’t have to see each other often, but when they do the baggage goes to the side and everything is right with the world.
Now follow me here, this might be a bit of a stretch, but sometimes you have that kind of ride or die place too. It’s a bar, restaurant, coffee shop that’s unpretentious, lets you stay as long as you want laughing over cocktails or lattes. But best of all you’re on the inside there. You order off the secret menu or the staff yells, “Norm!” when you walk in the door. That’s P.S. Taco.
I must admit I haven’t reached Norm status at P.S. Taco, but if they keep up with certain promotions I may be there soon. You see P.S. Taco is the dining king of social media. You want to be in on something follow them, especially on Instagram. You will not regret it.
A couple of times over the past few months they’ve posted an all you can eat nacho bar for a specific night. On top of that, they sweetened the deal with $3 margaritas. But it’s not something you see on TV or hear on the radio. It’s just for their friends on social media, the “in crowd”.
I saw them bringing back the secret nacho bar, I was in. I saw the $3 margaritas and I knew there was only one person I could call, Sarah Kay. I’ve been lucky enough to find ride or die friends all over the world, people who embrace my frankness and sarcasm. People who find polite conversation as exhausting as I do. Now if there’s one thing you will always get out of Sarah it’s her honest opinion. She’s got about as much time for fake smiles as I do. When the world is too heavy and I’m ready to put it all down for a moment, Sarah’s there usually with a cold adult beverage and a story about stupid people that has me laughing in a moment.
I’d had a tough couple of weeks. No one said being a working mom with a teething toddler was a walk in the park, but some days can be more stressful and challenging than others. I was in utter need of a girls night out.
When I arrived Sarah was already at a table and as soon as I sat across from her our waiter was there asking if he could get me something to drink. Immediately I pointed to Sarah’s cool margarita. We both elected to stuff ourselves silly with the nacho bar. Because that’s the responsible adult thing to do. Soak up the alcohol with carbs. It’s science.
As a note, P.S. Taco’s original menu is awesome. If I were to shamelessly rewrite Jerry McGuire, “You had me at pork belly.” Sure they have some classics, but you really want to delve into those specialty tacos.
But that’s for another day, this night was for taking the words all you can eat as a challenge. And boy did I ever. The kind waiter handed us two large baskets and I went to town. Starting with a layer of chips then not being able to decide between chicken or beef I spooned on healthy helpings of both.
Then I found it, Mecca, Eden, Xanadu, whatever you might want to call it. I was faced with a full
catering dish of queso. I felt my knees go a little wobbly. I gave myself a generous portion because let’s face it, you can never have too much cheese. I may have admitted this previously in a blog but I truly feel you cannot fully trust a person who doesn’t like cheese. If you’re allergic that’s one thing, but if you just don’t like cheese, I’m not sure we can be friends, well maybe Facebook friends… with the restricted setting on.
Sarah and I trooped back to our table and I dug into the food and the drink and the conversation like a woman starved. The ironic part was as much as I was weighing myself down with deliciousness I felt lighter than I had in weeks. I was laughing and pouring out everything that I had needed to share but just hadn’t had the opportunity.
From my job to my daughter, to the state of the world. We covered it all. We also covered a second trip to the nacho bar, in which my brilliant friend recommended that we put the toppings on a bed of the lettuce so we can eat more. This is why we are friends, Sarah, these kinds of brilliant suggestions. Two trips, I had definitely gone in thinking I was going to do more damage but I was so pleasantly full I was doing that weird lean back in your chair rub your tummy thing.
We lingered. Sarah indulged me hitting every topic I could think of and the waiter indulged us by not once trying to rush us out. Even when the bill came he said we could stay as long as we liked and we did almost three hours.
The definition of friend I feel like has changed in modern times. It’s no longer about people you view truly as friend. People long to identify others as friends, as many as they can to make it feel like they’re more loved than the person next to them. To me, there is a small group of that broad category that matter. Not having many makes the ones you do have all the more special. I will admit I am a social media animal and I will never give that up, how else will I stay in the know with P.S. Taco?
But to Sarah and all my ride or dies out there, you know who you are. To you all, I raise a frosty margarita and a thank you. Thank you for allowing me to drop the weight of my world for a spell. Thank you for taking me as I am no questions asked. Here’s to us, and reaching Norm status one day.