When we’re younger everything in life is so simple and we take everything at face value. We’ll laugh out loud and be thoroughly entertained by our favourite films but the whole time our innocent, straightforward minds are completely unaware of any hidden context or “life lessons” that these films may hold (just look at The Little Mermaid for example).
20 years down the line we watch them again and are able to look behind the LOLs and see the deep and hidden meanings that our favourite childhood films held. One of my favourite childhood films was Drop Dead Fred. A green suit wearing and ginger haired Rik Mayall is a comedy legend as the imaginary friend “Drop Dead Fred” of Elizabeth (Lizzie) when she’s a child. As a child I’d laugh out loud at the simple humour of this film but as an adult yes, I laugh out loud and still sing “dog poo dog poo smelly smelly dog poo” at the top of my light, but I also see the complex relationship between Elizabeth and her mother (the mega bitch!!) and her boyfriend Charles. Drop Dead Fred wasn’t JUST a funny ginger imaginary friend dreamt up to get Elizabeth into mischief, he was also an escape from a pretty lonely and unloved life.
Fred was a friend, confidante and in some ways, a life guide. After all, it’s Fred who forces a grown up Elizabeth to confront her fears at the end of the film which was always a part I NEVER understood as a child. As an adult, I was clapping and bravo-ing at the TV.
Fast forward a marriage, an affair and utter misery caused by her cheating husband Charles, Lizzie rediscovers Fred hidden inside an old jack in a box at her mum’s house and releasing him brings along some comedy reprise right when she needs it most. Short moral of the story? We all need a best friend who loves us regardless. Who’ll flick snot at you, paint your sweater stripey to fake burglaries, and make pants pie on the kitchen table. We all need that one person who makes us rebellious, laugh so hard we almost pee and who’ll nod in agreement when you vent about your parents.
Even if he was imaginary, Drop Dead Fred provided Lizzie with something we all long for – friendship. With a helping hand from Fred and Lizzie, I’m going to talk you through some of the best things about friends… imaginary or real.
Divorced from Charles, the so called “love of her life” and slimeball who’s been “doing it like the pigeons with Annabella (that’s Mrs “Cobwebs” to you and me) and living back with her scary mum in the house of perfectly cleaned carpets and sneeze inducing gladiolas, Lizzie finds herself scared of what the future holds. We’ve all been there, well, I have. When the life you thought you knew changes ridiculously and you suddenly find yourself “alone” the world can seem like a lonely place and you’re not quite sure how to cope. In Lizzies case that means a future without the drab Waltons style haircut and dungarees, no more fake big wig parties and not to mention not having to be cheated on by her slimeball of a husband. TOUGHEN UP LIZZIE. But it also meant she rediscovered her best friend, even if he was inaginary. Sometimes in relationships we lose touch with our friends when we’re in relationships, especially in relationships that aren’t so peachy keen. To get over it and redisover the you that you used to be you before you were someone else. For example, go and play Pirates in Janies River Condominium with Fred. Or something similiar.
Know them +1’s you inevitably start to get when you’re of a certain age whether it be for birthday parties, weddings, christenings, FUNERALS? When you’re single it’s very much a depressing state of affairs. Dragging your ass along to a party where you’ll sit at table all night checking your phone and being asked if “you’ve found somebody special yet” doesn’t sound like the most fun a person could have. Who said that your +1 has to be a romantic date? I’ve had some of the best +1 parties with a friend as a date. You don’t have to worry about asking the guy you’ve been dating for a month to accompany you, whether you should put their name on the card (is that a step too “serious”?) or worry about Uncle Derek getting pissed at the bar and telling your latest beau that story about when you peed in the paddling pool. Your best friend already knows these stories, INFACT they could probably tell Uncle Derek a story or two which would make his toes curl.
When it comes to best friends it’s kind of expected that at some point you’re going to have a screaming row where you say things that you don’t mean and make a complete and utter idiot of yourself – this usually comes following a glass of vino or two or when you have to battle over who gets first dips on that dress in a sale. There’s also those days where your hair won’t stop doing that funny thing or you can’t afford that dress you want from Boohoo or that boy dumped you and you just have to take that foul mood out on somebody. If you took that mood on a boyfriend or a girlfriend chances are your bags will be packed and waiting at the front door for being a complete and utter asshole. A best friend kind of expects it and hands you a “get out of being an asshole free” card. Fast forward “I hate yous!” and some “I hope you die horribly”‘s, ignoring eachother for a few days and within no time you’ll be back to your loving/mocking relationship and laughing about when your hair does that funny thing.
Your best friend is the one you can turn to when you’re feeling at your lowest. On the one hand you have the “Janie”, full of sympathy, inspiring affirmations and Tumblr like quotes and on the other, the cruel to be kind “Fred”. When you’re having a downer on everything you do, you hate your life, hate your wardrobe, hate your hair, everyone hates you, you’re going nowhere – you know one of those moods where you could hibernate for a month? Your best friend either gives you the reality check or pep talk that you need to pull you through that mood. Whether you’re being over dramatic and self wallowing or your down in the dumps mood is justified, a best friend is the one who’s there to offer you a shoulder to lean on and get you back on track.