From Our Readers
May 24, 2015 6:00 am

It’s Besties Week! We’re kicking off the release of our first HelloGiggles book, A Tale of Two Besties, with an epic celebration of friendship and stories about friendship. Read an excerpt of the book, buy a copy, catch us on our cross-country book tour, and share your photos from our events by tagging us @hellogiggles #ATaleofTwoBesties.

In the meantime, join the party right here. All week long, our contributors will be sharing stories, essays and odes to their very own partners-in-crime. Read, laugh, cry (because you’re laughing) and share with your bestie!

I think we can all agree that when you’re in your 20s, your friends are like your family. Especially for those of us who live in different cities than our actual relatives, our friends are what we have. That being said, it’s insanely hard to find people you really connect with once you get out of school. Pop culture lied to us! I sit in coffee shops all the time, and Jennifer Aniston has never come running in wearing a wedding dress. Not even once.

Sure, sometimes you make little connections with people and think it might be the real thing, but most of the time the girl you meet in line for the bathroom or the guy who reaches for the Splenda at the same time isn’t going to end up on your “Favorites” list. To assist in this constant struggle to find kindred spirits, I’ve come up with a few little tricks to identify possible candidates.

You’re wearing patterned and/or mismatched socks

Maybe it’s just because I know that actor Matthew Gray Gubler, world’s most adorable human person, wears crazy socks, but I cannot resist such an outward display of whimsy. I feel like I identify as relatively quirky, and it seems like anyone who makes such a bold fashion choice is on the same page. You physically cannot wear candy cane socks in August without having a personality that’s at least a little bit jazzy.

You have a complicated “signature” drink

As a flight attendant, I can’t support people who are extra picky with their drink orders, but as a citizen of earth, I am 100% fascinated by this phenomenon. Who are these people, and how did they get to a point in life where they’re comfortable ordering a sparkling water with one cube of ice, a splash of cranberry juice, and 2 orange slices? I feel like they are James Bond’s plebian cousins who can’t really hang, but they’ve picked up the mannerisms anyway, just in case. Whatever their reasons, these people would definitely make intriguing guests at my next dinner party.

You’re just a little bit clumsy

Whenever I see someone lose their footing in a public place, it’s like stumbling (get it?) across a long-lost brother or sister. My clumsiness is so real—there’s almost no aspect of my life that’s been left untouched. After a lifetime of constantly finding new bruises on my legs and arms, it’s delightful to see others enjoying the same fate. Also, seeing how people recover from a near tumble is an excellent personality litmus test; I have a special fondness for the people who talk to themselves about it.

You do some obvious eavesdropping

I’m a very aggressive people-watcher, and I tend to get incredibly (and maybe overly) invested in the personal lives of the strangers in my immediate vicinity. Apparently, I make faces and noises corresponding with the drama unfolding in front of me. It’s just so crazy that Blue Sweater would say that to Black Tank Top because it seemed like they were best friends 30 seconds ago! When I audibly gasp or laugh and notice someone across the train doing the exact same thing, it’s an instant and powerful bond. Those people are like your platoon buddies, and finding fellow busybodies is a gift that will keep on giving.

You like smelling books

Every once in a while, when I’m reading on the subway or in a café and I turn the page, I catch a whiff of that amazing book smell, and I can’t resist leaning in. It’s one of the true, rapturous moments in everyday life, and whenever I see a stranger experiencing one of these book-gasms, I can’t help but smile. Sticking your face in those pages and inhaling is like the bat signal for book nerds, and it would be irresponsible for me to ignore it.

You have a really distinctive/different personal style

No matter what my intentions, no matter how many street style Instagram accounts I follow, every time I get dressed I end up wearing the same thing: black pants, black shirt, black boots. It’s like some kind of monochromatic uniform, and I guess it works for me, but I’m endlessly fascinated and envious of people who are able to put together more interesting outfits. Mixing prints and experimenting with color is so chic right now, and I’m obsessed with the people who rock it with ease. I want to take these people shopping with me and make them plot out my outfits for the rest of my life.

All of these characteristics, random and inconsequential as they may seem, have helped me to meet fellow weirdos in a world of strangers, and I encourage all of you to come up with your own lists. Maybe you have a soft spot for people who sing aloud along with their iPods, or you love bow ties and boat shoes. Whatever your preferences may be, get out there and find your people, even if it’s just so you can post a photo on social media with the caption “SQUAD.”

Jess Wise lives in Brooklyn, NY and works as a flight attendant, or as she prefers to call it, sky waitress extraordinaire. She loves fuzzy socks, red lipstick, Doctor Who, and boy bands. All of her “most-played” songs on iTunes are by Taylor Swift, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. You can follow her on Twitter @jesswise_ and/or on Instagram @jess.wise.

(Image via Shutterstock)