One evening on a school trip in 1991 during a team-building activity, we were gathered up in to groups of friends for a “how well do you know each other” type quiz. The one question that tripped everybody up was “what type of toothpaste does your friend use?”. No one – not even the best of friends – got this right. And so, somewhere in the back of my mind, having someone know what toothpaste you use became my benchmark for measuring friendship.
In 1995, I was on a summer camp with people from all over London and all over the country. Some I had known since I was about 9, some I’d only met that year. One evening when we were all brushing our teeth and getting ready for bed, someone noticed some things left behind in the shower block.
“Lauren, is that your toothpaste?”
My friend replied “That’s not hers. She has the easy-squeezy stand-up tube”.
My absolute joy at having a friend who knew what toothpaste I had has stayed with me for years.
Last week I went to my dear old toothpaste-knowledge-loving friend’s wedding. I was a little anxious as I wasn’t going to know many people there, and had no +1.
I recognised a couple of girls from the hen party a few weeks earlier, so reintroduced myself and made a bee-line for the bar.
The moment the ceremony was over, I ran over to give the bride a congratulatory hug, and in true Lauren style, knocked her arm just enough to make her spill her drink over her beautiful wedding dress. She was cleaned up and mopped down promptly – brides are pretty well looked after at these things, it seems. I have not only never felt more like a complete idiot in front of a room of mostly-strangers, but I’ve also rarely felt so very “Oh well – if it was going to be anyone, it was going to be me.”
Head held low and feet soggy with booze, I skulked over to the bar and asked for a gin and tonic. A friend of the bride’s I had met once or twice stood beside me and asked for the same. When the barman asked if we’d like a single or double, she responded: “A single? Do I LOOK pregnant or boring?”
Ooh, I thought. We’ll clearly be friends.
She introduced me to another friend, just as I had grabbed some sort of delicious canape from a passing waiter.
“Hi. I’m Lauren. I’ve got duck on my hands”
“If you’re going to carry on like this, we’re going to have to start writing these down”, my new friend declared.
Write down the stupid things everybody says? HEY! THAT’S WHAT I DO!
And so, I decided she would be my Best Wedding Friend, and I no longer cared that I didn’t really know many people there, and had no-one to dance with later, or take me home. We stood and drank, and spoke about boys, and tweeted some photos, added each other on Facebook and Twitter, and danced the night away.
And now she has sent me her underwear in the post.
*record scratch sound*
It turns out my new friend runs the fabulous Large Cup Lingerie.
It also turns out, like most ladies who finally decide to address their boinging bazungas and gaping dress buttons, that I’ve been wearing some sort of completely fictional bra size for ages.
I’ve now not only got the prettiest and best-fitting bra I’ve had in years, but a really great sports bra, which I desperately needed for my pathetic attempts at going out for a run with my flatmate, who is excellent at being my personal trainer with all the pointing and laughing that entails. My bras arrived in a big box so they weren’t scrunched up or plastic-packed, wrapped in pretty tissue, and discretely labeled, so nothing says HELLO I’VE GOT MASSIVE BOOBS when you sign for your delivery.
The site also features some good blogging, and useful tips on styles, measuring and fitting.
This is all sounding terribly ‘sponsored’, isn’t it? It’s not, though. I just wanted to do A Nice Thing.
We’ve spent the last couple of weeks cheering on strangers on TV and admiring their dedication and achievements. The lovely Mat pointed out that we probably all know people who are trying to be successful, who work hard at good things, at being creative or sharing ideas. Sometimes it’s just quite nice to say “HEY! I know someone who does something good. You should take a look.”