In a fit of trying-to-avoid-my-second-sex-scene, I told myself that I needed to get out my old journals and look through them for writing inspiration. The high school years were too dramatic to face (I regret to say I used excessive capital letters like a Victorian novelist) but the college years have been hilarious to revisit. I'm not sure I'll ever use any of this for writing inspiration, but it certainly is fun to explore old angst. For instance, this entry is from the summer right after college, when I was living on the Jersey shore and working at a bed-and-breakfast:
I must admit, the day did not begin auspiciously. There are always one or two obnoxious guests at the Beacon House and this morning was no exception. It's always the bottle blondes, I swear. This one chastized me for the dust on the sideboard, admonished Theresa for not clearing the table quickly enough, and complained that her tea water tasted faintly of coffee. We had a great time in the service kitchen bitching about her. She was not as bad as the hungover aerobics instructor, however. She and her friends, I think, merely existed as a warning to me and Theresa. They were the early 30-somethings from Hell. Watching them, Theresa and I decided to perform mercy killings upon one another if we ever show signs of 1) living our lives to be hung over every weekend 2) yelling at service staff for such inconsequential things as not topping off coffee to the imaged appropriate centimeter 3) contemplating affairs with married men and finally 4) ever making a living off of Jazzercise.
This, dear people, is why we need friends. Gal pals keep us sane, whole, and in touch with that little thing I like to call reality. This is also why I feel that the friend characters in romance novels have to be absolutely excellent. Your heroine's best friend must be able to steer her away from crushes on men who a) are married and b) do Jazzercise.
In honor of best friends everywhere, I ask you: of the novels you've read, what novels contain the best "friend" characters ?