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Best/Worst

I keep editing this post. I will get it all ready to go and have my cursor hanging over the Publish button, and then I will think, "What the fuck? I can't say that on the internet!"

I used to play this game with a friend of mine called Best Thing Worst Thing. It's a pretty vicious game. The way it works is that you pick a topic, like physical appearance or personality or affectations or whatever and then tell each other the best thing and worst thing about them on that topic. So, hypothetically, my friend would say to me that the best thing about my physical appearance was my smokin' ass and the worst thing was my fat, fat thighs.

Clearly you need a pretty thick skin to play this game. But, I have been thinking about it lately (during my ongoing wanderings down memory lane, which by the way I realized how that all got started so remind me to tell you about it) and I realized that the reason we could play this game and giggle rather than cry was because there is a lot of power in identifying both the good things and the bad things about yourself.

There is also a lot of power in having a friend to whom you can say "I love you, but there's this thing about you I don't like so much." I don't have one of those friends right now. Do you? (I'm not counting my husband here because it is a different situation.) I feel a bit like a loser admitting that I don't have one of those friends, like it marks me as some sort of outcast. I do have good, close friends, but nobody to whom I can say anything absolutely without repercussion.

I wonder whether I am in the minority or whether this is just part of being an adult, especially an adult who has lost touch with most of your childhood friends. Tell me, do you have that kind of friend? Do you have a relationship (outside of marriage, which is still different) where you could sit down and play an honest round of Best Thing Worst Thing and then go to lunch together like it had never happened? Have you ever had that? Do you think you will ever have it again? Or is it like lightening, powerful and amazing and then gone?

Comments (66)

Had it. Left it in my hometown when I moved 8 years ago. Don't currently have it now. Just want someone to giggle uncontrollably with for hours on end. Miss it.

Can't help you there because I am dealing with my own issues with the person I always considered my best friend since age 9. But the dynamics of our relationship have changed in the past few years and she is no longer my go-to person. It's sad. :(

I don't think I've ever had it. There are some people that stay close to their childhood friends, but I made a new batch in highschool, then college, then lawschool. I'm still pretty close to my lawschool friends, but now we all have jobs and kids and don't see each other every day.

Thankfully, I do have one of those friends and if we played Best Thing Worst Thing and went to lunch afterwards, we'd have margaritas and laugh about it. In fact, I think we should try it. I'll let you know if there's suddenly a friend vacancy needing to be filled.

The last time I knew someone I played that game with was a high school b/f. Other than that, I don't know if I've ever had a relationship like that. It's an interesting quandry...

luckily enough, i do still have this type of friend. we met in 1st grade and, 20+ years later, are still best friends today. she's definitely the only friend i could play Best Thing Worst Thing with, though.

I don't right now - between the fact that I keep moving around and am awful at keeping in touch with people. I kind of suck like that.

I have never had it and I know I never will. I have to say it is my fault as I don't really like people. In school I had friends in all the different clicks but they were just "friends-at-school". I am 28 and I have never been to a sleep over or had a birthday party or any of that and I definatly have never had anyone to play Best Thing Worst Thing with.

But I am okay with that. Thats the way I have made it. I dont even like to talk on the phone. To. Anyone.

I like going to work and coming home and cleaning and cooking and being with my boyfriend or being alone. In all honesty I do feel that I have done this as some sort of weirdo self deffence mechanism. Ya know, if you dont let people in you cant get hurt by them. Although, I have no idea why I would have done that.

Anyways, you asked and I answered. Have a great day!


Oh....The Best Thing about you (that I know of) is that beautiful baby you produced and the Worst Thing (again, that I know of) is that your blog posts have to end and I love reading what you write!!!!

I think it is extremely difficult for woman to have such relationships because we are so sensitive and competitive with each other. I'm lucky enough to still hang out with my childhood friend, but I don't think either of us would do the Worst part of the game. Anyway, with so much negativity out in the world, why not just focus on the Best part of the game?

I'm starting to wonder if not having "that" friend in our lives happens with age, marriage, children and growing responsibilities.

Life gets busy and time it rarely put aside for simple yet important things like "best/worst" with a close friend when there are mounds of dishes and piles of laundry to do. People drift apart, but the memories are still wonderful to have.

I don't have anyone close to spill my heart out to besides my husband. I miss having those friends in my life as well...

I have one of those! Sadly, she lives far away and I don't get to see her often, but yes, she does exsist for me. But she was a friend made in my college years. I haven't found a single person like that since I've been out of the school scene. I think it gets really hard when we're older to make these kind of intense friendships work. Not impossible, just challenging.

I hope you find someone like that in your life. I'd offer up myself, but you live REALLY far away, we've never actually met and well, it's not something you can offer... it just kinda happens. So I guess that was a kinda lame thing to offer. Ignore me, clearly I'm drunk.

I do have a friend like that, but I didn't find her until I was in my early 20's. I have some close friends, but no one like her that I could be THAT honest with.

We taught next door to each other (we both taught 3rd grade) and one day I wore this dress that was one of those sack dresses with no shape, but really comfortable. You know what I'm talking about? And when she saw me before school, she said, "OH MY GOD! NEVER. NEVER WEAR THAT DRESS AGAIN. IT'S A MUMU and IT MAKES YOU LOOK TERRIBLE!" I said, "Um. Ok." I wasn't mad at her, but she felt bad and told her class that she thought she made me feel bad. Her class told her she should talk to me about it. At lunch she said, "I think I was really obnoxious to you before about that dress, but you're so beautiful and that dress made you look horrible."

It didn't hurt my feelings because I knew she wasn't being caddy or mean. Just honest. We always have each other's best interest at heart. I think it's a unique relationship among women and one that is hard to find.

As my female friends have coupled up and/or moved far, far away, close girlfriends are much harder to come by in my life. My closest galpal lives halfway across the country and I'm not always so sure it is the same when we're together these days. There's one good galpal who lives close by with whom I could definitely play an honest game of Best thing/Worst thing (the whole concept both intrigues and horrifies me, btw), but she is married, considers her hubby her bestest pal, and they have an adorable baby boy who is Mia's age and (most significantly) has special medical needs which means her family life takes up pretty much all of her time and energy. (I don't begrudge that -- and I help out as much as I can; I just miss hanging with my friend sometimes)

So my actual day-to-day best bud is a gay man. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) (But it's Massachusetts and he's married, too.) :-) He's my biggest fan as well as my biggest critic, so he'd be a perfect partner for this game. In fact, everyday is a round of Best Thing/Worst Thing with him, whether I like it or not.

Remind me again, why would one want a friend with whom to play this game? ;-)

And at the risk of saying too much in the comment section...

I think men seem to have relationships like that with other men. Can't men just say, "Biff. Clean up your shit. It's bugging me." ? And women tend to go around telling their other women friends, "That Suzy never picks up her stuff. I hate her." I don't think men have as deep conversations, IN GENERAL, with each other though. I'm risking making BIG, GROSS GENERALIZATIONS here, but what is it about us, women?

You're definitely not alone. I have that with my husband (which - as you said - is different), but not with any of my female friends. I've made some very good friends in the last few years with whom I think there exists the potential to develop the dynamic of complete honesty, but we're not there yet. I'm ready and willing but it's hard to find others that are. At the risk of appearing to over-simplify, I find that a lot of women take an honest comment that isn't "uplifting" or "ego-stroking" as either an attack or a competition, neither of which would be a reality or motivation for me in making said sort of comment.
Anyway, I miss it, too. Too bad you didn't live closer! :)

I don't think I've ever been able to play that game, for long, with any particular friend, because eventually it will go over the line. sometimes i've overestimated the toughness of their skin, and they mine.

it's much tougher to find that friend when you are an adult, and have a family of your own. so many of my friends live nowhere near me. and i thank god for the internet, because without it, i wouldn't have them in my life.

if i can take my friend telling me she cant see my elbows anymore, i think its a safe bet shes that kind of friend....

I have it right now. A lot of people mistake us for a couple but we're not. E and I are extremely close, kind of like sisters only totally different (heh). I think we've played a version of that game at some point(s) in our friendship. I'm eternally grateful to have her around and don't know what I'd do if she went away. She picks me up when I'm done, is honest with me but in a way that makes the ugly truth sound more like sunshine than thunderstorms.

I have no idea why I'm so lucky to have this but I know it's a gift and a blessing and I treasure it so much.

I have a relationship like that with my best friend, I sometimes introduce him as "the brother I never wanted". He lived with Mr. Hubby and I before we got married, so he knows precicely what a b*tch I can be, and also knows how patient and non-b*tchy I can be. He's nihlistic, loud and annoying, but I'd be mortified to lose him.

Oh, *sniffle* Sparkle Pants, you are the best friend anyone could ever have, ever.

So, to answer Beth, yeah, I have a best friend like that. She just commented. And when we talk, we totally bring up you and Chris in conversation, like you are just two people who live down the street from us and we totally hang out with you every day.

I think I have a problem with brutal honesty, where I think that I'm way nicer about telling the truth, and way more...not saying things, than I am, and so I think in the past, I've played that game without even trying. And I know I've hurt my best friend by being so out there with my feelings about every little thing, but yeah. I think we definitely have that kind of friendship. When we fight, we get over it within five minutes, cause we just can't stand being upset with each other, and then, seriously, everything is good again.

It's amazing to have a friendship with that level of trust and understanding and commitment. Ahem. I understand why people think we're lesbians because there's NO WORD FOR THIS TYPE OF BOND BETWEEN TWO WOMEN. Or whatever it was that Oprah said. Yeah.

Now I want my best friend to come home from work so I can give her hugs.

I had a couple of friends like that in college. A couple times, we had what we called "honesty sessions" where anything was game - questions about what you've done, what you think about others in the room, etc. After the honesty sessions, nothing seemed to chang between any of us, which is amazing now when I look back on it.

Now we just keep in touch sporadically, as life has taken us all in different directions. In fact, in the two years since graduating from college, I haven't found anyone to whom I'm super close, besides my husband, and I really do miss that. Sometimes I'll come across a magazine article or something about some really close friends or couples who are really close friends with each other, and wish that I/we had that. Maybe someday...

I do. We actually played Worst Thing Worst Thing Worst Thing, and then went immediately back to DEFCON 5. I don't know if I count, though.

Oh, I'm SO fortunate to have one of "those" friends. I do believe it is INFINITELY more difficult to make/keep friends as an adult (with hubby, kids, house, job, etc). AJ and I met in 9th grade, but I couldn't STAND her (We were both extremely opinionated & bossy)! Then, sophomore year of college she'd come visit her then-boyfriend (my boyfriend's roommate) and we started to spend more time together. Somhow we forged an AWESOME friendship, and I constantly thank her for being MY best friend! As far as the "Best/Worst" game, we go through that with nearly every phone converstation we have (usually one of us having "issues" and needing the other to yell out a WAKE UP call)!!

This post is interesting to me because right now I am struggling with friendship. Most of my close friends live out of town and while we talk a bunch over the phone and email, I miss the closeness of meeting for lunch. I have also been wondering how to meet more mom friends with kids because I can't do the play group thing - but I would like friends who at the same "spot" in their life too! Know what I mean? I certainly hope it's not fleeting - that someday I will have some close friends outside of my email in-box!!

I don't have it. I've never really had it unless you count my sister (except that we remember all the hurtful things we say to each other, so not quite the same I guess).

More pitifully? I've considered asking people on the internet that I've never even met in real life to be my bestest friends ever. I'm amazed I've never asked you. Hey! Want to be my bestest friend ever?

Yeah, I thought not.

Interesting in that I've been thinking about my own friendships alot latley. I don't have one of those kinds of friends, probably havent for years, maybe high school? I feel like I dont have any real close girlfriends in my real life. I've grown apart from all my pre-marriage and baby friends. We're all busy with our own lives and we talk once in awhile and see each other at weddings or christenings and what not and always promise to get together but never do.

Strangely enough some of my closest friends at this point in my life are people I "know" online. I've met them in person at various events, we IM/e-mail every day,we talk on the phone, we see each other more often, even though we live in different states, than I do my real life friends.

I think I have it, and I have it six-fold. I don't think any of us have really ever tried it, and I'm sure we'd be friends afterwards.. it's just a matter of getting the ball rolling. Maybe that's a game we can play the next time we have a much needed girls' night drunken sleepover. ;)

I've never played the game. I do have a friend I could play this with (I think), but she lives far away.

I had a friend like that. I could say anything to him, him to me.
We were so happy in our blatant honesty, that one time during one of our discussions, we branched over into a couple of taboo areas for anyone.
I said what I felt about his parents...(not my favs) and he said what he felt about my being so opinionated.
We've kissed and made up, literally. However, we'll never be friends like we were again. It was no man's land and we shouldn'ta went there.
We've discussed it, we know it, and we know we'll never be the same.
I miss him.

I don't have another person on earth that I can be completely honest with. There's always a point where you have to check yourself.

Being adult sucks.

Had it, once upon a time. No longer have it. Miss it terribly. I dont have alot of 'friends', I lost contact with mine when after highschool, instead of going off to university with them, I got married and had babies.
Different life paths.
Sucks, but I suck it up, and get on with things. Now I've got internets! Ok, while thats great, it's also a bit depressing.. I'm off to drown in coffee.

mmm i had to think kinda long and hard about this one. enough to make me come to the site rather than read you through blog lines (which, btw and ot, i love that you put the full feed into the reader. makes it easier) anyways. i thought at first i had three friends like that. i realize that one wouldn't be comfortable with the worst part, but she'd act like it, the second is too fresh still but very xlose like only girlfriends get, and the third is one i've had for years. it took us a long time to get here, but we could. I don't think it's a one off. it can happen more than once, it just takes time to get there. yer awfully introspective lately. :)

I have one, but we haven't lived in the same city for 6 years. And she's moving across the country to get her PhD in a few weeks (to Baltimore, wah).

If you need another one, I'm totally available!

Heck I don't even have good, close friends anymore. I think that's part of why I blog, so that I can feel connected to a community of women.

I think it's part of becoming an adult, at least that's been my experience. I meet most people either at work or school, and that sets some pretty tight limits on how close you can be to anyone since there's always a chance of your boss or other professional hearing something.

Hey your better off than me. I can say I dont have ANY friends. Hows that for sad??? I have one semi friend which I dont really consider too much of a friend anymore because we never see each other and rarely talk on the phone and thats it. All my friends from childhood either did me dirty or went down a path in thier lives that I didnt want to be drug down. So I totally feel your pain. I would give anything just to have a friend I could trust but I am so scared of gettig stabbed in the back after all these years its hard to let anyone in. Almost like its not worth the time. Maybe one day that person will come along for us? Until then I am so greatful for the relationship I have with my mother who I consider my best friend and of course my hubby.

I have to say that I don't think I want to play the Worst part of that game. Not because I couldn't handle hearing it about me, but because I would feel awful saying it to her. Don't get me wrong, I have a few very close girlfriends that I can talk to about anything. And when asked my opinion on a haircut, outfit, lipstick, life choice, I will gently share my opinion, but never unsolicited unless it's a huge thing, like "I can see your black panties through your white shorts, go change now." That's not hurtful.

I have a few close friends from college and beyond that I can call on their shit and know that we'll still be great friends when I've said my peace. These are the same friends who I trust to tell me the bad things that I need to hear as well. I'm not married and live hours away from my family, so these friends have become sort of a surrogate family to me. Sadly I don't really keep in touch with any of my childhood friends anymore.

i definitely don't have one of those.
but i want one. and i want to be one. but i can't. i can't be totally honest and raw like that.

although i did once tell one of my friends that she's too pushy and tries too hard and more people would like her if she just didn't push so much. we didn't speak for a really long time, but now things have settled into a much better relationship for the two of us.

i think i'd be totally okay hearing it. but not okay dishing it.

I don't have this kind of friend right now. I wish I did. Someone (besides the husband, someone you would you talk about your husband with) you could tell anything to and have no regrets. Is that even possible when you pass a certain age? I hope so.

Totally don't have it, probably never did.

I think no matter how tough I tried to be I would be upset if anyone told me the worst thing about me--unless I already knew it and made it public knowledge that I already know it. I'm overly sensitive. (Wait! Perhaps that's my worst personality trait. There. That wasn't so hard.)

You are not the only one. You are not some type of loser or outcast, because if you are, then I must be also. And I refuse to admit that to myself...or anyone else for that matter.

I have several of these friends. Most I also refer to as "sorority sisters"...or usually just sisters. It was the greatest thing I ever did in college. We have done this on occasion and almost had another round today when one came to visit, but it's tough to be totally honest with kids around. They don't quite understand the "worst" part of that game yet.

I could play Best Thing Worst Thing with one person. In theory, I could play it with two, but the second couldn't play back, so I am declaring them disqualified. The unfortunate thing is that we rarely see one another - maybe once every three months. But still, there is some strange bond that ties us together regardless of where we are and what's going on in life. We both acknowledge that this is rare and appreciate the friendship for its strength.

I'm sure you'll play again. :o) No worries.

I do have one of those friends. And I only met him 3 years ago...well into my "grown-up" years. I think you can find that kind of friendship as an adult, but I think it's incredibly rare. I'd never had one before.

Then again, maybe it helps that he's a guy. My closest female friend would knock me unconscious if I ever told her the things I think are the worst about her.

I too have recently been reconsidering the "friendships" in my life. I have three friends from high school who I am pretty sure I had a good version of this relationship with. As we got older went to college, emerged into the real world, got married (two of us), started the trip into motherhood (one is due in October) we have drifted apart. I don't think it is because we wanted to drift apart, but the everydays of life have just happened. Every time we talk or hang out we always say "we need to be better about keeping in touch". Three of us live within an hour and the other is only about 2.5 hours away. And there is always phone and internet - but we just don't use it like we should.

One of them used to call me for boy advice, then she met a nice boy and got married.... no more need for boy advice.

And I seem to "act" like I don't need to spill the beans to anyone, but I tend to feel differently about it but cannot make the change to actually confide in anyone.

I also have some friends at work that I am pretty close with. The friendships have been getting closer over the time we have known each other, but still not quite to that point.

I want it, but don't really know how to get there.

Beth - I have never commented before (I am pretty much just a lurker - have the desire to start a blog but feel like I don't have the time to figure out what to write.) But thanks for these introspective posts over the last few weeks, it has got me thinking.

Sorry about the long comment

I don't but it's probably generational.

If you can't say something nice, etc.

I have that friend, she is my sanity. She is the only person is not afraid to be honest and I value her opinion. I fear if I move back to VA that I'll loose her and then I'll be lost.

Had it, loved it, lost it. Found it with different people and am so grateful.

Nope. I don't have that kind of friend. Mostly because I don't want to be that kind of friend. And I guess I would hope that people would just love me for me. Fat, middle aged, me.

I have one of those friends. We've been friends for 25 years and counting. Elementary school and high school, then roommates for the last two years of college (she transferred to mine so she could be with her future husband), and it's lasted beyond that, and I thank my lucky stars that I have her as a friend. We live five hours apart now, and though I din't get to see her as much as I'd like, we still talk and email quite often. She's got two beautiful girls who I love as if they were my own. She's brutally honest when it's called for, completely nonjudgemental when she needs to be. I know that I would not have made it through my divorce if it hadn't been for her support and love. And I really do know how lucky I am.

Nope, don't have a friend like that. I had one, but that ended when we graduated college. (I'm not counting marriage b/c totally different) I think those kinds of friendships take time to form, and there's no way you can rush them (as tempting as it is, and as much as I want to sometimes). You also can't force those friendships either. I dunno... I hope I can have a friendship like that again, I think you can have them as an adult (my mom has a few friends like that now, for the first time in her adult life, and she's 50... which, I hope to God I don't have to wait that long).

Have it. But wouldn't play it. The reason I still have it is we tell each other the best things all the time, and the worst things only when an intervention is absolutely necessary -- which is rare. That's why we're friends. :)

I hate to admit... but like another poster above me... I don't have ANY friends either. It's actually pretty heartbreaking for me... but such is life. I had one good friend a few years ago, but life took that apart. Now I hang out with my husband... my mom... and I see people at work. Sometimes I get sad when I think about it, but I think for the most part I've become adjusted to it. I would kill to find a few really good friends, but it hasn't happened yet.

I do have that in my life, yes. I actually just wrote a post in my own blog about how grounded my friendships are since becoming a mother--so, interesting that you should ask. I find that, since becoming a mom, I have more friends, I'm closer with many of the friends that I had originally (provided they, too, have children...), and that friendship in general has a more important place in my life.

So, no, I can't say I'm in the same situation. But, I've been there. And, I think it's pretty fluky that my friendship card has totally changed course.... I think I'm an oddball in this regard, too.

I have had three women like this in my life, when I lost one I found another and Im hoping my blessing will continue. One of the worst things in the past year filled with worse things was losing my best friend.
Im not even sure why.

I have friends, but they all have issues and if I even TRIED to start that game with any of them...it...would be a disaster.

Thinking on it, why would you do that anyway? lol

But I would like to have a friend I could say anything to and not worry about them getting upset. Even if it's nothing about them. Or, yeah, if it was about them.

I am pretty sure I could handle it. If I wasn't flashing (hot sweats-menopausing) or PMSing. On a good day, in a good mood, I could handle anything. On a GOOD day, in a GOOD mood...heh...few and far between. heh

I'm so late with this! I am sucky commenter this week!

Anyway - honestly, Beth, I think those sort of friendship are few and far in between. I have several close friendships, and the only time we ever get to those tricky things that we don't like about each other is either in a big fight or joking about each other, in a very loving fashion. Honesty is wonderful, but I really don't need to hear about my thighs from ANYONE - I hear enough about them in MY MIND. :)

I'm still trying to find a friendship where if one person gets mad (legitamately) the relationship doesnt end.

=(

I know I've had that in the past with a couple of people. I'm pretty sure one of my friends (who was also my college roommate) and I still have it, as a holdover from those days.

Other, newer, friends, though... I'm closer to them in some ways than I was with friends when I was younger, but maybe not willing to take the chance of playing Best Thing Worst Thing with them.

Hey there,

I have it, but "it" lives in Syria and another part of the country. My two girls (I've written about them in my blog) are far away and I sometimes crave nothing more than a long chat about nothing and everything with humorous reality dispensed freely. I think we can still find it, but it's proven elusive...
Cheers

Gosh, my favorite topic (friends as an adult). I don't think anyone I know that lives close by would appreciate any comment about their appearance at all. I have old friends that I could be honest with and that is such a blessing but at this point I think comments to even them about their looks or most anything else (raising kids, relationships, clothes...) would not be appreciated either. It seems to be a game for the fairly self confident. I think it's helpful though, for people to tell you what they think and I wish I could develop relationships like that, but seems like as I have gotten older other women have more to lose? feel more threatened? like they missed the mark somehow? I don't know...seems much harder to find women that truly want to be loyal good friends...sadly as I always have had a nice core of friends when growing up and that is important to me. Don't know--could be lack of time, or access to meeting women but it's definitely changed since childhood.

I do not have one of those friends (other than the husband) and I miss that. We moved 18 months ago and I have had a difficult time finding women friends. There is the same need to impress but not seem like you're trying, the need to bond over some commonality but not be all "ME TOO!" over everything she says, & the hesitation about how much is too much to share w/o being embarrassed. It's even worse than dating, I think, and seems (for me) to bring back my junior high insecurities. I always assumed that with kids it would be easier b/c at least you have child stuff to talk about. Not true??

I don't have it. I would love a friend like this now. My husband is my best friend, but like you said, it's different. When I was little I watched 'Laverne and Shirley' all the time. I always wanted that type of friend that would always be there and get in and out of trouble with you.

Having a best, best friend is probably the only thing I miss about high school! I, too, have (good)friends. But not like I did in high school where you could be honest and say whatever you wanted...like you said, "without repercussions." I think you hit the nail on the head when you asked if it was just apart of growing up. Unfortunately.

Thankfully, I do. We've been best friends since 6th grade, and even though she went to college in Texas (I'm in South Carolina), we're still very close. We've never sat and highlighted the worst things about each other - probably because we have very different body types and it probably would not be as funny to us - but we CONSTANTLY tease each other about various personality traits.

I am lucky to have a girlfriend like that. We have been friends since 7th grade, and we went through more than a few ups and downs as teenagers. As adults, we have a much better appreciation for each other. We haven't lived within 30 miles of each other in over 7 years, but we talk almost every day.

She drove 180 miles to see my son the day after he was born, and I drove 200 miles to a going away party (moving from Chicago to Houston) for her family in June. After the party, we stood outside and cried for half an hour.

I wish he family lived in the same city as mine because it would be nice to have some of our conversations face-to-face.

I used to, but I guess things got complicated, then we couldn't laugh about it anymore. Maybe it was the distance, or something, I don't know. I still don't get it. Wrote about it yesterday, sorta.

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