Friends are great. They're fun, supportive, and help you when you need them. But some are more helpful than others. Emotional support aside, here are ten people to welcome into your inner circle.
1. The mechanicBrakes, rotors, spark plugs, flats, this guy knows how to fix them all. His expertise (and his tool shed) can save you oodles of money. Whether a professional mechanic or an abled hobbyist, the mechanic has been the Holy Grail of friends for generations.
2. The computer guyThis friend is the mechanic of our generation. They know the best machines and the best programs - they'll help you know what to buy and where to get it for the best price. They'll install all the stuff for you so you don't have to pay the retail sales guy extra for pushing a couple buttons. If you have a virus or a speed issue, they can find that trojan and do a system defrag while watching an episode of Dr. Who with you. Keep this friend close!
3. The designerThe designer has proven to be a very helpful ally for me. Maybe not so essential for everyone else, but I wouldn't want to be without one. Baby announcements, Christmas cards, photography, family event programs, invitations, blog skins, cool wall art, and, of course, a book cover. The hourly rate of artistic services like these aren't cheap. But with the designer friend, everything you mail out or hang up will look fantastic. Plus, the designer will make you a little more stylish and fashionable by osmosis.
4. The crafterThat friend that can make anything out of anything and can do it for under $3. The Pinterest incarnate. Birthday parties will make Martha Stewart jealous. You can tackle cute, super original Halloween costumes while watching the latest Kate Hudson chick flick and for dessert, make some single serving brownies and then knock out 30 gifts for teacher appreciation at your kids' school.
5. The one who always has cashDebit cards are pretty much all you need now days. Pretty much. But there's still that random local restaurant that only accepts cash. Luckily, you have that one random friend that always has cash. You can write her a check later after she spots you for a burger.
6. The babysitterThis friend loves kids. She is always available to watch your kids. In fact, she loves to take them. She asks to take them. For free. Score!
7. The in-lawNow, this one is dkind of rare. It doesn't happen for everyone, but when it does, it's magical. Having that in-law who just as a best friend. Someone you didn't grow up with, but is now part of the family and you couldn't be happier. And if you're an in-law too, it's nice to have another "outsider" who will sit back and laugh at family drama with you.
8. The jack-of-all tradesThis guy is versatile. He can snake a drain for you or help you set up your new swing set. He's always willing to help and knows enough about everything to be useful for whatever project you have going on. He's usually the guy who sticks with you through a project's end, after everyone else has flaked out.
My brother Jordan falls into a lot of these descriptions, but I will list him as a jack-of-all trades because he is so helpful with so many things. He's willing to help us out at the drop of a hat and does way more than his share.
9. The toy junkieYou need a new smart phone, but you're overwhelmed by the choices. Do you want a Kindle Touch or a Kindle Fire? Are Apple products really worth the premium price? Should you get a small laptop or will a cool tablet suffice? Which brand of GPS is best? This friend is an early adopter of technology. He has the latest version of every gadget and knows the pros and cons of all the options. Not only will you get great advice from the toy junkie, you'll also get to try out the gadgets before buying.
10. The shopperWho has time to clip coupons and compare the sales fliers of seven different stores? The shopper does. And she is more than happy to share her treasures with you. Give her a few bucks and she'll buy an extra Sunday paper for you and clip all the coupons. She'll tell you when something is a really good price - and usually offer to pick it up for you because she's already going to the store. You get all the benefits of the crazy coupon lady without turning into one yourself.
What other types of friends make life easier?
We have to add an 11th friend. How could I miss this one?