Lessons I’ve Learned from my Best Friend…. And Chelsea Handler

I just finished reading Chelsea Handler’s book “Uganda Be Kidding Me,” (by recommendation from my best friend, Jill) and wow, I don’t remember the last time I was in tears laughing so hard from a book. I quickly learned that this was not a book I should read at work. I’m sure the people in the ER don’t need to listen to a 20 some year old’s high pitched laugh while they’re sick with the Flu or are in the middle of a GI Bleed.

In any case, surprisingly enough I learned a lot from Chelsea Handler! A lot of these things I already knew though because I had learned them from Jill.

This is Jill.

This is Jill.

Let me start by saying Jill is my everything. She is totally the kind of girl I would take home to meet my parents, just so they would know that I do indeed make great life decisions. She’s the person I seek guidance from in all things. I have told her numerous times that I want to tattoo “WWJD” on my wrist, until she so sweetly in that very Jill way informed me that I cannot do that because that acronym is already taken.

This book is about the several trips Chelsea Handler has taken throughout adulthood from Botswana to Switzerland. But she never goes anywhere without her best friends, specifically her best friend Lesbian Shelly. Their relationship is much like mine and Jill’s in that Shelly is a lot like Jill, minus the lesbian part.

Jill and her fiance. Just to clarify, Jill is not a lesbian.

Jill and her fiance. Just to clarify, Jill is not a lesbian.

So between Chelsea Handler and Jill, I have learned many life lessons. Here are just a few of them:

A best friend is someone you can call in case of emergency. At one point, Chelsea Handler brought home a new puppy that overnight tore apart their whole house. Chelsea immediately woke up Shelly and asked her what to do. I remember one time I dropped candle wax all over my dresser because I accidentally closed the window on a burning candle. It got all into my eyes, down my dress, and all over the carpet. I texted Jill, “umm. How do you get candle wax out of stuff…” and she said “oh dear, we’ll figure it out.” I was so comforted by the fact that we were now in this together.

Animals are life. If you’ve ever seen Chelsea Lately, you are probably already acquainted with Chunk Handler, Chelsea’s adorable dog. She is so in love with him that he flies on her private plane and Chelsea will fly commercial. Chelsea also believes that Chunk is the spirit of her mother. Well, the only other person I know that is nearly as obsessed with her pet is Jill. I don’t think Jill thinks Henrietta is her mom, although I have seen Henrietta and Jill’s mom (who by the way, has a sense of humor to rival Chelsea Handler) together and they are two peas in a pod. I mean, who wouldn’t be obsessed with this adorable face?

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Don’t be fooled by her ridiculous good looks.

Every conversation with Jill consists of what Henrietta is up to these days, what she’s doing now, and how she can’t stop talking about me. If you talk to Henrietta in front of Jill, Jill will fill in the voice for Henrietta, and it always makes sense.

“Hi Henrietta! Remember me?”

Jill’s response: Hi Meow-vanti!
Henrietta’s response: HI(SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS)!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and for your Birthday and Christmas, you just might get a card from Jill and Henrietta. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

All things can be fixed with laughter, alcohol… And a razor. Whenever Chelsea finds herself in a pickle, her first solution is to find the closest Bloody Mary or margarita. They found themselves in the middle of Africa on a horrible resort where the coolest thing to see was a squirrel. Chelsea’s response was, “we didn’t fly all the way here to look at a squirrel,” and they proceeded to tell the tour guide to take them home so they could drown in their miseries.

The last awful series of events in my life was when I had gotten into a car accident, had a consecutive number of horrible days at work, and locked myself out of the house twice over the period of 3 days. The final time I locked myself out of my house, was right before mine and Jill’s Monday night girls night. I had just driven an hour back home from work only to realize that I had lost my key again. I was sitting in my front yard, inside of my car (not knowing that my house key was underneath my seat the entire time) on the verge of tears. Jill told me to just come right over even though I had nothing with me and desperately needed a shower and to shave my legs after working in the ER for 10 hours. Once I got there, she handed me a glass of wine, a towel, a razor, and one of her dresses. By the time I stepped out of her bathroom I felt like a whole new woman! Jill literally has the reset button on me. I guess you could say I’m her Gigapet.

Manners are our friends. Chelsea Handler having no manners needs no explanation and this book has so many wonderful examples of that, like being rude to tour guides, not powering down her cell phone before take off, and answering the door without bikini bottoms. Her friends are always there to steer her in the right direction. As for me, Jill has always reminded me to use my manners. Like the other day when she burped and said excuse me and I said nothing, she repeated, “I said excuse me.” And I, as any normal person would do, stared blankly at her as if I thought I knew the appropriate response in this social situation but all that came out was “goo.” Jill reminds me on a regular basis that I was actually raised by a pack of wolves and she’s in the process of re-raising me now. Thanks Jill.

There is no such thing as a dumb question. One of my favorite parts of this book is when Chelsea asks her sister, Simone, something that had been troubling her. “Simone, I need to ask you something but it has to stay between us. Is the moon… the sun? Like, are they the same thing?” After her older sister answered her question, Chelsea requested she not repeat that that had just happened Simone responded, “it’s ok Chelsea. You not knowing is a poor reflection on me.”

Everyone needs that person you can ask dumb questions to. Jill is mine. Yesterday I asked her “why are there so many cats?” She politely responded with an actual historical answer. I didn’t even know there was a history behind cats. Maybe she was just making it up, I don’t know. But Jill could feed me any lie and I would believe her entirely. If that’s not true love I don’t know what is. Later that day we also had the following conversation:

“Jill, do Pilgrims still exist?”
“What?”
“Like, how come when people introduce themselves they’ll say ‘I’m Irish’ or ‘I’m Indian’ but no one says ‘I’m Pilgrim’?”
“No, they don’t exist anymore.”
“What do you mean no? How can a whole race of people disappear??”
“It’s not a race. It’s more like a status. A Pilgrim is someone who crossed the ocean to come to America during the 17th century.”
“Oooooh! Well, my people crossed the ocean to come to America too. Am I Pilgrim?”
“No, Pilgrims with a capital P are the white people that came to America. But you’re ancestors are pilgrim with a lower case p!”
“Wow, Jill. That’s the most racist thing I’ve ever heard.”

At the end of the day , I don’t even need anyone else. Jill pinky promised me that if we out-live our future husbands that we can live together as old ladies and become lesbians. And, well, pinky promises are blood.

I guess Jill will have more in common with Lesbian Shelly that we thought!

Happy birthday, Jill! I love you so much!!! I don’t know what I would do with out you! And I can honestly say, I don’t know what would become of me if I didn’t have you.

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xoxo,
Avi

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