20 Friend Dates 🌹
Love your homies! Celebrate your homies! Write poems about your homies!
If I’m gonna talk about the homies, we’re gonna start this one off with gratitude.
Thank you to every friend with whom sitting in silence is enough of its own conversation. Thank you to every braid that gets caught in my hoops when we hug. Thank you to every homie who calls me out on my shit. The biggest thanks to every friend that sees the best parts of myself even when I don’t and gently asks them to come on out to shine. Thank you, group chat. Thank you zoom calls and facetimes. Thank you friends that show me that another world is not only possible but is in fact, reachable. Thank you to my friends who say “biiiiiitttcccchhhhh!” as another way of saying “I love you.” Thank you to my friends for deepening my understanding and practice of care. Thank you too to the friends that are no longer friends, I hope we’re both being held by the kind of love we learned we need. Thank you to the phone numbers of friends that I can still recite by heart. Thank you to the friends who really understand this depression & chronic insomnia shit and when I say “I’m too depressed to go,” they respond “I understand ❤️.” Thank you to the friends that show me what love means as a practice. Thank you every homie that texts me to go look at the moon. Thank you, dear friends, your love is a home I’m so grateful to grow up in.
There’s a line in a poem by one of my favorite writers Danez Smith, where they write: “Andrew used to say / friendship is so friendship / & ain’t it.”
Yes! Exactly! Friendship is so friendship! There’s something so deep about this kinda love that it’s ineffable.
The love I share with friends invites the futures I dream of into the present. Futures where love is held in its most spacious sense, in a way that stretches beyond binaries of how to hold it and who to hold it for. Black queer friendship teaches me how to hold care for others in ways that white supremacy does not the imagination to begin to articulate. Friendship teaches me about the conflict and discomfort that comes with learning to care for one another. It is a rare and precious moment to find someone you can call a real friend, someone who you don’t have to quiet or dull your heart for, who actually wants your heart to take up as much space as possible. Friendship is something to hold dear and to celebrate.
I want more poems about friendship. More friendship anniversaries celebrated. Grand gestures of love for friends. A world where friendship is not held on some kind of lesser level as a romantic relationship. A world where we tend to friendship as a practice and vessel for better loving ourselves and each other.
It’s Valentine’s Day this weekend, and while I’m not into the capitalism-drenched parts of its practice and history…. I’m also a lovely dovey headass with big cornball energy that loves any excuse to get mushy. Valentine’s Day has largely been marketed as a celebration of romantic love, and for the past years I’ve been intentionally reimagining the holiday as a celebration of love in an expansive sense - love of self, platonic love, love of family (chosen or otherwise), love of spirit, love of Earth, love in whatever way feels most true.
In the energy of celebrating out friends, for the past two years, I’ve shared a list of friend dates that you can adapt to share with the loves in your life, and I’m keeping the tradition going! Below, I leave you with 20 ideas for friend dates that you can take your homies on. You can adapt them to do with any of the people in your life, whether your boo(s), fam, or self! You can also adapt them to do remotely or IRL.
Sending y’all much sweetness. Here’s to continuing to create moments of delight and care with one another and celebrating our friends for the love we hold for one another. 💌
🌹 20 FRIEND DATES 🌹
Create a book where you take turns filling out the pages one by one. Your book can build into a comic, story, instructional booklet, etc. You can also do this by mailing your book back and forth between the two of you as you take turns filling up the pages with your magic.
Make a collaborative playlist together. Then, set a course for a walk. When you begin your walk, press play on the playlist at the same time on your separate devices & enjoy the journey with the music.
Bring back the make-believe! Either together or in your respective homes, build a pillow fort or create an indoor picnic. Once complete, co-watch a favorite childhood movie together.
Get a disposable camera. Spend the day or a walk taking turns capturing pics until the camera is full. Develop your photos, and archive them in a photo album.
Rest together. In person or over a video call, make face masks of any kind that work best for your skin (clay, honey and oatmeal...Google has your back on this one). Lounge together, listen to soothing music, drink water, discuss what your rest practices look like, and how you can be there for each others rest.
Y’all. Neopets, Club Penguin, and the old Disney games (does the Lilo and Stitch Sandwich Stacker ring a bell?) all still exist online - and I’m freaking out about it. Select one to play together either IRL or over a video call. Share your characters, compare scores.
Make a digital friendship archive. Create a folder (on Google Drive / iCloud) and add whatever moments in your life that commemorate your friendship (photos/voice notes/ text messages / memes that had the both of you screaming).
Sunset serenade. Pick a song that you both love - a song you love so much you both know the lyrics to it. At sunset, either in person or on a video call, dance with each other to the song, serenade each other, get silly, get loud, belt out the lyrics.
Create powerpoint presentations on any subject: clouds, croissants, the best way to prepare toast. Present to each either IRL or over Zoom, let hilarity ensue.
Ask each other the questions from the NYTimes piece “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love.” You can do this in person, by sending letters, over a video call over snacks, through voice memos over a month, or whatever pace works best for you.
Sip tea, collect art supplies (paints, crayons, markets, etc.) and create art together in person or over a video call. Share your pieces with one another.
Create a Tik-Tok play together that’s themed around a key moment in your friendship. For example: the first time you met.
Find a recipe you’d both love to try. Either cook the meal together or set up a video call as you both co-cook the recipe. You can do this Great British Bakeoff style (i.e. full of LUV AND SUPPORT) an compare results, trade tips & enjoy the treats together.
Pick out your favorite cereals, or make breakfast together. Pair the meal by co-watching some of your favorite childhood cartoons.
Take turns where you both pick one thing that’s outside of your comfort zone that you’ve always wanted to try (dance class, open mic, etc). Spend the day supporting each other in the task.
Go on a color walk together. Take turns picking a color to follow. For example, choosing pink and going the direction of a pink flower, then your friend picks red, and you walk the direction of the peeling paint on a fire hydrant. End the color walk with your favorite snack of choice.
Create a playlist dedicated to dreaming. Select a date to listen to the playlist before you go to sleep. In the morning, talk about your dreams over breakfast either in person or over a video call.
Interview one another. Talk about your current dreams, music you love, ways you’re resting, the last shape you saw in the clouds. Save the interview to open in however many months/years you choose and watch together.
For a full week, send each other a picture of the sky at sunset, wherever you are in the world.
Create a time capsule commemorating your friendship. Fill it with objects, photos, or notes that speak to what’s been important in your friendship, how you’ve grown, and what your dreams are for the future. Put the photos into any form of vessel (box / envelope / thumb drive / etc ), and open it in however many months/years you choose.
Bonus friend date idea - come thru this Saturday Feb 12 to my online Poetry Workshop on Reimagining Love Letters with Writer’s Club! 🌹
For the poets of all levels and big heart energy babes, I’m hosting a tender-full online poetry writing workshop this Saturday, February 12th with @writersclub_ny! The time of this workshop has been extended to 1pm-3pm est.
Together we’ll expand beyond the romantic love poem archetype, and write love poems that center love in all its expansive forms: platonic, self, spiritual, familial, creative, and all others. Note, this workshop is not on poetry technique or form, but rather an intentional space to write about love as a celebration of self and others. Open to beginners and writers from all mediums.
This workshop will include closed captioning transcription . This workshop will not be recorded for the privacy of attendees.
How to Register
Venmo @writersclub_ny any amount between $10-$15. Please only comment with your email address and no other text to confirm your registration. You can also PayPal firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address in the description. Please DM or email @writersclub_ny questions on ticketing. There are three free spots to this workshop for writers of color that cannot afford the attendance fee. Please DM or email @writersclub_ny to reserve!
Sending you much love 🕊.Drink a glass of water after reading this email
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