A Girl’s Guide to Friendship: The Vault


All right ladies, it’s time to talk about friendship. Not the go shopping, grab a latte part of friendship, I’m talking about the gritty, pick you up off the floor and hide the evidence part of friendship. The side that provides us with endless private jokes and can make two friends feel like sisters. The secrets we keep for each other bond us, the sloppy girl’s nights that never get reported back to boyfriends, the dark confessions that are held in confidence for eternity and the trust we instill in each other.

A few months ago I went on a little girl’s road trip with some longtime friends and by longtime I mean close to a decade of friendship, the friends that have my trust without question or doubt. This was the kind of weekend road trip every girl is waiting for and when some newer friends decided to join, not surprisingly a few eyebrows were raised.  My friends and I have always had this understanding that when things get wild or someone goes a little too far, it’s our responsibility as friends to protect their honor.

Does that sound archaic and ninja like? Well, it is. And while it may seem kind of intense, between my friends it only takes one look to know when a situation warrants lock down. You see, my friends and I have this understanding and whenever we’re about to get into some crazy shit we initiate– The Vault.

 What the hell is The Vault?

Simply put the vault is the place in your mind where all the torrid information and memories are stored, never to be revisited or spoken of unless with another member. Picture rows and rows of filing cabinets filled with good times and belly aching laughs.  The vault is like the temple of friendship, it holds all the most valuable scrolls of time spent together and it should always be treated with the utmost respect.

Get my flow? It’s serious shit ladies, not just any friend can be trusted to keep vault information. Those few times that warrant the vault are priceless. They aren’t just the wild ones, they can be those pajama clad, pizza party, cries and Netflix nights too.

Who’s in?

Ok so now you get the gravity of the vault so let’s get into the members. One would assume that membership in the vault is exclusive to a longtime friendship, to the ones that share that awkward third grade photo with you. Unfortunately, just because you’ve known someone for a long time does not mean they will truly be there for you. It’s been my experience that the greatest and most loyal of friends are the ones you’d least expect. The people you include in your vault are the ones that you can call in the middle of a Wednesday night in tears and within thirty minutes they’re on your doorstep with a gallon of Ben and Jerry’s. The friends that will stand up and defend you first, and ask questions later, because no matter what you do they’ll be there. Sometimes you meet a person and just know that they’ll be in your life forever so don’t worry about how long you’ve known someone if you trust them, they’re in your vault, simple as that.

Obviously every time you gather with your girls is not vault appropriate. So don’t freak out and think that the Starbucks coffee date must be kept off the books. The vault should only be called upon when you or a member of the inner circle encounters a situation, which upon reflection would cause great shame or embarrassment. I’ll be honest and admit that in my youth I’ve been in a few situations that would put the Marquis de Sade to shame, but the vault and my inner circle has kept me out of the doghouse, and I for them. Use the vault for those instances when you would be less than proud for grandma to see the photos. Or those nights when you and the girls did nothing but laugh at fart jokes. The vault is for those sacred times when you can just be girls and not worry about the world outside your little bubble.

Bonded for life

The most important thing about the vault is the information that’s stored inside. What you do with that information says a lot about your character and how you value your friendships. The vault means trust, so any and all information must be treated like a small baby dove; it must never be thrown about carelessly. Whatever you’ve seen, heard, overheard or stumbled upon cannot, at any time, be used against another member of the vault. Members of the vault may not repeat what went down with anyone. That means:

  • You don’t tell your boyfriend every detail of the trip
  • You don’t laugh about it with co-workers
  • And you lock away all evidence (no Instagram and Facebook here ladies)

It’s only for participating parties to enjoy and reminisce about and part of the magic is keeping it that way.

Every girl needs one

We’re all strong powerful women and, while we can be sassy and take charge, at heart we all need to feel bonded with someone. Having friends that you can rely on and call on when you need to let loose or cry like an idiot makes all the other shit we deal with easier. The vault provides a sense of security and safety, it brings us back to the days when we had sleepovers and whispered about the cute boy at school. We all need little secrets and confidants to keep an aspect of danger and mystery in our lives. When you come home from a girl’s trip with a little twinkle in your eye your boyfriend will look a little more closely trying to decipher what went on. The fact that it’s only for a select few makes it all the more sweet and special.

It’s pretty clear how much I love my girls and love how much I value the crazy times we’ve had together. I’ve been lucky to find some amazing women to share in ups and downs, and am proud to call them my sisters. We might get a little too crazy and have some insane conversations, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world, and definitely wouldn’t spill their secrets.

Do you have a vault with your friends? How important is loyalty to you?