The Footnotes

THE STUDENT LIFE

Allergies that bring us together

What does your group’s ‘thing’ say about you?

H’oh boy, did Lorde stick her foot in it.

In a recent interview, Ella Yelich-O’Connor aka. Lorde compared her friendship with BFF Taylor Swift as similar to befriending someone with, ah, an autoimmune disease. How sweet.

“It’s like having a friend with very specific allergies,” she said, when asked what it was like being a part of Swift’s notorious squad. “There are certain places you can’t go together. Certain things you can’t do. There are these different sets of considerations within the friendship. It’s like having a friend with an autoimmune disease.”

Whilst her medical analogy has gone down like a lead balloon, it did kinda get us thinking – don’t ALL friendship circles have some weird ‘consideration’ or other? Like an unwritten set of rules you all unwittingly abide by –  an “On Wednesdays, we wear pink” sort of thing. We’re all weirdos. It just depends on what type.

So, Doctor, which allergy does your friendship group suffer from?

Allergy: people who turn up to the gig and don’t know the music.

Diagnosis: Can only date musos.

You girls are, and forever will be, the coolest chicks in town. You guys even have a uniform: black skinny jeans, band tshirts, leather jackets, and boots. You know the guys behind the bar of your city’s hottest live music venue, and are on a first name basis with any and every lead singer on Triple J. En masse, you girls are the 2017 answer to groupies: sexy, sassy, and totally in charge.

The faultline of the cool girl crew is that, well, there’s only so many cute muso guys to go around. Fights have often broken out over a certain guitarist, or a free ticket to Splendour In The Grass. It’s survival of the fittest with you lot, and no girl can afford to forget the lyrics.

Your strength comes in numbers. See that girl barely out of high school, fluttering her eyelashes at your friend on stage? Nuh uh honey. You guys have worked long and hard for this territory, and together you’ll protect it – leather jackets and all.

Treatment: Backstage passes to the Black Keys.

Next up…

Allergy: Right wing, private school boys. Boat shoes. Chinos.

Diagnosis: Cannot walk away from Facebook arguments with complete strangers.

 Treatment: Weekly political debates over $5 pinot noir.

Your group met either in a Gender Studies uni lecture, or running the local sausage sizzle at the last federal election. An ideal Saturday night is spent around a kitchen table in Northcote, drinking cheap wine and arguing about Paul Keating.

Your group may seem united in a tampon tax rally, but internally, you’re all pretty prone to arguments due to some strong opinions. Outdoing each other in good deeds or radical views is all fun and games, but when someone eggs your local Liberal representatives front fence? Shit gets real.

Luckily, your left-wing stubbornness is matched by your loyalty and (with election day excepted) you are a tight crew. You will always stand up for what is right, and inspire each other to do bigger and better things. Oh, and you unanimously hate Trump. That’s really the glue that’s keeping you together.

Doing Arts? Here’s a list of the 10 people you’ll meet there

Next up:

Allergy: The word ‘hippy’.

Diagnosis: Certified raw food chef.

Treatment: Grow underarm hair. Dye blue if desired.

Hello, do you own a van? Is there a mattress inside? Do your friends and you spend most weekends either on the beach or at a bush doof? Ding ding ding! This is you. Free spirited and fancy free, your friendship circle is all about free love and finding purpose in this burning rubbish fire of a planet. Oh, and finding the ultimate sequined underwear from Rainbow Serpent.

 So, uh, that free love thing? Get’s complicated sometimes. Whilst you’re all definitely against close-minded concepts of cisgendered monogamy, you’re not quite sure you’ll ever be able to get the image of your ex giving your bestie a footjob in the back of the van. Ew.

As a group, you’ve pledged lifelong friendship and love to each other, your yoga teacher, and Mother Earth. Your bond is like an old strand of tattered tibetan prayer flags that never, ever seem to break. Namaste to you,  homies, you’re probably a lot happier than the rest of us.

Next up:

Allergy: Hand-me-downs.

Diagnosis: Will wear clothes worth more than their HECS debt.

Treatment: Staff discounts.

At least one you works for Scanlan & Theodore, and the rest of you can recite the new collection piece for piece. Fashion is your LIFE, and anyone that tells you that buying groceries or paying your phone bill is a downright liar.

Together, you look like a Vanity Fair cover, and behave accordingly. Eating out must entail small, bite size options that aren’t likely to spill, splash, stain, or spoil your precious wardrobe. (Buffalo chicken wings are a big no-no.) Most internal arguments are about who gets to shotgun the latest Ellery minidress for their birthday in September. Most external arguments are with people who are anti fur. Neither end well.

Fashion is more than just your main source of expenditure, it’s about expressing yourself. You were the girls in high school who were bullied and smirked at on free dress day, when you rocked out a vintage knitted turtleneck with corduroy flares. Now look at you! Street-style snapped at Sydney Fashion Week. Boom.

Next up:

Allergy: No WIFI.

Diagnosis: Lives for their YouTube channel.

Treatment: Six-figure likes for the selfie uploads.

Group mantra: you are just one viral video away from superstardom. Or at least a role on Neighbours. Whether you met at NIDA or waitressing at La Porchetta, you guys are the best kind of wannabe slashies, and will happily settle for Social Media Influencer if things don’t work out.

Jealousy runs deep through your crew, and anyone with more likes than the other is at serious risk of being unfollowed, blocked, or worse still – victim of an Ugly Photo Upload drive-by shooting. Don’t act all innocent, babe: you know that was a TERRIBLE photo of her.

Together as a group, you’ve got more technical knowledge that a team of Government spooks; making you an excellent source of up-to-the-minute information. Move over Anonomous, if one of you needs to know details on your ex-boyfriends new girlfriend, all you need is an Instagram handle and you’re all over it.

Finally…

Allergy: Birkenstocks.

Diagnosis: Must exclusively wear heels. Everywhere.

Treatment: Wittner end-of-season sale.

And not just heels, but the whole shebang: skirt, heels, jewellery, sunglasses, handbag, hamburger with the LOT, thanks. Mind you, you’re not into outfit shaming – you just love to get glam at every occasion possible because you love fashion. Ahem – you don’t exactly hate the stares, either.

One small problem with your crew: spontaneous plans are not exactly your forte. Quick trip to the beach for a swim before lunch? Uh, no thanks. Where will you shower? Will there be a hair dryer? Who bought the waterproof mascara? CAN YOU WEAR HEELS IN THE SAND?

On the upside, you are never underdressed for the occasion. You know that looking glam means taking on whatever the day throws at you – client meetings, dinner plans, or a last-minute Tinder date. Only curveball you won’t catch is ‘office run club’ at lunchtime. In these shoes?

Like Lorde, we can’t pick our BFF’s: but rules, allergies, and ‘considerations’ aside, you’ll always love them. Quirks and all.

Next up READ, The 9 types of people you’ll meet in an arts degree

Allergies that bring us together
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