Real Friends Have Contact Photos (And Other Important Things)

The time we choose to give to others is valuable. It is calculated, thought out, and delivered. It is energy, effort, and pieces of ourselves we are giving away. We give pieces, and we get them back in return.

The cellphone. It’s a nifty little device. Been around for a bit of time, now. You probably have almost all of your numbers in there. I bet your close friends might even have an emoji or two. I would bet that they have a contact photo for sure.

Contact photos are how I distinguish between contacts that I have, contacts that I keep for some reason or another, and those that I talk to on a regular basis.

The regular basis people. The people I chat with about our days, about our favorite shows, or how we just had the worst (or best) day at work. These people all have one thing in common when it comes to picking up my phone and looking through my contacts: they all have a contact photo.

That photo is probably not a glamour shot. It’s most likely an ugly picture of them I candidly took while we were out to eat. Maybe it’s a grainy, overly zoomed photo of them I stole off of a brochure in which they were featured. It might be a picture of screen-shotted ugly snapchat or a years-old photo from Facebook that they were tagged in in high school.

On the other hand, it might be a picture of the two of us together. An event we attended. A snapshot of a moment when we were spending time together. Maybe we were wearing the same color, attended an event that required tickets months before, or maybe we were even caught-off guard by someone else with a camera that yelled our names and made us turn last second.

No matter what type of photo, you can bet that if we’re what I deem real friends, you’ve got a contact photo.

Such a small thing.

A simple change in my Contacts app and you’re in, now. I’ve trusted you. I’ve accepted you. I’ve invested.

For someone that doesn’t trust easily, and whose outer circle is large, but inner circle very small, a contact photo is a representation of a commitment. It’s a rite of passage for a friend. It’s buying the same brand of peanut butter your entire life. It’s filing a change of address form at the Secretary of State. It’s deciding that you’re no longer dating, you’re seeing someone.

It takes months of time to cross the threshold. Years, in some cases. Hours and hours of investment into a friendship that’s in a constant state of construction. Texts in the middle of the day of funny jokes that made you think of me, phone calls after dinner because you know things aren’t going well, sudden attempts at making plans to see each other the following day. It’s hours in a booth at a restaurant, minutes of a car ride together, seconds of, “I’ll stop by,” or, “want to come over?” It’s paragraphs of text assuring me it’s alright, or if it isn’t, it will be soon and I’m certainly not alone. It’s calls of, “I just need someone to talk to,” and “can you help me really quick?”

Time is a precious thing. The time we choose to give to others is valuable. It is calculated, thought out, and delivered. It is energy, effort, and pieces of ourselves we are giving away. We give pieces, and we get them back in return.

That being true, I do not sit and tally up points to determine who gets a contact photo and when. Similar to romantic love, platonic love is just the same: it is a feeling, not a state. It is the moment you sigh when you sit down with someone at the end of a long day. It’s smiling when you share with them because there’s something built in where they…just…get you. It’s the moment of relaxation because you’re in the presence of someone that understands you on a level that you don’t have to worry about. You can just be.

It’s wanting to share with a specific group of people when something good happens. I open my messages, and sure enough, the top 3-5 people receive the same text.

OMG I am so excited! Listen!

There isn’t a moment I decide someone deserves a contact photo. It’s a feeling. It’s in the moment. Much like you have something to say, wait for the right moment, and suddenly… the words fly from your mouth because your entire body is suddenly living in the right moment.

For me, friendships just are. My contact photos are a representation of the time, energy, effort, and love I put into a connection with someone. It’s the time they take for me. It’s how good of a friend they are. It’s how much I trust them, what I wouldn’t do for them, and the amount of times I’ve called on them and they have answered.

It’s a gift.

Not for them, but for me.

A contact photo in the phone of Mollie means you’ve made it. You’re important. You’re a daily or near-daily interaction.You fall into the list of people when I’m asked about my friends.

It’s a reminder that there are people that care about me, that appreciate my friendship, that will continue to work for it, work on it, and support me. It’s a hint that I don’t have to settle.

It’s a reminder that other people love me, maybe even as much as I love them, and they appreciate me in their life. My presence means something. It does something. It adds something.

It’s a constant visual representation that I am loved, cared for, noticed, and appreciated.

A contact is just a contact photo, yes. It’s a feature of a smartphone, a way to distinguish Amy A from Amy B when you’re texting, but for me it’s so much more.

It’s knowledge that if these people can love me, I can love, me, too.

Even on the roughest days.


Do you have a contact photo for me? Maybe some emoji? Share it with me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: