Sons of Anarchy was (and definitely still is) one of my favorite television shows. The love that existed between the members of the Motorcycle Club was something that I admired and wished I had in my own life. And as the seasons went on, I realized that I do have that kind of love between some of my closest friends.
For those of us that have binge-watched the hell out of this show, we can all agree that the friendship between Jax and Opie was probably one of the better representations of a real, true, and honest relationship between friends on television. And over the weekend, I spent some time thinking about that, thinking about Jax and Opie and how that on-screen relationship applies the the one I have with my best friend of almost a decade.
So here are 5 ways Jax and Opie's friendship mirrored mine (and probably yours, too).
1. There's a Lot of Hugging
Especially if you guys don't see each other everyday. Everyone knows as you get older you get less time to dick around with your buddies. And that's true no matter what path in life you take (unless you guys end up working together and starting that pizza store you used to talk about in high school). So whenever you see each other, you tend to give them a hug. It doesn't matter if you're male or female or trans, you want to hug your best friend and they want to hug you back. It's like you've moved on from shaking hands and high fives. Like, you graduated to full body contact and friend-love.
2. You and Your Friend Laugh, Even After You've Gotten into Some Trouble
A lot of my best friends and I were into some pretty nefarious shit. We weren't [insert thing that is pretty nefarious -- a word I wanted to use without looking it up but I used it anyway] or anything. But there have been plenty of times we've gotten in trouble with owners of particular establishments or, more often, the police. But there's something about being handcuffed and shoved up against a random Toyota Sequoia while you and your friend get searched that's, well, hilarious. You look at each other without saying anything and just smile...
3. Your Friend Reminds You That You're Too Old to Get Into Trouble
... But after that initial laughter and smiling, your friend will remind you that you're slowly approaching the age where getting into trouble will fuck up the rest of your life. That's exactly how he'll say it too. He'll say, "Paul, I can't keep doing this shit with you because I finally have a good thing going at home. And by good thing, I mean a legit thing. Maybe you need to get over this bullshit that you're into. I can't keep getting arrested and having my wife bail us out, homie. That shit is insane. You have to get your life together, man."
And you'll nod, probably, and think, "Damn. Am I really getting that old? Do I really have to put a fuckin' tie on and work a 9-5?". And you'll answer yes to yourself. And get your shit together.
4. You're Scared of Becoming Your Friend
... So you do, you work a normal job. One that pays you not enough but it keeps you out of a holding cell, so you're happy. But when you meet up with your buddy to get a drink, you'll look at him in his pressed pants and leather shoes and think, "What the fuck happened to us?" You'll look down at your shoes and see you're wearing the same brand.
You'll tell him you're scared and that you're afraid of becoming something you never thought you would. But you know what? He'll reassure you, he'll tell you you're fine. And he'll say that it's normal. You guys'll reminisce about the old stick-up days and laugh and try to feel happy.
5. When It's Time to Leave, You Let Them Know That You'll Be Fine
But that happiness you had with your friend won't last. You'll want to do something better, something different, something you think you'd actually be good at. But he's afraid you'll fall back into the trap. He's worried he'll hear something about you on the news one day. But you'll tell him you're fine. You'll look at him, give him that hug, and let him know that you have to leave the state to figure out how to make a name for yourself.
And the best part about all of this is that he'll trust you. He'll trust you the same way you trusted him when he said he had to get out of the game to raise his family. You know this means you won't see each other as much as you used to. But he knows that too. And he knows that everyone's got to go on a journey by themselves at some point. He'll be strangely proud of you. And you'll be happy that he still has your back. Even if he's farther away from you than he's ever been.