This Is Me Accepting My Role As The Token Dramatic Friend


I’m sitting here in a Starbucks on my MacBook, writing this article about how I’m a drama queen after meeting a good friend for frappuccinos. The duration of our brief get-together involved her reaming at me (in the affectionate way that one’s best friends do) about how I’m too dramatic for my own good. Basically, that I need to get a grip on reality because my superfluous nature is getting in the way of me flourishing in life. This was all because I told her I was perfectly content being single for the foreseeable future. Perhaps she was also putting it together with my previous comments about living with fifty cats, moving to a lavender farm in Provence, France, and maybe just being content as a surrogate for my gay best friend.

But seriously – me, not be dramatic? Okay, while I’m at it, why don’t I just stop talking? Or eating? Or breathing?

Okay, point taken (ha ha). Maybe I do need to rein it in a little bit.

When did I realize I was actually too dramatic, though? For as far back as I can remember, I can easily envision my mother telling me exasperatedly, “Emily, stop being a drama queen,” or “Just calm down. It’s not that bad.”

Flash forward to high school, where my friends would joke about how I became far too involved with everything to the point where I allowed it to consume my whole life. I find this absolutely hilarious when I consider these situations in hindsight, but then I also have to take note of how I do the exact same thing with new (or admittedly, similar) situations now as an adult.

In reflecting on this, I asked my closest friends, some of which I’ve known from high school, to tell me some of the most dramatic things I’ve said to them.

From my best friend of over seven years: How I vowed myself to celibacy after I found out my friend who I had been crushing on for months was gay, and how I clearly got over that…only to have that vow of celibacy often re-stated after my last breakup. She then sent me pictures from my second year of university, in which I am sitting on the floor of my kitchen, clearly traumatized about something, only to be followed up by another image of me easily consoled by a Nutella sandwich. Her final words on my dramatic nature were, “Just put a picture of your birth certificate. That’s enough drama.”

My friend from high school (who had trouble finding dramatic things, because we’re very much the same person in that aspect): The time we went to Europe with the school and believed this creepy kid on the trip was actually an assassin, the countless times I swore I would never get over my high school crush, and the various times I reacted to seeing spiders with hysteric sobbing, screaming, hiding, etc. (“that time in Europe when there was a ‘spider’ on the ceiling so [I] wanted to sleep in the bathtub, but it was just dirt […], and [the other time] at [her] house [when I] killed the spider with the broom and then cried for like ten minutes afterwards”). Hey, in my defense, I’m still surprised I killed that spider in only two hours’ time.

My closest friend from university: He reminded me of how I wrote him a five-page love letter admitting my feelings for him after hanging out for several months, and then literally crying for weeks after he told me he was gay (which was obvious to everyone but me. In fact, he assumed I must have known, since he dropped hints frequently enough). This is basically just a déjà-vu of high school, in which I told myself that this one guy I crushed on would be my future husband. Oh, Emily. So sweet. So innocent. So dramatic. He then brought up how quickly I got over the situation when he said we’d still be friends. Immediately after we were: completely awkward-free, like nothing had ever happened.

From another close friend: She reminded me of how I got back at my awful roommate from my first university (who had been rude and spiteful to me from day one in our dorm), but putting hair removing gel in her shampoo before I switched schools. Now that I consider that one, it actually makes me seem a little off-the-rocker cray, but everyone who I’ve told that story to thinks it’s funny, so I’m going to stick with that.

Another friend of seven years: The very fact that I’m writing this article seemed too dramatic for her (maybe it is?). Then she said to just scroll up our Facebook conversations and read it all. Touché.

I’d like to justify this entire thing by saying that perhaps my highly unintentional dramatic flare is somehow endearing (perhaps) and that maybe it can actually be considered to be a positive quality – I mean, I am quite a good story teller, I must say. This is what I tell myself sometimes as a means of rationalization…or excuse. However, the truth of the matter is that I fully confess that I should probably think before I speak, before I send myself into theatrical calamity, and most importantly, before I let my over-active imagination and mental ramblings become so disproportionate to reality that I send myself into an emotional downward spiral. This last one seems to be a favourite of mine.

Sometimes being dramatic is a little fun, but I admit I have to control my outbursts more often than I actually attempt to.