Friday, May 20, 2005

That Which is Admittedly Long-Winded and Mired in the Past

So for most of my life, I have had a best friend. It was usually always just one particular friend, with us being joined at the hip. Oh, I would have other friends, but the BF and I were well known for our exclusivity.

In early grade school, it was Michelle. I would sleep over at her house, and strangely I remember us singing an a capella rendition of "Silver Bells" to anyone who was kind enough to listen. I don't think it was only at Christmas time, either, we worked on it very hard and considered ourselves to be a perfect duet. Then Michelle moved away, and being as we were only in fourth grade, intentions to write each other for ever and ever pretty much never materialized. I always wonder what happened to her.

Then in the remaining years of grade school, it was Elizabeth. Our shared crushes on members of Duran Duran were the foundation of our friendship. We would create extremely detailed fantasies in which both of us somehow met our respective objects of affection, we would all fall madly in love, get married and be fabulously wealthy. I think we always pictured ourselves much older, at least, I hope that we did. Sadly, in the last half of 8th grade, we had a fairly huge falling out over another friend who I didn't like and she did. Looking back, it was probably all my fault.

I attended my new high school knowing exactly one person, who just happened to be my former best friend Elizabeth. We never, ever spoke at any time during those four years. I am really not sure why. I quickly found another friend, S, who was from a very strict Greek Orthodox family. She was amazed that her parents let me be friends with her at all, since they wanted her to socialize mainly with people of their culture. Sadly, that friendship ended when her parents forbade us ever to speak to each other again. Apparently, her mother had read a letter in which I criticized our English teacher, who just so happens to be the exact one with whom I just regained contact. She felt I was being blasphemous, although I don't believe I called her a name. I just said she was really mean or something equally stupid that a 14 year old would write.

Onto M, who would remain my best friend through high school and for a couple of years beyond. I never could figure out why M liked me so much, as she was much cooler than I was. She was gorgeous, with a great figure and an eye for boys. I was much shyer than she was, and she was dating long before I had even really thought about it being an option. She drank, she smoked pot, wheras I did neither. We were on the school volleyball team together, and she was the one with whom I got ready for prom with. She is a great person, and I actually spoke with her last week. She attended my wedding and baby shower, and I attended her wedding and will be going to her baby shower in the fall. But, the best friend thing kind of drifted away when we were about 20.

Then came A. We worked together as Rec Leaders for the same city. She had gone to the same high school as me, but was two years behind. Now, talk about joined at the hip! If one of our names was mentioned, the other's was also mentioned in the same breath. It was not possible to invite one of us and not the other. We did everything together. I am sure that I spent more time at her house than my own. We went to college together, with the same major. We took the same classes, and talked to each other for hours multiple times a day. Then one day, she stabbed me in the back by taking a promotion that she swore she would never take. I was supposed to get the promotion, but somehow she angled her way in there and got it. But really, the friendship had been fading a bit for a few months, as we were both seriously dating the men who would turn out to become our husbands. Who also happened to be best friends since grade school. That is, until A and I came along. But that may be a story for another time.

Since A, I have not had a best friend that was a woman. Hubba-hubba is the person whom I consider my best friend, with my sister being the next closest. I don't know why, but I have never managed again to connect so strongly with someone that we spend lots of time together. I have lots of female friends, but not one that stands out as better than any other. I have wondered if it has been my fault. If I have been too picky, too quick to dismiss people for qualities real or perceived. Or, if I am just kind of subconsciously not wanting to deal with the upkeep that kind of friendship requires. Or maybe A singed me just enough to not want to get close to the fire again.

Perhaps, instead of dumping this all out on the Internet, I should see a therapist.

Nah, this is free. I'm just too cheap to pay for a therapist. Want to join me here on the couch? It's very comfy and made of red velvet. I'm sure we could all fit.


Piece of Work said...

Best friends are hard to come by. I don't truly have one anymore either. Fact, I don't have many friends at all. Well, I mean I have friends, but ever since becoming a mom, I have a lot less than I used to. Wonder what that's all about? I miss my friends!
Wait, move over! I need some room on that couch.

Mel said...

I'll sit on that couch with you. And I'll bring cookies, homemade.

Heather said...

Make room for one more on that couch! Yeah, ever since marriage, and ESPECIALLY since children, best friends are but a distant memory. I do have lots of good friends, and I'm fortunate enough to have an awesome relationship with my sister, but that's as far as it goes. I remember feeling really lonely for quite awhile after having kids. But that's passed, and now I just appreciate the friendships that I have had time to cultivate, even if they're not of the "best friends" variety.