Once upon a time in a life that seems light years away, I had the best best friend in the world. We met in school somewhere around the 4th or 5th grade and for many years we were each others anchors. We dropped out of high school together; we had our first babies within 2 months of each other and navigated early adulthood together in all its messy glory. Life intervened for a while and we lost contact with each other, but like the bad penny we always turned up when the other one was in need. For me that was the months preceding my mom’s death and the month’s immediately afterwards, when my childhood best friend kept me stable in a way no one else could. Eventually though we grew apart and despite everything simply could no longer be a part of each others lives. Breaking up is always so hard to do.
For the past several years I have bounced around, flying solo without a best friend other than the marital unit and frankly it sucks! I miss having a best girlfriend or better yet a crew of best girlfriends. In movies and TV shows like Sex and the City and Waiting to Exhale, women always have a plethora of girlfriends hat to laugh and cry with and even feud with, but lately I am realizing very few of us have those connections in real life.
Oh, I know lots of people. I do a have best male friend but as much as I love him, there are limits to what we can discuss. I have a few other people that are close to me, who I adore but can I confess that I really miss pals that you can just call and who will always be there for you and vice versa.
I was talking about this a few week ago, with a girlfriend who was over for dinner one night as she too lamented the loss of those deeper connections and she chalked it up to the fact we are all actively raising kids. I don’t know…earlier generations like my Mom somehow managed to raise kids yet have that active community of support and friendships. Once a year my mom and her girls would go on a weekend getaway sans the menfolk and kids, yet I don’t know anyone in my generation who does that. What happened? Why are we not connecting on that deeper level? Sure, we are raising kids and deeply and passionately involved in our work and partners but as I have seen firsthand, kids grow up and partners die or we kick em to the curb. If that happens who do we have then?
Until recently I thought maybe I was the maladjusted loser who just couldn’t connect on a deeper level, until I read this book. Rachel Bertsche does a fabulous job of chronicling her search for that great gal pal, going so far as to even sign up for friend finder service. It’s a cute book but one that really hit home especially after I saw a tweet from one of my tweeps who mentioned she was seriously thinking of signing up for a friend finder service.
The reality is past a certain age it gets harder to make deeper connections, I mean sure when you have kids you can make mommy pals thanks to your kids. But can we be honest? Half the time the moms you meet via the mommy and kiddo groups are not really folks you would know if it weren’t for your kid which means by the time your kid heads to school and stops needing you to find them play dates, you are still sitting there pal-less in many cases. Never mind the fact that if you are living far away from where you grew up it’s harder to penetrate the circle of friends that exist, especially in smaller cities and towns. Hell, I have been taking yoga classes for 3 years and there still isn’t a single person I could call up and say hey, let’s grab a tea before class. The only people I talk to in my classes regularly are my instructor/studio owner and another instructor who was our realtor some years ago.
Anyway words and intentions are powerful, so I am putting it out that Louise is looking for her Thelma. Better yet Louise needs a crew of merry troublemakers for the good and bad times.