Bees and Efs…
Over at The Daily Post, their July 25th prompt mentions best friends. When I was little, I definitely had One. Then (almost immediately – within a year I think) a sort of small group that we termed more as sisters (which came complete with the signature line LYLAS, that I think is out of vogue now). There were all amazing girls who grew up to be awesome women. Other than having a shared 10 to 13 year history though, we don’t actually have a ton in common any more. They are currently Facebook friends. I’ve only seen one in person since becoming an adult, and we didn’t really even pen pal after college. Another girl and I became close friends later, shifted into best friend mode, and then… things seemingly fell away.
Some of that was because of different social groups, which I guess could be because of the way we were raised. I spent that time living in northeast Texas, and it was definitely a bible belt town. Their family had come from that general area for at least two generations (pretty sure more, but not 100%) whereas my family had not. They were politically conservative (with a few tiny social exceptions) and my family was … well, they claimed liberal, but that was pretty recent too. My dad had voted conservative for years until the party started shifting some values. I have become more liberal on some issues over the years. I think that has impacted how our friendship has faded away to fond acquaintances. I try not to start arguments over things they hold dear, and they likewise seem to leave me alone.
I think all of this has impacted how I see Best Friends. The last girl, where things seemingly fell away, hurts the most. I think she might have been the last straw where I let go of the term best friends and tucked it away into a year book as a younger person’s term. I don’t know exactly why we quit talking. I have ideas. I’ve tried to address them with her, but… never quite get a response. And then after some time as elapsed she will reappear on Facebook, interact a bit more than usual and fade off again.
As an adult, I have close friends. They are wide and varied and I keep in better contact, although it is the new internet age of pen pal writing. We will email, or text, or communicate on Twitter. Some of us manage to see each other at conferences or arranged yearly events. I adore these women and men. They are all important to me. But I don’t call any of them “best friend” and get uncomfortable if asked. Someone asked once if that meant my sweetheart was my best friend and was startled when I said “no”. He’s not. He’s very important to me, but he’s my sweetheart. He is a friend, but he is different. He has friendships that are separate than mine or inclusive with mine, just as I do versus his.
I’m not sure I’ll ever have a best friend again, and most of the time, I don’t want that kind of best friend. I do have friends I’ve clicked with. Where I can seemingly pick right back up where we were after a short catching up phase. They are so very important to me and I love them.
…I think this is a complicated topic for me. Reading back over what I’ve written, I have cut an entire chunk (to be placed in a drafts folder) on politics and find that my voice is extremely awkward. I think in part that’s because I’m avoiding naming names. I think it also shows how many-layered and muddled I feel about the topic in general. It’s a childish thing that I wish I could enjoy without thinking about, but I do think about it, and thus bring an adult’s concepts to the table which perhaps ruins it.