This Valentine’s Day, I could tell you about my husband, but we’ve never been big into the holiday, and besides I already penned my sweet romantic column on our anniversary. Instead I’d like to discuss another love, the wonder that is a best friend. How awesome are best friends? Is there really anything better? I don’t believe there is. A best friend often knows you just as well as a spouse or partner, they’re certainly just as vital to your sanity, and of course, deserving of much love and chocolate.
For me, best friends come in pairs. In first grade I made first one then a second best friend. For eight years if I wasn’t talking to one of them, I was probably talking to the other. The countless sleepovers, passed notes, birthday parties, mall pretzels, and phone calls that followed us from My Little Pony to first crushes created a history so tight and filled that even after years of not being in constant contact, we’re still connected. This weekend I traveled back to my hometown to attend a baby shower of one of my childhood best friends. It was amazing to me that even not having seen each other for several years, and even with our different lifestyles, I could sit and talk for hours with either girl. I think that really shows what a bond friendship is, especially best friends. It’s a bond capable of stretching through time and space without breaking.
In college, I met two more best friends. These girls I studied with, ate midnight pancakes with, went to parties with. We saw each other through boyfriends and breakups and the pressure of deciding what we wanted to do with our lives. We visited each other’s homes, met the respective parents, and even shared an apartment. When graduation rolled around, we were happy to be moving on to bigger and better things, but deeply sad that we wouldn’t see each other every day. Today we’re still thick as thieves even though distance may separate us. We talk on the phone, text silly stories, and send a flurry of emails. When I lived out of the country, the daily emails always brought a smile to my face and made me feel connected with my home even though I was on the other side of the world.
The thing that amazes me most about best friends is the pure chance and luck involved. I met my two best friends when we all happened to live on the same floor our freshman year of college. If anyone of us had chosen a different school or even a different dorm, would we have met? We had nothing else in common so I’m not sure that we would have. And if we hadn’t met, would I still be the same person I am today? I doubt it.
Who you click with and who you don’t is obviously subjective. Just like romantic partners, some folks look good on paper, but in person there’s no spark. But to my knowledge, there’s no such thing as an e-harmony for best friends; there’s not speed dating or blind dates. It’s much chancier. Maybe you find someone who understands you to the depths of your soul, who will tell you in the kindest possible terms not to wear that dress, who will make you laugh until you can’t breathe. Maybe you’ll find someone who protects your emotions and understands your fears without you having to speak them. Maybe you’ll find someone to banter with to question the world with and to ponder the plural form with; someone to talk you off the ledge when things are bad and give you a high five when they’re good. If you’re lucky enough to find that person, well then as the saying goes, you’re lucky enough. If you’re lucky enough to have two best friends, I truly believe there is nothing you cannot fight through and nothing you cannot accomplish with that power at your side.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all the Best Friends out there, and a special shout-out to mine: You guys are crazy fantastic and I don't say it often enough. Thank you for always being exactly what I needed, having my back without question, never being bothered by my nuttiness, riding through the crazy vortexes that life brings, and making me laugh for 10 years (yes, we are that old). I am so grateful the universe put us in each-others paths. Happy Valentines Day L & L, I love you bunches.