January 5, 2015
Where Have All The Besties Gone?
When I was younger... I remember my first best friend..or the person that I called my best friend. Her name was Winter Kingsberry and she was in my 3rd grade class. I think we were drawn to each other because we were sorta outcast. The more popular, bitchy girls didn't care for us, picked on us... and we sorta hung tight, sharing dolls, playing on the playground and reading books in the Library together... I thought surely she'd be my maid of honor in my fake wedding to El Debarge.
...then I transferred schools and we lost touch.. A school where I was intellectually challenged but here I was alone. Hell..everyone was some kinda kid genius here. For the most part, even if I wasn't friends with them, I had known those people at my first elementary school since Kindergarten. It was a close knit neighborhood school. Now I was being bused across town to attend a very elite Magnet Program school. But I was alone. I tried to make friends..but I don't think it gelled that well. But I was trying to fit. I thought I was a good friend. I thought I even had a best friend....or two. Some black. Some white. Some biracial. But if you asked them if I was their best friend....I doubt they would return the sentiment. I went to high school with a lot of those folks.... and yeah.... we def weren't besties by then. Cliques had formed, especially among the small black population.. Those kids who had big houses and cars. Those Jack and Jill types.... they hung pretty hard. And here I was... an outlier.Despite having good grades..being a cheerleader...and such...I wasn't what you'd call "popular". I guess I had a few friends who would declare that they were my best friend...but it wasn't reciprocated. Most of high school was being picked on or teased. It woulda been nice to have a "true" bestie in my corner.
I do have a friend, N***, who is still my friend today. I would, if I had to, call her my best friend and one of my oldest friends. She was my next door neighbor when I was 13-19 years old. But we went our separate ways: I went off to college, then grad school. And she stayed behind, working and raising her 3 kids. We lived worlds apart it seemed and had such different life experiences. And although we still talked, I wouldn't say we were "bestie" close. She wouldn't consider me her "best friend". She has one- a girl whose life experiences closely mirrored her own. Worlds apart we because....but I still love her.
Don't get me wrong. I have friends. Some very CLOSE friends (sorors, friends, cousins) most of whom live out of state...but I am not their best friends. They have never uttered the words "T***, you are my best friend". They share stories with me and will say "you know my best friend so and so...." and I get it. These are long standing relationships and I am sorta the "new kid on the block". Which is fine..There is no jealousy at all. If anything, I wished I had that too. I am glad to have them in my life regardless and would do anything for them, That's a true statement.. I even had my two cousins as my bridesmaid and maid of honor in my wedding because cousins are your (supposed) first best friends. And family will do anything for you...because they love you. They kinda have to love you.... you can't pick your family.
I think the revelation that I had no real "bestie" came this past weekend. I was planning a NYE party and I made a pretty healthy guest list. But only my husband's friends showed up. I tried not to be upset or sad...but I was hurt. I did hear from a few..but most I didn't hear from. Just no-shows. I even had someone who lived literally 4 minutes from me not even show. My husband wouldn't say he has "best friends" (esp not here in the States because he grew up abroad) but he does have frat and friends he hangs with from time to time when he isn't working. I don't have that really.
I am dreading the day when I will utter the words. "My husband is my best friend". It's not that I dislike that phrase... but the fact that it's true for me kind of makes me sad. I don't want to be that girl whose life revolves around her husband and (eventually) kids. Those are the kinds of folks people groan at on Facebook and Instagram. I would even dare to say I am the girl who says her "mother is my best friend". Which she is. Even my mother has declared she has no "best friends".... and she's 65 almost. But what happens when my mother is gone? She will be gone one day....... what then?
I live a very insular life for the most part the revolves around work, school and family. It leaves little time for anything else. But I would love to have a friend who I could run to Sephora with and try on loads of makeup. Who tells me my hair looks wack and I need a wig... who will cry with me over a bottle of wine when I am mad at my husband....Who meets me for luncheon dates and pedis. Who I can vent to about "girl shit" because it is utterly frustrating to try and explain to my husband my anger regarding the lack of "women of color" friendly makeup. Or my fluctuating weight. Men have a one track, one-answer type of mind. Women are able to look at all perspectives, agree and disagree, and let you know the real deal. A bestie would lament with you and say "Well...let's not do that then! Let's do this". I have sorority sisters but...the way my schedule and life is set up...trying to connect with them is utterly impossible. It takes money and time I just do not have. School is eating that up.
I think part of (or a contributing factor to) my lack of bestie is also my lack of transportation. Atlanta is a vast city. We are not NYC with trains that go everywhere and a lot of my friends live far. The idea of coming to get me is just a bit too much. My one friend who did live VERY close to me that did not mind getting me,, that I hung out with almost every weekend, has now moved to California. I really miss her. And because we talk everyday on GChat..I know she misses me too. That in itself is pretty comforting. I live in Atlanta and hell..I don't even have a "gay bestie". That's sad (LOL...j/k..sorta)
Maybe it's a bit too late. I will be 36 in two months. I suppose my focus should be my family and possibly raising a child. But it does sting a bit to think "Well gosh...if I DO have a baby..who will be the godparent? Who is that close to me to even throw me a shower?". I have no clue. I am not desperately seeking a best friend. And I am well aware that I can make friends at almost every new stage of my life... I am just wondering... I know Drake is quick to yell "No New Friends" but...
Is it too late to have a best friend? I guess that's the real question I am asking.