Yearning for BFF Times -- by Robin
My good friend, Debbie, who I don't get to see too often since we live a distance apart, is coming to stay with us for a night with her two kids. Though older than Seth, he loves playing with them. And, I am psyched for the time with Debbie.
One of the things that I miss a lot is quality time with close girlfriends (my BFFs...best female friends). Since becoming a mom and no longer working in the city, I don't have access to some as I used to. Debbie and I, back in our single days, both worked in Manhattan and would often socialize together after work or at the very least get in a healthy dose of exercise as we walked to the subway or bus together, enroute to our homes. She lived on Long Island, and I in Queens. And, we'd spend ample time on the weekends on the phone dishing about our week and making weekend plans.
Things are different now.
She lives in New Jersey, and I live on Long Island. For years, we always joked that when we each (hopefully) got married one day, we'd buy homes next to each other or at least nearby.
That didn't happen.
She met a guy from New Jersey, so they wound up settling there. And, I met a guy originally from Queens who was living in Great Neck, NY, so we wound up in Great Neck. We lived in a 1 bedroom apartment at first and when it came househunting, we didn't just look in Great Neck. We toured Rockland, Westchester, CT, other areas of LI and even NJ. I originally thought if we at least lived in NJ, even if not far out, I could get relatively close to Debbie....or at least there wouldn't be a bridge between us.
We wound up putting a bid on a house in Glen Rock, NJ that was accepted, but it led to my having a totally sleepless night. I woke up the next day and realized we had made a big mistake. I didn't want to move to New Jersey. I hated the George Washington Bridge. There's always major traffic on it, and I knew that if I were to ever drive to LI, NYC or Queens (where my dad lives), I would not be a happy camper. So, we revoked the offer, and the homeowner was totally understanding. I knew at that moment that Debbie and I would likely never become next door neighbors or even live in the same state.
Since I no longer work in the city, I've endeavored to make friends in the suburbs. And, since becoming a mom, I've made a constant effort to befriend other moms. But, being moms isn't enough to cement a true, meaningful friendship. You have to connect on a level beyond that. I do think it's possible, but it doesn't happen overnight, as my mom friend Jeri says.
There is something to be said for having history with a BFF. Debbie knew me back in my single days. She knew my mom (who has passed away). She understands what my upbringing was like. Where I grew up. What I used to wear. When I first permed my hair. What pushes my buttons, so to speak, etc, etc. And, she's not afraid to "tell it like it is" if I'm venting about something. She helps keep me "real" in that regard....kinda like a dose of tough love that you may not want to hear but you know you need to listen.
And, don't we all need at least one friend like that?! Someone who isn't afraid to say something even if it might not sit right with us. Someone who can ruffle your feathers, but you know they're coming from a truly sincere place of wanting only what's best for you. Someone you could call at 2AM, and they wouldn't hang up. Someone who will let you talk 'n talk and not expect anything in return. There's no hidden agenda. No walking on eggshells. No questioning if they like you or not....or if it's just about a play date for the kids....or for professional networking reasons. You genuinely connect on a kindred spirit level.
I'm grateful to have time (even though it will be fleeting this weekend) with Debbie. I'm glad we've managed to stay close all these years and to share the ups 'n downs of life. She's one of the most grounded women I know (her upbringing was a challenging one), and we always have a good time. It takes me back to the days when life seemed simpler. Uncertain...yes......since we were both single and wondered how things would turn out. Now that we have a sense of that at least for today, we can laugh as we look back on the things we used to worry about. They have since been replaced by an entirely different set of concerns.
Life is an ever-evolving journey, and the more we get to share it, the better.