I owe this book to Carla (@MizFitOnLine). I think it was her Facebook post about how much she enjoyed the book that got my attention. I’m still waiting for her to lead a book club discussion.
MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche:
As described on Amazon:
When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code, let alone an apartment, with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, Bertsche realizes that her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington, D.C. Still, in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl talk over brunch or a reality-TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: She’ll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever.
In the book, Rachel does more than chronicle her friend-dates, although that would be entertaining enough. She recounts her insecurities going into each date and the humorous awkwardness of dates gone wrong. She shares the difficulties she encountered in trying to find 52 women who would agree to “date” her, and the strategies she used to broaden her potential social network. She also works in summaries of research on adult female friendships and the adult friend-making process.
As recounted in the book, Rachel blogged about her mission, and has some funny stories about “dating” a blogger. She also touches on the incongruous feelings that bloggers have about other bloggers. After discovering that her next date had blogged about her upcoming “Blind Friend Date,” she writes:
I shouldn’t be so surprised. After all, I have a blog. . . . Still, when you spend your time observing other people it’s a surprise when you suddenly realize that someone is watching you.
I also enjoyed her discussions of why her need for more BFFs did not reflect poorly on her relationship with her husband. Girlfriendships are different. While I was reading this book, I was considering buying the Westin Heavenly Bed to replace our aging, sagging mattress. My husband had given his approval, and could not understand why I kept raising the issue with my girlfriends.
His view: My friends would not be sleeping on it–why would their opinion matter?
My view: It was a $3000 non-refundable purchase. I wanted to know if my friends got a good night’s sleep when they stayed at a Westin hotel, and if they agreed that the full set of 300 thread count linens made the price easier to swallow–or even a good deal!
As Rachel wrote:
It’s not for lack of trying, but men can only go over the same thing so many times. They don’t understand that, as women, we crave having someone validate our feelings. And then do it twice more.
While the book was first and foremost entertaining, it also left me pondering some bigger things:
My life decisions may have limited my circle of friends. I had my children early, before most of my high school and college friends even were married. I went to law school at night when my kids were in elementary school, making it hard to maintain even my “mommy” friendships. I have a job that could consume my every waking hour, and while I carve out time for my husband and kids, it is harder to carve out time for friendships.
Developing, maintaining and nurturing my girlfriendships is important and should be a priority.
I should find time/make time to pursue hobbies and other things that I’ve always wanted to do–and I might even make new friends in the process. (So far on this list: joining a book club and taking a knitting class.)
Reading this book when I’m on the verge of having an empty nest was good timing for me. Now I am determined not to let work suck up the extra time I’ll have when my son goes off to college, but instead I will try to fill my life with more living.
Have you read this book?
Do you feel like you have enough BFFs in your life?