Always the Bridesmaid, Never the BFF.

 I don’t have a best friend. Don’t misunderstand me, I have good friends – very good friends. But I don’t have a BFF. Perhaps I just have BFRN (best friends right now). I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, I know a lot of people (mainly women) who have a definite best friend. It’s usually a woman they went to secondary school with. I guess from the age of 11 upwards is when the lifelong friendships are made.

The thing is, throughout the course of my childhood/womanhood, I’ve had best friends, but as my location or situation changes, that best friend slips away no matter how hard I try to maintain contact (I guess not hard enough). But it’s only now I’m in my 40’s it’s becoming quite startling to me that I have always done this. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because I’m one of six children, perhaps I don’t work as hard as I should to hang on to people because there are always siblings who’ve no choice but to put up with me (well, sadly one less sibling now).

I was having this conversation with one of my BFRNs (I don’t say that dismissively – she’s a great friend who I’m very close to and means a great deal to me. She’s helped me through some tough times. But I know my track-record). She didn’t find my ‘friendship’ admission unduly strange exactly, but she herself had a very definite ‘bestie’ from school days so certainly didn’t share my situation. She texted me later that day with regards to another matter and I texted back the reply, ‘who is this? I haven’t seen you for half an hour! You’re dead to me!’. You see, I make a joke of it, but I guess I’m not really laughing. Maybe I’m more like a guy where friendships are concerned – or maybe they just don’t feel the need to label friendships like girls do.
You may be confused as to the title of this piece but I have been a bridesmaid for two separate friends I knew in my early twenties (matron of honour really, as I was the soul bridesmaid). Neither of those brides am I in contact with now. Two. How irksome must it be for those two friends to look at their wedding photos and see that girl from their past in the gold, shot-silk bridesmaid dress who they haven’t seen for 20-odd years? You’re supposed to have that bridesmaid in your life forever, aren’t you? I regret that. I regret they ever chose me. I’ve tried looking them up on FaceBook under their maiden and married names but they are nowhere to be found (you see the lengths people will go to hide from me?).
Talking of FaceBook, I know it has it’s critics but I think it’s an amazing thing. There are school friends, college friends and old work colleagues I am now in contact with (at least virtually) and they would certainly be lost to me without it. Reunions are even on the cards. I don’t know if they’ll come to anything but I hope they will.
However, some people say their spouse or partner is their best friend, and I guess in my case that would be true. Who else would put up with all my crap? But if we’re talking same-sex buddy since childhood, no, I don’t have that. Still, it’s okay – I’m lucky enough to have a loving family and lots of fabulous friends. I never find myself lonely. And I’m a good pal too; I’m here for you through thick and thin, through any kind of hardship. You can count on me. Just don’t choose me as your bridesmaid.

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