Tuesday, August 21, 2012
First Day Of Friend School
Or at least that's what I felt like after I finished MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche. Like I hadn't been putting in the work and have some serious friendship schoolin' to do!
As the rest of the title says, Rachel Bertsche spent a full year going out on "girl dates" in order to find herself a new bff. Like many women in their mid to late 20's, she had just gotten married and moved to a new city, specifically Chicago. As she tries to explain, it isn't that she doesn't have any friends, it's just that her best friends live in other cities and she's looking for the sort of girl with whom she can grab lunch or simply watch tv. In order to accomplish her goal of going on one girl date a week for an entire year, Rachel reaches out to friends of friends, asks out women she's met while shopping, joins clubs, employs a friend "matchmaker" and even rents a friend. Basically, she actively searches out opportunities to meet new people and never turns down an invitation. When Rachel says "We should get together sometime!", she means it.
Many of her dates are duds but plenty of them are a great experience. Eventually she even begins to introduce the women she meets to each other in order to help them expand their friendship networks. Over the course of this year, she develops stronger relationships with some women but also adds a wide variety of women to the list of phone call worthy friends.
I found this book fascinating on a number of levels. First, as a girl who feels the need to build stronger friendships. Second, in the way that having girlfriends is so important to keeping a healthy relationship (you don't want to talk about girl stuff with your guy and chances are, your guy doesn't want to hear all your girl stuff!). Finally, I'm not the only girl who has these issues and I need a kick in the ass!
As you might know, in the past 2+ years, I've moved out to the burbs and found myself looking for a new circle of friends. I have had friendships that fell apart and to be honest, it was really hard. Probably harder than breaking up with a boyfriend. In fact, I don't give much thought to previous relationships, but I still find myself feeling bad about lost friendships. That being said, I'm not one to trust new friends all that easily. I make friends easily but I tend to keep them at arm's length. I'm a lousy phone talker. I get overwhelmed by girls easily and it makes me want to go sit by myself in the basement in front of the tv.
Is this pathetic? Probably. Conducive to making new friends? Definitely not. Do I wish I could just snap my fingers and skip all the work? YES. In fact, if I could force Kelly, Pharon, Becca, Courtney, and Laurel to move onto my street, I would. Like tomorrow.
That loser speech being said-- I HAVE met women since I've moved here that I genuinely adore and want to be better friends with. The problem is, I'm not making the effort! Take my friend Lisa for example. She's super fun and a great person to spend time with. She's probably the whole friendship package! But I suck! I don't call or text enough and then I wonder why it's hard to get a girl date with her. Duh, Madeline, everyone else is being a better friend than you! That's why.
So what have I learned from MWF Seeking BFF?? I'm gonna try harder! I'm going to reach out to people and make girl dates! I'm going to stop being such a crazy and start letting people be my friend. Maybe they won't all work out, but it's worth a shot. So if you hear from me soon, it's because I think you're great.
For the record: I'm available for movies, eating, drinking, manis, pedis, sitting around in sweatpants, spas, shopping, concerts, puppy cuddling, baby cuddling, book clubs, sporting events, skype dates, dancing, running, crafting, tattoos and anything else that could potentially be awesome. Unless it involves snakes. Then I'm not interested in being your friend.