Saturday, March 31, 2012

BFF in a Box

BFF, bestie, bud, mate, pal, does your best friend have a title? Or, what friend category do they fall into? Not what clique do they belong to. Thankfully we do not live our lives in a perpetual state of high school divisions of cool kids, nerds and jocks. This week, in my life, there has been an abundance of questions on the topic of friendship. Ranging from the appropriate title for an eleven year old boy's best friend, it was ruled that BFF was too feminine, to the very simple list the first name of your best friend.

After pondering these different scenarios I realized that by the time you reach grown-up status you no longer have a group of best friends. Instead you've filtered through your compadres and now have them broken down in certain categories to serve various purposes in your life. If you're anything like me, and I hope for the sake of your family and your sanity that you're not, your categories might break down something like this:

1. The Mirror: These are the friends that are so much like you that it's not a good idea to ever live together. Unfortunately, since you're such good friends, you probably already know this from experience because you gave it a try at some point. This is a great friend to go shopping with since you have the same taste and you own some of the same things to begin with.

2. Oldie but Goodies: (aka: Childhood Friends) Thanks to social media sites, like Facebook, the resurrection of these nostalgic relationships is more popular then ever. High school and workplace friendships may fade, but there's nothing like having someone to chat with that shares your memories about first sleepovers, school plays, little league games and trick-or-treating. It's amazing to see how life can take you down very different or similar paths. My earliest pig-tailed pal moved away more than twenty years ago, but our family focused lives have turned out very similar, right down to each having a set of twins.

3. The "Yes Your Butt Looks Big": The friend who will tell you like it is, whether it's about your outfit, political view or the fact you haven't called. A fresh honest relationship that always leaves you smiling. When you go to lunch with this friend three hours passes in the blink of an eye and as a souvenir you take home ribs sore from laughing. As a side note this is not the person you could ever count on to bail you out of jail, because chances are they're the reason you ended up there in the first place and they're sitting right next to you.

4. Blood: It is possible for family to be friends. Sometimes I think it's easier when you inherit them like I did. When I married my husband I collected five sisters. Maybe you got in-laws, but I got sisters that are also friends. Very handy for gossiping, child rearing, shopping and general girlfriend type activities. Caution: inheriting blood friends leads to less fighting then between actual siblings, but is not a guarantee.

5. BFF: Whatever you might call this friend they are your nearest and dearest and could come from any of the above categories. This is the person that knows you better than anybody and still likes you. When something exciting happens this is the first person you think to call and vice versa. I had to fill out a survey this week asking me for my best friend's first name. Following my first instinct I put down the person that fit all those criteria, my hubby.

We may not be living in high school anymore, but our friendships still fall into some very distinct categories. What separates us from our teeny bopper alter egos is our ability to not spend our time boxing our friendships into groups, but cherishing and cultivating them. The beauty of being a grown-up is seeing the value of having friends and lifting them up as much as they do you.

When's the last time you showed your BFF, best buddy or soul mate some extra love?

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