About a week ago I finished reading a book that I found because I was intrigued by the title. It turned out to be a good book. It is called “MWF seeks BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend” by Rachel Bertsche. Rachel moves to Chicago from New York City and leaves all her good friends behind. It is her quest to find new best friends in Chicago and she sets out to go on 52 ‘friend’ dates in a year. There are times that the book is a bit slow, but she does intersperse helpful facts and ideas from her research on friendship. It did make me think: people pay money to find the significant other in their life, why do we not put more effort out to find the BFF that might live nearby?
I wanted to share this idea from her book:
I recently came across an essay in which author Ann Patchett beautifully sums up the crux of what I hope will emerge in the final months of this search. “[Here’s] my idea of intimacy,” she writes. “It’s not the person who calls to say, ‘I’m having an affair’; it’s the friend who calls to say, ‘Why do I have four jars of pickles in my refrigerator?” I want someone with whom I can talk about the deep stuff –hopes and dreams and expectations and disappointments–and also the minutiae. Sometimes it takes talking about everything to get to the place where we can talk about nothing. page 258
Isn’t that the truth! It is normal to talk about how our hormones are this month, issues with other friends, boy dilemmas, but we also need to talk about the random, like bowel movements (yes, just like Oprah, we all talk about them, some of us might just be more direct about it than others), or why the squirrel in our backyard keeps leaving us nuts.
Rachel’s book shows every way you could imagine to meet new friends, some odd and some very creative. You can see by the end of her year how she is stronger, bolder, more direct, and more confident and approaches people in a freer way than she did at the beginning of her year. Unless you do not have time for new people in your life, I highly recommend reading her book. At the very least (even if you skim parts of it) you will learn of all the different ways you can extend yourself a bit more to meet new people in your local community.
A side note: Ann Patchett is one of my favorite authors. I have read all of her books, and would recommend them all, as they each so different. You never know what to expect from a new Ann Patchett book. I highly recommend her most recent book, State of Wonder.