[Yes, I've given my blog a new look, but it's still me.]
When I was young I had a best friend. She was my favorite person in the world. We had lots of fun. Then a new girl entered the picture and my best friend eventually decided to be her best friend and to stop being my friend at all. I started high school as the loneliest person I knew and have spent the rest of my life looking for a new best friend.
I've heard women say their husbands are their best friends. I've always thought that sounded like a great situation, but how could a best friend be a guy? Best friends were the same gender as you, no?
I've been married a little over a year now and I still hear women say their husbands are their best friends, but I still don't understand it. My husband is not my best friend. He's my husband. I married him because he makes me happy, not because he'll listen to me go on and on about my family or politics or clothes or current events or the human condition. In fact, his capacity to sit and pretend to listen to me talk about those things is quite limited. He's a simple guy who just isn't that interested in what's happening to the Republican party or the best thing to put in a pasta salad. I need friends for that, usually women friends. And for the really tough life questions that I need to hash out over and over again, sometimes with tears, I need a best friend.
I like to talk for hours. Bob doesn't. He's not that big a talker or listener. I can get him into a conversation over a meal, but after we've finished eating, he wants to get up and move on. I cherish time with friends who will happily sit over a cup of tea for two or three hours just talking. And talking.
But grown-up lives don't stay the same. Over the years I've made friends with women who functioned very much like a best friend, until life changes caused one of us to move on, lose touch, drop the connection. This recently happened and I'm very much in mourning over it these days. I no longer have a best friend and I feel like the loneliest person in the world. Again.
Has anyone reading this had the experience of losing an extremely important friend because that friend began a serious relationship or got married or had kids or experienced some other huge life event, and that shifted their time commitments? Does this happen a lot to grown ups? Do we just have to get used to it?
I have to have friends. My husband just doesn't fill all my companionship needs. I'm baffled when I hear people say that their life partner is the only person they really need. Can that really be true? They need no other people in their life?
Maybe this makes my marriage 1950's old-fashioned. I remember watching the movie A Coalminer's Daughter when I was 13. Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline are best friends and when Patsy is killed in a train wreck, Loretta wails to her husband, "Now who am I going to talk to?" I watched that and thought, "What a harsh thing to say. How does that make her husband feel, hearing that his wife doesn't feel like she can talk to him?" Thirty years later, I totally understand it. I don't believe any husband will talk to his wife for as long as she needs, every time, no matter what's on tv. For that, we need friends.