Having friends in your life is important; having a best friend is essential. When you are growing up you learn that it isn’t really important to have tons of friends or acquaintances. Sure, when you are young it seems like the popular kids are the happy ones. They have so many friends surrounding them and friends equal happiness, so in kid logic, popular kids must be happy. Wrong! Quantity isn’t as important as quality. It is way more important to have one really close, best friend, than to have many friends that you aren’t that close with. I am happy to say that I have been friends with my best friend for 17 years. Her name is Ronnie.
When I was in daycare, I met Ronnie. My mom owned the daycare and her mother worked there. Our fathers both loved the Grateful Dead and shared a mutual friend named Jerry (not Garcia but him too). They went to shows together sometimes. We attended parties together at Jerry’s house. We weren’t best friends, but we knew each other. In daycare and elementary school, my family lived in Philadelphia and Ronnie’s family lived in Havertown. I had my own friends in elementary school. Most kids are friends in elementary school, before they learn to discriminate between what kids made good friends and what kids didn’t.
In 6th grade, my family decided to move to Havertown in the middle of the school year. I had to leave all of my friends in Philadelphia and start all over at Haverford Middle School. It was rough. I would join a group of girls and within a few weeks the Queen Bee of the group would get jealous that the attention was on me, the new girl, and they would create a rumor to turn all of their friends against me. This happened 4 times with 4 different groups of girls. Eventually, I had no friends. I went home crying every day. Ronnie was in my class, but we weren’t friends. She was friends with the cool kids.
By the end of 6th grade, I made two new friends, Jasmine and Melissa. I stayed friends with them all the way through to 8th grade. In 8th grade, Ronnie and I ended up sitting at the same lunch table. And the rest is history. Well, of course there is more to it, but we bonded over our past connections and our similarities. We became best friends. We did everything together. We tried drinking and smoking pot for the first time together. We floated from friend group to friend group in high school, but never left each other’s side. We were family.
When it came time for college, I moved up to Boston and Ronnie went to school in Philadelphia. The distance didn’t stop or harm our friendship. We visited each other and we still talked on the phone every week. We have been long distance best friends now for 10 years. We still text each other every day. I can still tell her anything and she isn’t afraid to smack me with the truth. No matter how many other friends I make throughout life, the best friend title will always be reserved for her. Other friends may come and go, but best friends are for life. Even if we got in a fight in school, we never stayed angry at each other for long.
She is coming to visit me in Portland tomorrow. It is amazing to see each other as adults and feel like nothing has changed. I can’t wait to plan our weddings together and raise our children together and one day live in an old age home together. If you are reading this, call or text your best friend! Recount how you met. Best friends are so helpful for a person’s psyche, because they are there for you through thick and thin and they aren’t afraid to tell you the truth when you are being dumb or insecure. They will stand up for you and be your family when you need them to. Forget about trying to have many friends and focus on finding those best friends that make your life better!