I suck at making friends. I suck way harder at keeping them.
My first best friend was a little Asian girl in kindergarten. She told me she had five dogs and ten brothers and six snakes. When I finally went to play at her house I learned she had no pets, one brother and quite an imagination.
We played in her father’s dentist office for hours.
I watched her at gymnastics practice.
For one year, she was my one and only friend. And then… she was gone.
I don’t know what happened. I am pretty sure we were still in the same school.
In middle school, I found a best friend I could be completely bizarre with.
We wore knee socks with Converse when everyone else was rocking Keds and pastel jeans.
We watched our first R-rated movie together, Pulp Fiction. I ended up with 2 copies of the soundtrack because her uber Christian parents weren’t too happy with the first lines of the first track. (Any of you f&^in’ pr&cks move and I’ll execute every motherf&^ing last one of you!”)
We were mall rats. We were dorks. We were AWESOME.
I went to a high school in the ghetto, my parents got divorced and I lived in crappy brown house on an iffy street in a so-so neighborhood.
She went to a Christian school.
For a brief moment in time in middle school I was also incredibly close to a girl named Susan.
She was cooler than me, dressed better than me, was smarter than me, but for some reason we jived.
It was a brief friendmance, note sharing and bracelet exchanges.
I ran into her at a breakfast joint several years ago while I was there with my husband. She was still cooler than me, dressed better than me, was smarter than me and we still jived. There were mojitos, thai lunch dates and confessions.
Then she and her husband moved to Canada. Seriously, Canada.
My closest friend in high school couldn’t have been more different from me. Or more alike. I was closer to her than anyone for years.
There was a falling out our senior year, probably because I was a bit of a dick back then. Although we made up, the drifting had already begun.
In high school, I met a girl named Tori with long hair and an enormous heart.
It was in a tech class and we bonded over our love for oldies. Real oldies. Cecilia. Cathy’s Clown. American Pie.
We reconnected when I moved back to Tampa and she’s incredible.
She’s an amazing mom and sings in a blues band. She’s honest, kind, hilarious and… about to move to Colorado.
Notice a trend here?
When I was 14, my first boyfriend wanted to lend me a cassette tape on “How to Make Friends.”
Another boyfriend told me I should “make attractive friends.”
This reveals more than just the fact that I dated some real jackasses.
I can’t keep a friend to save my life.
Another moved to Phoenix.
Another moved to go to Yale. (which is apparently in Massachusetts or Connecticut or whatever, where the smart people live)
Another is busy with his new baby. (Only after I was super busy with mine, so I TOTALLY get it)
I could keep going.
As my last super good friend starts packing to move across the country, I feel like I am boxing up the last vestige of my solo identity.
Wonder if that cassette tape is still out there somewhere.