I remember when I was little girl, around first grade, I was talking to my dad about friends. I told him I had just made a new best friend at school that day and then I asked him how many best friends he had. He told me that he had a lot of friends, but his only two best friends were my uncle and my godfather, a longtime friend of his from his Marine days. I didn’t understand why my dad only had two best friends. He’s funny, smart, loyal, an overall great guy. My dad explained that when he calls someone his best friend, he means it. It means that he will do absolutely anything for them and their family, no questions asked. He will put his life on hold for them if they need it, and in return, he expects the same. He can go months without seeing them, but if they call and need him, he’ll be on a plane or in a car in a heartbeat to get there.
That conversation is something that has always stuck with me. I’ve always been reluctant to call people my best friends, because honestly, I don’t think all my friends have the loyalty my dad described. I think a lot of my friends would be there if it was relatively easy or convenient, but of the ten girls in my immediate friend group, I know for a fact that they all aren’t ride or die. Here’s the thing though, I don’t need someone to be willing to take a bullet for me in order for me to go out and get drunk on a Friday night. I don’t need all my friends to be best friends to have a good time or to be satisfied with the way my life is going. People think that everyone in your friend group has to be your best friend and you have to enthusiastically exclaim as such whenever you’re drunk and talking to people, and apparently, if you don’t do this, you’re a bad friend. That’s not only stupid, but it also cheapens the sentiment. By calling all your friends — even the girl whose middle name you don’t know and whose parents you have never met — your best friend, it lessens the true meaning of what an actual best friend is.
At this point in my life, I have tons of friends. I have school friends and work friends. I have sorority friends and friends involved in other campus activities. But best friends? And by best friends, I mean the type of friends my dad described all those years ago, someone that would quite literally do anything to help me if I needed, well, I’m not sure if I have any of those. I like to hope and think that some of the girls I do consider best friends are actually best friends, in the truest sense, but I just don’t know. And it’s kind of a catch 22 – I won’t know if they are best friends unless a dire situation arises, but obviously I don’t want any dire situations to arise.
Maybe you define friendship differently than I do and maybe I expect too much of people in order to consider them best friends. I honestly don’t know what’s right. All I know is that being my best friend means something to me, and I’m not going to just casually toss it around to people that may or may not be in it for the long haul. I don’t need everyone to be my best friend, I just need one..