I’m that girl who cries at Hallmark commercials. I spent the last twenty minutes watching ‘Cinderella Man’ in a hazy blur because I was balling my eyes out.
I’m also the one tearing when a couple recites their wedding vows, when the best man gives his funny yet heart-wrenching speech. I easily get caught up in the emotion of the moment; it’s hard for me to extricate myself. I’m embarrassed, but the floodgates open and there I am, wiping away at my face with a dinner napkin.
I’m crying because I’m genuinely happy for the couple. Because I believe that they have found true love. To a lesser extent, I’m also crying because I feel sorry for myself, because at this present moment I’m unable to experience that same kind of love.
I feel like I did when I was 23. I loved my startup job. I was living in the city, independent, confident, full of life. I was happy to do things on my own, driving down to Carmel for a weekend getaway: a day of hiking, a nice dinner, Mass at Mission Carmel, brunch with the Sunday paper, and a day at the beach before heading home—all by myself. Except back then, I hadn’t known what it was like to be in love. And I longed for it. Hoped for it. Prayed for it.
Now that I’ve experienced it, I want it back. I am missing one thing in life: companionship. That is it. The only thing.
I’m in search of a veritable best friend. My sister has her husband. My best friend Daniel has his fiancée. Daniel and I had brunch for the first time about a month ago. The first time in months…months! This is the same friend I used to call every night, the friend I went hiking with, up to Napa with. And now that’s all changed. He’s busy as a lawyer planning a wedding. I’m busy eating chocolate chip cookies at The Grove, reading books and writing my blog.
Before I left on vacation, my ex-boyfriend gently told me I could no longer call him or hang out with him—as the phone calls and stories about me had taken its toll on his girlfriend, resulting in an ultimatum. I was peeved. I tried to come up with a last-minute workaround.
This was the friendship I had fought for the most—a love turned sour through jealousy and temper-tantrum arguments, resurrected again in a friendship wherein we supported, respected, and confided in one another. The thought of losing this friendship made me ill. There would be no workaround. Another best friend was gone.
When my friend Marc was hanging out at my place, he commiserated over the lack of a best friend in his life. “Aww, honey,” I consoled. “I’ll be your best friend. You can call me or hang out with me anytime. Promise.”
He didn’t say anything. He didn’t have to. The silence was telling. It’s simply not the same.
As my friends slowly begin to partner up, it’s hard not to be envious. I want that same companionship, too.
There is no substitute for a best friend. I can only hope that as the exodus continues, that there is a different kind of best friend out there, that I’ll have a lifelong partner as well.