I have to put this in two parts because one – the book was awesome and two – I came away with so much that whether you want to hear it or not, I’m going to share it with you.
I’m ashamed that it’s taken me this long to finally finish MWF Seeking BFF – My Year Long Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche but I’m so, so extremely glad that I did.
I bought MWF Seeking BFF when I was still in love with my Nook Color after seeing it on the shelves in Target. The title was what caught me initially but the synopsis is what hooked me.
When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code, let alone an apartment, with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, Bertsche realizes that her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington, D.C. Still, in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl talk over brunch or a reality-TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: She’ll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever.
In her thought-provoking, uproarious memoir, Bertsche blends the story of her girl-dates (whom she meets everywhere from improv class to friend rental websites) with the latest social research to examine how difficult—and hilariously awkward—it is to make new friends as an adult. In a time when women will happily announce they need a man but are embarrassed to admit they need a BFF, Bertsche uncovers the reality that no matter how great your love life is, you’ve gotta have friends.
When I was standing in Target reading the back cover, I felt like Rachel herself had been in my head. She knew what it was like for me to move two counties away (though not the same as states but I’ve done that too) and pretty much start a new life, minus the raise up the family part, but she knew.
I struggled (and I still do) horribly with our move to the country. Not that I was super social to begin with. I was after all the only one in my circle of friends to have three children with no apparent signs of stopping, and with two of those three children in diapers, one of them nursing and hating anyone other than me, my social calendar was a lot empty and my phone wasn’t ringing off the hook. As I was standing in Target, flipping through the book, it dawned on me that not much had changed since we moved except the location (we ll that and the babies. We don’t have those anymore either -SHEW!).
This. Is. My Book. MWF Seeking BFF is for any woman, young, old, married, widowed, you name it who longs for a new set of BFFs to fill her social calendar and call on when she wants to rearrange the living room, have lunch, shop for new pants, drive by her ex’s house, see a movie with or just vent to.
What Rachel talks about, is not the need to replace her original BFFs but to have that kind of friendship with those who are within easy distance, ie: local friends. It’s not a difficult request to want that but it’s the search for those friends that is harder than it might seem – because while we leave the house every day and go to work, school, shopping, we aren’t exactly wearing a tag that says, “Hi My Name is…. Nor are we on the hunt for meeting someone new; generally we are going about our business or we are so busy focusing on our business that we are closed off to those interactions that could create a new friend opportunity.
Rachel shares her new friend meetings week by week including how she set them up and what comes from those meetings. Along the way she discovers some of her own hang-ups about friending, what current research tells us about female friendships and what she learns at the end of the year (I love that part). I did a lot of head nodding and even a bit of tear shedding because I could so closely identify with Rachel that I cursed myself for living so far away from Chicago because I was sure that I could be her BFF. Not your typical non-fiction, MWF Seeking BFF is best described as one part non-fiction, one part self-help, one part memoir, and the rest a conversation about friendships with someone you’d love to be friends with.
I can’t recommend it enough. It’s worth every penny and now I actually wish I’d bought the hard copy instead of the e-book because this is the kind of book that I’d love to hold in my hands again and again. Even if you feel like you have plenty of friends, this is the book for you.
In the book MWF Seeking BFF, Rachel tries everything from clubs to online friending. She shares her mishaps and successes along the way. I found myself rooting for certain friends to-be and thinking, “Um. No. This is not a winner.” The book itself is filled with statistical data on friendships, family and what many people look for in a friend. But more than that, it’s filled with Rachel’s accounts of the friend dating process and it definitely doesn’t read like non-fiction or a memoir. In fact, until Rachel would recount some great data on friending, I would often forget that I was reading a memoir.
Tomorrow I will share my reflections on the book and how I feel it pertains to where I am today and what I’d like/need for my future to be a good one.