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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bestfriends Have Nothing In Common

You see it all the time, some meme on Tumblr or Facebook that reads, "As soon as she said she liked THING I knew we'd be best friends!" Because we all know best friends share everything in common, ship the same ship, belong to the same fandom, have the same favorite color, and never disagree about who the best vocal artist of any given era is.

School started yesterday and Eldest walked up to me. "Mom, what if I don't make a best friend?"

And I thought about the memes, the Cult of Sameness, and my own best friends... you know what, my best friends in the whole wide world, the ones I can call on and count on to always be there, are nothing like me.

There are five women around the globe who I think I could call at any given moment of crisis, and aside from all being female and my best friend they don't have much in common with me. Out of the six of us, I'm pretty sure I'm the only omnivore, they're all lettuce eaters. Three of the five are Catholic, one is on her second marriage, one has no intention of marrying, and none of them are currently stay-at-home parents.

We like different music, disagree (sometimes violently) on issues we're deeply passionate about, and we probably couldn't agree on politics if you paid us (especially if all six of us had to agree). Under normal circumstances this would give us all the friendliness you'd expect to find at a street fight, but it works.

We're best friends because of our differences. Because we can engage in meaningful conversation, disagree, and still respect each other. And we're best friends because what we have in common isn't a superficial love for the same latest bit of pop culture, it's rooted in something deeper than a flavor of the month artist.

I hope my daughter can find those kind of friends. The ones who are around for the bad days, and who love you even if you can't agree on everything. Because the other kind won't last long. If your relationship is based on agreeing with each other about everything it's doomed to failure. Not even the most in-tune and romantic couple lives like that.

I hope my daughter finds a friend who disagrees with her, who hates some of her favorite things, who challenges her perception of the world and makes her question herself. I hope she finds a best friend as good as mine.

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