I went to elementary school in the era of the friendship bracelet and best friend heart necklace. You know the one I’m talking about: the heart-shaped charm imprinted with the words “Best Friend,” split down the middle so that one friend would get one half and one friend would get the other. Example:
That was the necklace you’d give to your #1 Best Friend. Because there were #2 Best Friends and #3 Best Friends, and they had their place, but the tacky gold necklace? That was for your #1 Best Friend.
Fast forward to adulthood, and I don’t have #1 and #2 and #3 Best Friends. I have lots of best friends who fulfill different roles in my life. There are the friends I’d call if I needed a night on the town, someone to cheer me up and take me out for a drink or six. There are the friends I’d call if I needed a quiet night in to watch a movie, eat a mess of cookies, and talk about life and love and everything in between. There are the friends I’d send an early draft of a book, friends I’d text about a funny thing that happened, friends I’d email about a great book I read. And there are friends like the five Debs I’ve met through this site, who have accompanied me on this wild year-long journey and have supported me in ways that bring a tear to my eye. Lots and lots of different types of friends.
There is, of course, overlap in some of those categories, but I do think part of getting older is accepting friends for who they are and embracing the role they play in your life. There isn’t a hierarchy of first, second, and third best friends. There are merely different types of friends, and I couldn’t imagine my life without any one of them.