First Best Friend, Fifty-four Years Later

Several months ago, a cyber-friend invited me to get on Facebook. We met through a grass-roots organization several years ago, exchanging comments on the group's emails. We spoke once over the phone, and we occasionally exchange a personal email. But for the most part, she sends me those forwarded emails that circulate around the net. I read them and delete them. Some are amusing or interesting, but the chain emails claiming dire consequences if I don't participate in continuing the chain annoy me (and I've never trusted them, just seemed something fishy about them). I never forward chain emails. But she's good people, otherwise, and we have this common interest with the grass-roots group, even if I think she might be a bit bossy, a bit silly, and given our phone conversation, I gathered she's also a bit gossipy. (But who's perfect?). She wanted me to join MySpace, but I told her I had been there and had already cancelled my account and didn't really want to get back on. She told me some of the people belonging to this grass-roots organization are there, but I still am not interested in returning to MySpace.

I thought about Facebook for a short while before deciding to give it a shot. I was on there for just a few months before I closed my account there too. As in MySpace, there seems a lot of postering there, and I really didn't feel like playing any of those silly games, food fights, and silly surveys where you list a bunch of banalities to determine something about you, and I got bombarded with invites to every cause under the sun. Besides, I don't take a whole lot of pictures of myself, I don't travel, don't take regular vacations, and I really don't have much of a family life either. Geeze, that is too sad. But it's the way it is. This is my life. At the moment. I realize FB is useful, but at this point in time, not for me. I don't need it. 

The truth is, not everyone has a computer. I think some people can't fathom that. I have a couple friends who don't have computers, and I know some folks who have computers but are not on any social network sites. 

But there are aspects of social networking sites I enjoy, so it's just a matter of finding the right ones for me. I'm signed on to three at the moment.

Before closing my Facebook account, I did a search for the name of my first best friend. We met in kindergarten, and were buddies until her family moved away and we were separated after second grade. We wrote each other a few times as children, and once when we were in middle school. Then we just lost contact. It was a long shot, because, well, a woman's last name tends to be a variable. She has her father's last name or she might marry and change it to her husband's. My last name is my own. Several years after my divorce, with my children in high school and college, I dropped my ex-husband's last name, and I didn't I want my father's, because it felt like going back home, which I did not want to do. Asserting my feminist ideologies, and as a poetic expression, I chose a last name for myself. That was more than twenty years ago. I assumed I would never remarry. And, nearly thirty years later, I haven't. Yet. 

So, I searched my old friend's name, my first best friend. To my surprise, one person showed. It's not a common name, but it is possible someone else could have that name. I saw a photo of the woman who could possibly be my old friend, but her face was partially obscurred by a bouquet of flowers, and it is fifty-four years later, so I wasn't sure. She was smiling and looked happy. I sent an email, explaining who I was and who I was looking for, apologizing in advance if I had the wrong person, asking her to please disregard the message if she was not the person I was looking for. She wrote back. It was my childhood friend, my first best friend. 

Turns out, she too had always hoped to find me again, and said she often talked about her first best friend. We have been emailing each other and catching up. We are both excited and astounded that we found each other again, fifty-four years later. She's my BFF, and I'm hers. 

Do you remember your first best friend? Are you still friends? Do you have a BFF? 

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