While checking out HelloGiggles recently, I discovered founder Sophia Rossi had written a new book, A Tale of Two Besties. Reading all of the comments and stories from various besties, I became a little envious because I didn’t think I had a bestie story to share. I’ve never had that whole best friend situation that so many girls have. I have no enduring friends from high school, although we’re all “friends” on Facebook. I don’t have a BFF from first grade who’s literally shared my whole life with me. I do have my friend Kim from college; we clicked from day one. I was a Maryland girl who loved all things California, especially Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre (it was during the days of The Chronic and Doggystyle) Kim was a consummate California girl from LA who always had an open smile and welcoming heart for everyone around her. She’s still one of my best friends today, but she already has her own bestie.
I’ve had temporary BFFs who I spent certain segments of my life with. In my early elementary school years in Salt Lake City, Utah, my BFF was Carrie. Her brown hair was styled in a pixie cut and we were friends by proximity; she lived next door. My most vivid memories with Carrie were our days spent climbing the wall between our driveways, her jumping up and down so I could hear the slosh of just-drank water in her belly and our peering over her parents’ couch in wide-eyed terror watching Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video on MTV. During my middle school years, I was the only little black girl in my class, and was frequently treated like an outsider.
I don’t want to sound like I don’t have a solid group of friends. I do. I also have a healthy amount of quality acquaintances—people I enjoy spending time with but who aren’t on speed-dial during crisis. I’m hesitant to call people “friends” because my Dad’s warnings still echo in my ears over twenty years later, “Stop calling everybody your friend! These girls aren’t your friends.” In retrospect he was probably tired of me coming home and crying over being ignored and whispered about one day then immersed in the “cool group” the next while somebody else got benched. I wish we had the term “frenemies” during my middle school years. Back then I stayed on the friend roller coaster. I just always wanted my very own BFF.
Fast forward to now. Last week I received an email from my younger sister Aqua. Here’s what she said:
When I read her message my eyes welled up and it dawned on me: my bestie is my only sister Aqua.
My sister is only a year younger than me, but until after college we lived pretty separate lives. In high school ,our social lives never overlapped. I went away for college, and not until my holiday breaks did I discover she was fun to hang with. Post-college we became closer, and once she became a mother to my niece, Indica, our relationship deepened.
Aqua’s email all of a sudden made my Boo-hoo; I’ve never had a bestie! pity party seem ridiculous. I’d been so busy making rules for what “bestie” means to realize those rules can be flexible. I’d also never considered that my sister could be my BFF since she was linked to me by blood. She knows me from my earliest days on this earth. I guess that’s what it comes down to, that unconditional love of somebody no matter what. There’s no better bestie rule than that!
Cija Jefferson (pronounced Kia) is a writer, blogger, and educator in Charm City aka Baltimore. She’s currently earning her MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts at University of Baltimore. She loves the Muppets—especially Miss Piggy, social commentary—we are not in a post-racial society, and “trapped in the nineties” (courtesy of Nas’ “Loco-Motive”) hip-hop. Follow her on Twitter @cijasquips or check out her blog Cija’s Quips
[Image via Your Sister’s Sister]