My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you have not checked out the blog of the same name, do so as a supplement to the book.
It started with “But on a Sunday morning when I want to grab an omelet over girl talk, I’m at a loss. My Chicago friends are the let’s-get-dinner-on-the-books-a-month-in-advance type. We email, trading dates until we find an open calendar slot amidst our tight schedules of workout classes, volunteer obligations (no false pretenses here, the volunteers are my friends, not me, sadly), work events, concert tickets and other dinners scheduled with other girls. I’m looking for someone to invite to watch The Biggest Loser with me at the last minute or to text “pedicure in half an hour?” on a Saturday morning. To me, that’s what BFFs are.” and turned into a quest for a new best friend.
After moving from New York to Chicago for love, the noblest of all causes, Bertsche notices a longing for the close friendships she had back home and interprets this as homesickness. I think every expat can relate to this. How many “I want to go home” speeches are really rooted in loneliness?
Instead of wallowing or disrupting their otherwise great life in Chicago, Bertsche launches a quest to find a new best friend. The idea of an adult using the abbreviation BFF was slightly off putting to me since the last time I used term myself, I was signing someone’s yearbook in the mid 80’s but as her quest progresses it becomes clear that she is really just looking for close friends to eat sushi, dish dirt and get tipsy with and not build a tree house and pass notes to.
After meeting a hundred or so people Rachel Bertsche got 59 dates which resulted in 22 confirmed friendships. Which made me think about the resume to job interview ratio (100/5) and that Bertsche makes befriending someone easier than getting a job. Bertsche’s 52 girl-date details are interspersed with research about friends and friend-ing. As the year progresses her advances get bolder and more confident and she is rolling in friends, well, not literally. Funny and informative, just what I love in a book and a happy ending to boot! Bertsche is any would-be Chicagoans dream best friend.
More on the tricky business of modern friendships
- You’ve Got to Have (150) Friends
- What Are Friends For? A Longer Life
- It’s Not Me, It’s You
- A Best Friend? You Must Be Kidding