Does Hollywood take the idea of best friends and make it a bigger thing than it is? I watched the movie “Last Vegas” and it got me thinking. It’s a movie about four friends that have been friends since they were kids. One of them is getting married and calls his buddies; they make it seem they have kept in touch for 60 years on a regular basis. Is this a real thing, do people today have best friends from when they were kids? I know I don’t.
What is the definition of best friend? Websters says:
noun: best friend; plural noun: best friends
a person’s closest friend.
Even before I had watched the movie I had been thinking about friendship and how I really have no one I can call my best friend: someone I can turn to and have be there for me or vice versa. Is it because I have trouble making friends? No, I make friends very easily and, don’t get me wrong, I have friends, but none that I can call best friends. A lot of people I have talked to about this say they found their best friends in high school or college. I don’t live near where I went to high school and never see the few friends I made there, so I don’t consider them best friends either.
In February ‘14 I lost a friend who when growing up we were inseparable, we did everything together with a crew of about 5 or 6 others from the neighborhood. When I left Fallsington for Bath that was the end of our friendship and we both went our separate ways; but if I had stayed in the Fallsington area through high school, he would have fit the mold of best friend. I left Fallsington after the funeral thinking about how my friends from childhood were lost because of a change in my life and how much I don’t have any real friends now as an adult.
It seems that adult friends fall into categories and these are just a few of the ones I can think of and in no particular order:
- Friends from work: Your friends from work seem to change at every job. You always say you will keep in touch when you leave a job, and you might the first few months to a year after you move on, but by then you have made new friends at the new job and they have taken the places of your old friends.
- Friends from Church: If you go to church you have friends there that you really only see at church or at church functions, but you can’t really call them when you need bail or are having problems, because they really don’t know you out of the church setting. These are the type of friends that I really call acquaintances.
- Friends from groups, clubs, and organizations: In this is the catatagory I have a lot of friends. I have made many friends from organizations I belong to. You never really talk with them except at the meetings or on email lists if you have a question pertaining to the topic of the group or if you need help with that topic. I have many friends like this and I like talking with them, but would you ask them to be your best man at your wedding or help you move? Probably not, because you really only know them in one kind of setting. I have one friend from this group that I call on and he calls on me, but only when we have issues that we need a second body for. We are a lot alike so I think that’s why we gravitate towards each other. No he isn’t my best friend or there to bail me out; but he is there when my basement floods or I need a pick up at the garage.
- Family friends: These are those friends that have been around your family while you were growing up and they are always there at family functions. Don’t get me wrong these are the type of friends that will always help you because your family has always been there for them and they are always there for you. But they aren’t the friends that you call for emergency help or to talk about your troubles with your wife or husband.
- Neighborhood friends: Are of course people who are your friends from your neighborhood. You invite them to the back yard parties and holiday open houses you have, talk to them when you see them on the street and at the local store; but do you talk about your problems with them? Some problems you do, like dry rot in the house or other neighborhood goings on, but that’s about it. And when you or they move you really never see them again; and, when you do, it’s a quick “Hey how are you” and get or give the latest gossip of the neighborhood.
In the research that I have done on this topic I have found that a lot of the people pointed out that their significant other is their best friend and they don’t need any other close friends. I am not sure that is true either, who do you talk to about your SO or how your life is going?
Family was also brought up and how the family members who were my own age and that I grew up with should be my best friends. When I returned to New Jersey my cousins were my go-to friends when I had problems and they turned to me when they had issues, but now it’s harder, because we have our own families and lives.
In conclusion I have come to the understanding that Hollywood sensationalizes the friends for life/best friend image. After talking with people about this I found that most people don’t have a best friend and that most friends fall into a certain category and don’t overlap in their lives. They don’t have one best friend, they have many depending on what’s going on in different parts of their lives.