One of my goals this year was to read more books and slowly but surely, I’m getting there. I picked this one up (downloaded it to my Kindle) before our cruise and I just now got around to reading it. I wish I read it sooner—like the minute it hit shelves, because it was fantastic.
Rachael Bertsche, the author of MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend, is a recent transplant to Chicago and despite having co-workers and a few aquaintences, she’s lacking real friendships. You know, the kind where you can call and say, “Hey, I’ll be there in five minutes; let’s do something.” Or better yet, just show up and walk in the door, unannounced—messy house and all. She wants someone she can go to brunch with or hang out with on nights her husband is out of town. She’s looking for that friend she can tell her deepest secrets to, but who will also tell her when she’s acting ridiculous.
The book follows Rachael as she goes on 52 girl-dates over the course of a year. I pictured it’d be a cross between Eat, Pray, Love (where she’d be all about finding herself) and The Happiness Project (which practically bored me to tears). But this was so much more. It was funny and insightful, and while I read it I felt like I was talking to, well, my best friend.
Besides chronicling all of her dates, Rachael throws in statistics, quotes, and facts about friendship from experts in the industry (did you know there was a friendship industry?) in such a subtle way that made sense. It wasn’t in a boring context, but in a super casual, conversational way; again, just as though she were talking to her best friend about something she recently read.
I love that she correlates finding friends with dating, because essentially, that’s what it’s like once you’re past the point of having potential friends practically thrown at you (i.e. growing up and while you’re in school). My friend Tessa and I used to talk about the similarity between finding new friends and dating all the time, because that’s what it is. You size up the other person, you’re nervous to meet them (What do I wear? What do I say? Do I hug them? Do I have food in my teeth?), you wonder if they’re into you as much as you’re into them. It’s a date.
My one and only gripe, and the thing I couldn’t relate to, is that she isn’t a mom yet, and now I know what a drastic game changer that is. It’s just harder. And before you go and say that I now have the mommy groups to meet people, you have to remember that moms are busy and a lot of them have multiple kids, so they’re extra busy. Finding that one-on-one time with a mom is a million times harder.
I resonated with this book in more ways than I can count. Besides my husband and our friendship (because she does touch on that aspect), I’m on the lookout for a new BFF out here. Moving so often and now having a little one as my co-worker, makes it hard to find that person I click with. Get this, a friend of mine from back home said she even met one of her
friends while she was reading MWF Seeking BFF! It made me wish I had an
actual copy of the book instead of the digital version.
Anyway, I love the efforts Rachael takes to find her friends. She uses people she already knows, she starts a blog, writes an article where prospects start flying, goes to events around town, sucks it up and talks to girls who look friendly and basically asks them out right then and there; she even rents a friend at one point—turns out getting to 52 dates is harder than it appears. It’s not that Rachael transformed herself and magically became more
outgoing, it’s that she took chances and was open to every opportunity
that presented itself. The book itself was like a self-help book, in a
very Sex-in-the-City (minus the sex) way.
If you’re looking for a new book to read—even if your friendship pot is already full—I highly recommend this MWF Seeking BFF. It’s a very good read. She also has a new book coming out called Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time, which reminds me that I should really consider starting a local book club here. I was part of one in Italy and I LOVED getting together with those women. Sure, we only talked about the book for about a half hour, but I loved our time together.
Have you read this book? Do you want to read this book? Let’s chat about it in the comments!