Bonding over Books

This morning at the library, as I was picking up my held books, I overheard a budding friendship in the next aisle over. Two five-year olds had an extended conversation about what books they were getting, visiting their grandparents, puppies and like all good Minnesotans, the weather.

I met my best friend on April 16, 1983, in a small room 4 floors below the IDS Center. It was my first day at the soon-to-be-opened B. Dalton IDS. Since I was new to B. Dalton, there were several training modules that I had to read through and then take corresponding tests. Sara was transferring over from another store and needed to do some paperwork as well.  We talked while we worked, about books and pets and husbands and boyfriends – probably the weather as well.  Then we went to lunch across the street at Eddingtons where we discovered we also shared a deep love of bread and cheese.

We’ve been friends ever since, through weddings, divorces, parents’ deaths, kids, home purchases, health issues, money issues – you name it. I can only hope that the kids at the library this morning can continue a friendship that started with books!

Where did you meet your BFF?

43 thoughts on “Bonding over Books”

  1. I met my bff in Miss Bahnsen’s Grade 1 room in 1964. We have been friends ever since. She is godmother to our children. We plan to live together after retirement, a combining of living resouces of us, who have a lot, and she, who will have very little.

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  2. justin was there when i went to little league baseball in 5th grade but that summer. we left for 6 weeks so my cousins grandpa could use our house to get chemo at the u of m. we went to his house near detroit lakes and he used ours. when i got back from our summer away justin and the rest of my team had enjoyed a good season and i got to say good bye as the season ended. a year and a couple months later i remet justin as we entered jr high together. we became friends and enjoyed lots of joys and traumas. we’ve gone our seperate ways of late and i don’t know if we will reconnect or not
    i reach out he doesn’t respond
    i think he’s needing to hunker down the last couple of years
    i’ll try again

    Liked by 2 people

  3. RIse and Shine Baboons!

    I have not had one BFF all through the years. My friendships seem to wax and wane, but stay in my life depending on where I am and what I am doing. But I have been so fortunate to have a group of friends over the years who have remained friends. And we still get together. Of the group, two of them and I still correspond and see each other a bit more often than the others. Many Kay and I met in 3rd grade, which she recently reminded me of. I had forgotten it was that long. Carol joined us in 6th grade. Mary Kay’s parents, ages 94 and 95, live in Phoenix now, so we get together when she is there. Last January she called, desperate, saying, “Can I come over for the weekend? I can’t take it anymore!” Of course she could come over.

    I am traveling to Florida in July with our oldest granddaughter as her graduation gift. Carol lives on the Treasure Coast of Florida (on the Atlantic side), so she plans to drive to see us during the week we are there. WE were part of a larger group that held together through High School and beyond. We were the Band Geeks and the NHS kids. One of that group, Joliene, died about 5 years ago. That was difficult.

    One of my closest friends moved to Eveleth, MN two years ago. She inherited her family home there. She and her husband travel 6 months of the year, then live there in the summer. They come down here for medical appointments and special events, so they stay with us when they are here. It is like a slumber party.

    I have been so fortunate through my life to be blessed with many varied and treasured friendships that seem to last over time and places. Family relationships, with the exception of that of my sister, son and husband, have often been fraught. It has been the friendships that have been sustaining. Recently there was some research published about the quality of peoples’ lives in their senior years being influenced by their ability to make and keep friends. As I am now in my senior years (I turn 65 very soon), I was relieved to hear that!

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  4. I was dating Jeff’s sister. I went to her prom at a school south of Jamestown and stayed with her parents. We played football. He always talked about how I was his older brother. As things worked out, we married sisters becoming brothers-in-law. It really hurt when he died of colon cancer. He was a fighter and we shared a love for the Tom Petty song “I Won’t Back Down”. When Petty died, it was a little as though Jeff had died again.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. My job in 1967 was to work with freshman and sophomore students coming into the Honors Division of the U of MN College of Liberal Arts. A particularly bright and likable young man transferred into the U that fall. I signed him up for his first courses.

    Bill was as engaging in person as his records led me to hope. I had a photo of pheasant hunting in my office. Bill spotted the pheasant picture, saying that he had been raised hunting grouse in northern Minnesota. He’d always dreamed of hunting pheasants. I said, “If you show me grouse hunting I’ll teach you everything I know about pheasants.” And that was the start.

    That was fifty years ago. Along the way we’ve experienced low points and highlights, funny times and sad ones. Bill is the best friend I’ve ever had.

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  6. Another of my very closest friends is Alan. Some of you may have met him over the years. When I first met him at Software Etc, I didn’t like him very much. But a few months after he started working there I invited him to a party at my house a leaf pile in fact (I was feeling sorry for him because his family hadn’t moved to their new house in the Twin Cities yet) and when he showed up, he flung himself into the activities with such gusto that I knew right then that we were destined to be good friends.

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  7. Kelly and I had a discussion at one point in time. I thought “wife / spouse” was different than ‘Best Friend’. Maybe better than, maybe less than, but just different. That wasn’t the right answer. 🙂

    She probably would help me bury the body. But depending on circumstances… she might not be the first person I’d ask.
    I’ve had lots of best friends.
    Growing up in elementary school, I’d make friends and they’d move away. Mom says she felt sorry for me.
    Then there was Pete. He was my best friend through high school. Moved to Florida after graduation. We wrote for a while.
    Then I met Keith through the theater. He was Best man at our wedding. But for the last several years i just can’t get him to return a phone call or email. I sent stuff to his wife and she passes it along. Don’t know what’s up with him.
    My friend Paul is one of those people who has just been around for the last 30 years. I think actually I met his wife first and then we just got to know each other through the theater.
    Somehow, we just started emailing daily and he vents to me and I vent to him. He’d be the first person I called to bury the body.
    Then I’d tell Kelly so she could bail me out.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Best” is such a binary proposition. I could no more choose a best friend than I could a “favorite” anything. I’d rather think in terms of most significant friends—those people without whom one’s life would have been markedly different. Even when you are not in touch with them regularly, they are permanently important to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. My first significant friend, Marilyn, lived across the street. As children we were inseparable. Once is school (a grade apart) we remained friends though didn’t socialize as much together. I was the organist at her wedding. A few years later she moved to the west coast and we lost contact for many years. Now we are connected via Facebook. I would no longer consider her a close friend anymore.

    Jan and I met in 7th grade – started socializing in high school and have remained good friends since (50 years now). We don’t see each other too often despite living 10 miles apart. But when we do meet, we just pick up as if no time has passed. She and I are part of a group of 6 friends who met in college. Again, we don’t get together very often (for a variety of reasons) but pick up right where we left off.

    Jo and I met in college back in 1971 and we still have a close friendship, though she lives in Duluth and we don’t see each other often. Now that she has 9 grandchildren, it is hard to find time but again, we pick up right where we left off.

    Another long time friend is Mary. We worked together for about three years back in the late 70s. Then her family moved first to Oregon, back to MN briefly, and finally to Tucson. We kept in touch and occasionally saw each other through the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. Then after her divorce, we started traveling internationally together and certainly have cemented a very good friendship despite the miles between us.

    I do have several other friends who live here in or near the Cities and I do socialize with them. But the ones listed above are the ones who I cherish the most and are the most significant in my life.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have 2 very long-time BFFs…Julie, who I met in Kindergarten…I think I followed her home the first day of school, but surely it wasn’t the first day because I did or my parents did get me home. We were best friends through high school, but distance came with college and her marriage. We stayed sorta in touch through the years, always picking up where we left off when we did see each other. I moved back to MN in 1974, she moved back in 1985…then we picked up the closeness again and it continues…though we don’t talk on the phone much because neither of us can stop once we start talking.

    I met Beth in second grade, I think. In fourth grade she had rheumatic fever and had to stay home from school. I would go to visit and we should play with paper dolls on her bed for hours. Though we went to different colleges and she married right after and has lived in Florida for the past 50 years (or so), we stayed in close touch with letters. Now she visits MN each summer, we talk on the phone at least once a month.

    Then there are the other grade school and high school and college friends I count as BFFs as well…not to mention the newer friends from living in one place for 40+ years…making sure I have a social life in my old age. I grow old, I grow old…

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I, too, am more inclined to think of relationships the way Bill and K-two do. They are mutually satisfying, have played a significant role at some point in my life, and they may or may not be ongoing.

    Freya and I were a year younger than the remainder of our high school class, and I suppose, for that reason hung out together despite the fact that we really didn’t have that much in common. We have remained in contact all of these years, and always get together for lunch when I visit Denmark.

    Lisa, once a neighbor and friend when I lived in Cheyenne, and I have stayed in touch and are in daily contact via FB. I have visited Lisa in several places she has lived from Kansas City, to San Francisco and Sand Diego, and will likely visit her this fall in Sheridan, Wyo. She has visited us here in St. Paul several times. We easily pick up where we left off and have a profound respect and fondness for each other.

    Tia and I have been friends since 1968, and we’ve had a lot of fun together. She’s smart, funny, a very good cook, loud and boisterous, and generous to a fault. She’s one of those people it’s exhausting to be around for any length of time because of the constant commotion she inevitably causes. I love her dearly, but she drives me crazy. Unfortunately, we’ve grown apart over the last ten years. But there would have been a huge hole in my life had she not been there.

    Helen lives down the street from me. She’s a dear. We’ve known each other about fifteen years, and we see each other regularly. She’s perhaps the closest I have to a BFF. We’re close enough in proximity to see each other whenever we like, and we make it a point to do things together that we both enjoy apart from our respective partners, like going out to eat, to the theater, or a concert. Helen feels like a sister to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My sister Joanne. We can talk about anything. She’s more than a friend and more than a sister.
    Yep, I’d help her bury the body. And she’d bail me out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My sister and I were like that until 20 years ago. I guess just time and distance. Now she does not communicate with me, unless they stop in for a running visit.

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    2. I love that Ben. I’m pretty sure my sister and I would have that kind of relationship if we lived closer. As it is, it’s difficult to carry on an ongoing debate about the issues we disagree on, and there are some, so we we try to avoid conflict which could have long term consequences. In general, I don’t think avoiding conflict is a good idea. Have lots of small skirmishes if you need to, but definitely talk about the issues that you view differently.

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  13. Went to two different medical places today, both focusing on pain issues, for long talks and decisions. I am going to start a long process of procedures on lumbar and neck. Have to jump hurdles to get Medicare to pay for it all. It does bother me how much this could cost if we go all the way to bone grafts in my neck. Once again I have no driver for first two procecures. Now I wish I had any level of friend here to ask. Next week I hear about second cancer issue, or maybe something but nothing determinative.

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  14. I too don’t have a single BFF – I have one person I’ve hung on to from each era of my life… high school, college, California, grad school… I was in Mpls this morning and had breakfast with one of my favorite Minneapolis friends.

    I have rekindled a friendship with a Winona woman I knew from our time here in the ’80s. Proximity really helps sometimes – since she’s just 3 blocks away, we can get together easily and often.

    OT: Just read the rest of yesterday’s comments, and realized I had missed some from early a.m. Sunday… I think the weekend will go down for me as one of the silliest in baboon history. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  15. I am an only child, so my bff is quite like a sister to me. She is estranged from her only sister. I am not that close emotionally or geographically to Husband’s siblings.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. And this last one. This song by Cheryl Wheeler is such a poignant song. It speaks to me on so many different levels. I’ve been to about ten live performance by Cheryl but never met her in person, but we’re friends for sure:

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I am still planning to ship jam and jelly to tim to distribute to Baboons. We will be in Rochester this weekend for a hand bell work shop. I could also bring jam and jelly if any baboons would be in the vicinity and could take it and distribute it to metro baboons.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve lost touch with one of my significant friends. She and I were close friends in the junior high years, and wrote to each other and visited during our high school years, after she had moved away. We continued to exchange letters and occasional visits over the next decades. A few years ago a Christmas card I sent her was returned by the post office, and I haven’t heard from her since. Another mutual friend says she hasn’t heard anything, either. It seems she has just disconnected.

    I still retain an expectation that at some point she will send a letter and mend the rift. Not sure why; maybe just because it makes a better story that way, if it happens.

    One of my dear friends was a good friend of my sister’s when they were in high school. They didn’t stay in touch, but she and I did, for some reason. She and my sister will sometimes ask about each other, but they haven’t connected personally in years.

    My most recent best friends are of the baboonish persuasion.

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