The Wife: a Shout-out to My Bestie

Facebook reminded me the other day that it’s been 8 years since The Wife (aka my bestie) and I first friended. A compilation of tagged photo memories was generated, pulling some random hijinks of our hey day. The pics that didn’t make it into the compilation come to mind, surrounding the ones that did, filling in pieces of narrative of a time when we were younger, more spirited, and had all the time in the world for fun and friendship.  A lot of club and bar-lit selfies, goofy face-making, and evidence of hairstyles past. Looks like we had a lot of fun, spent a lot of money, and made some interesting choices. We were a power couple, so to speak. Showed up to parties together, duoed at clubs, and when one was invited, it was a given that the other was part of the deal. Inseparable to the point where one ex-boyfriend dubbed us “Wifies” to each other, and the endearment stuck, ever since.

In the 8 years of our FB friendship (we became friends IRL before my FB membership… when we were still on MySpace) we saw each other through our late 20s; the days of raging singledom, some challenges with heartbreak, career shifts and struggles, family dysfunction, accepting transition and growth with shared friends.  Now, in our mid 30s, having found our partners, and gotten married, we navigate our separate adult lives on our own.  Time together to consult and console each other on the random WTFs of the regular is few and far between, unfortunately. We don’t live close to each other, and we don’t work close, either, so it’s difficult to grab face-time and stay current.

But we manage to stay connected. The support, while not physically present, is always there.  We’re simply in a different era of our lives and in our friendship.  We’ve basically raised ourselves so we could be out there independently, on our own, no tandem-wife.  Sounds sad, and it is sometimes, when I think about it too much.  Ugh, the guilt!  The shame!  Does going months at a time just exchanging text messages and not being able to schedule dates make us less Wifies?  Some might argue yes, that we’re horrible wives, and that we shouldn’t be allowed to call ourselves besties.  The reality is just that active friendship as adults takes different shape, and it’s up to us to make sure that the connection and the meaning of being friends is still there.  Exchanging text messages with your bestie might sound lame on the friendship tip, but when the texts are hilarious, spirited, and supportive, you realize there’s still plenty of love there.  The same love that’s always been there, and stays a constant with the changes in our lives.  While not currently great at it, I don’t doubt that we will strive to find ways to  be present in each other’s lives, and make time for our friendship.

One day, at work, I texted the Wife with a desk-selfie to show that I was wearing the necklace she gifted me for my birthday.  Her response was her own desk-selfie to show that we were wearing similar outfits.  Text-giggles ensued, littered with LOLs, all-caps exclamations and emojies.  It was the highlight of my day to know my Wife and I were there together, connected, in our parallel lives.

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