After two years of waiting for a local BFF to emerge in my new hometown of Chicago, I’ve decided to go out there and find her.
On Tuesday, I was reminded of exactly why I’ve been forcing myself to ask out potential friends, despite how desperate it can sometimes feel. I was at my favorite boutique, just a block away from my apartment, looking for a dress to wear to an upcoming rehearsal dinner. Well, that and I’ve been trying to befriend the manager since I moved here.
We’ve become friendly enough in the time that I’ve been frequenting her store. The weekend I went wedding dress shopping, I showed her a picture of my potential gown for an “objective” opinion. She’s told me about planning her sister’s bridal shower. She knows what clothes work best on my body and can perhaps get me a discount on said outfits. She’d most certainly fill my fashionable BFF opening.
For a while, before I threw caution to the wind and started asking every potential BFF to dinner, I was too embarrassed to invite her to hang out. What would I say? “Hello I have no friends! Will you take pity on me?” Uh, no thanks.
But now that I’ve been at this a while, I’ve gotten more comfortable in the art of the asking. Like anything, it gets exponentially easier with practice. And the breezier you are (Remember Monica on Richard’s answering machine? “I’m breezy!” I channel this often…) the less awkward the exchange. I promise!
So I went into the store in the middle of the day on Tuesday, and Manager and I were the only people there. After trying on a few dresses, I bought an adorable little black number.
“So do you work every Tuesday?” I asked her at the register.
“I was wondering… I work from home on Mondays and Tuesdays, and it can get really quiet and isolating. Would you want to get lunch sometime? It’d be nice to get out of the house for a little.”
Manager was so excited. “I’d love to! I really would.” She went on to tell me that she always meets really great people at the store, but she feels like she has to wait for the other person to make the move. “Otherwise, you could be like ‘why’s the salesgirl asking me to lunch?’ It’s unprofessional.”
This had never occurred to me. She’s all 7-feet-tall and impossibly thin and pretty. The idea that maybe she wanted to be my friend too, that maybe something was holding her back never crossed my mind.
So we exchanged numbers and we’re going to have lunch. It could maybe even become a weekly-ish affair. I have a good feeling about this one.
The small-but-significant exchange was an important reminder of why, when we meet someone with BFF potential, we should just go for it. Everyone wants pals. We’re constantly worried that people will think we’re weird for making the first overture toward friendship, but more often than not the other person is flattered. Thrilled, even.
And there could be a million reasons why she hasn’t tried befriending you. Once Manager explained it to me, it made perfect sense that she’d have professional concerns about trying to befriend a customer. But I never would have thought of it on my own.
So this month, why not resolve to finally say something to the would-be friend you’ve been eyeing in yoga class/the grocery store/the office. What’s the worst that could happen? No, seriously, what?