Guest Post: On The Opposite End of the Pick Up

I’m on vacation, so thought it would be fun hear from some of the products of this search firsthand. Here, my very first girl date reflects on our awkward introduction.

For those of you who will very soon be reading MWF Seeking BFF, you’ll know me as Hannah, Rachel’s very first “girl date” in Chicago.  It was January, 2010, and I had just moved back to my hometown of Chicago from a rather turbulent year in New York City.  I had been dumped, robbed, and nearly laid off in the span a few months, so I’d decided it was time that New York and I parted ways for good.  Needless to say, I was ready for a fresh start and a new chapter in my life.

One thing that hadn’t crossed my mind when deciding whether to move back to the Midwest (I’d spent five years in Boston before New York) was that I would have to make new friends.  Though I hadn’t lived in Chicago since I was eighteen and a senior in high school, I was lucky enough to have several friends—very close friends—from all stages of my life in the city.  I planned to move in with my cousin, and my sister had just relocated to Chicago from Atlanta.  I’d joke that I was homeless, jobless, boyfriendless, and law-license-less, but one thing I was not was girlfriendless.

So I admit I was a bit taken aback when I received the following email:

On Wed  at 4:18 PM, Sara [redacted] wrote:

think she’s moving in January.  we’re having our December book club at her house.

Very confused, I read on:

On Wed at 4:11 PM, Rachel Bertsche wrote:

what’s her email? When is she coming to chicago? I want to grab her as my bff asap

My first thought: Should I be creeped out that some girl named Rachel wanted to aggressively make me her BFF ASAP?! Apparently, I had accidentally been copied on an email chain between Rachel and her longtime BFF Sara. {Editor’s Note: I was so embarrassed! That aggressive friending was meant for Sara’s eyes only! Oops.}  Sara and I were in a book club together in New York – the book club that Rachel had founded several years back, before she moved to Chicago.

I wrote back:

On Thu at 7:59 AM, Hannah [redacted] wrote:

Ha! I’d love to be friends, Rachel!

And though I meant it, it wasn’t until Rachel followed up with me some weeks later that we ended up sipping cocktails at a bar and talking a mile a minute like old friends.

I have had the privilege of not only being a part of Rachel’s quest for a BFF, but of watching it from its inception.  I am truly in awe of her—not just of her commitment to putting 110% of herself into her search (rent-a-friend, improv classes, flash mobs…need I say more?!), but Rachel has also taught me that sometimes, even though sitting on my couch with old friends sounds perfect, and a lot of times it is perfect, it can also be the easy way out. Now I see the value in new connections. I’ve even given a girl my number! She was new in town, clearly looking for new pals, and I was happy to help—rather than totally weirded out—because I’ve realized how tough this friend-making thing really is.

What do you think? Would receiving that accidental email have turned you off? Or made you jump for joy?

3 Comments

Filed under The Search

3 responses to “Guest Post: On The Opposite End of the Pick Up

  1. I think it’s great that we are hearing stories from the other side.

    As for moving someplace new (but old, really), I think I would be thrilled to find out that someone wanted to be my bff. It might be a little weird to have heard about it in the way that this occurred, but having moved back home (just after college) and being in this same conundrum – I would love to have had someone who wanted to try and make a bff relationship work!

  2. Ana

    Though I may initially have thought it weird, overall I’d be thrilled that someone had heard about me and clearly thought I was so cool that they wanted to be friends. Even if I already had friends in town, life circumstances may have changed enough (jobs, marriages, kids) that hanging out with them isn’t as easy as imagined. A new BFF-opportunity landing in your lap—how wonderful!

  3. Beth

    What a sweet recap, “Hannah”! I didn’t know the email story. Hilarious and not that shocking. (hey-gmail can be tricky!). Great post!

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