Yesterday I had a wonderful reading in San Francisco. (Thanks to all of you in SF who skipped the Super Bowl to attend!) One of the most fun parts of the event was that Shasta Nelson of GirlfriendCircles.com co-sponsored the affair and hosted a mini-speed friending afterwards.
A quick background: Speed-friending is just like speed-dating. Women are separated into groups of three, and the trios are arranged in a circle around the room. The host asks a question and each person in your threesome gets two minutes to share her answer. After each person has had a chance to share, and you all get to know each other a bit, everybody rotates. One person in the group moves to the trio to the right, one to the left, and one stays put. Suddenly, you’re in new group of three. Ideally, you keep doing this until everyone has met everyone, though last night we only did three rounds.
It was a big hit. Long after the official friending had ended, women were hanging around, chatting and exchanging contact information. There were women still in college and women in their late 60s. My fingers are crossed that some real friendships come from it.
I don’t have a huge social network in San Francisco, but I do have three great friends who attended the reading. As speed-friending began, I found myself in a trio with one of my oldest college besties. For the first round, we were each asked to talk for two minutes about one of our earliest best friends. My college pal told a story about a girl who grew up in her neighborhood. She explained why she liked this friend so much when they were little, and shared some memories from the old days. She also mentioned, as part of an anecdote, that she used to have a super-cool Barbie skateboard. Which is obviously awesome.
What was especially interesting was that I didn’t know any of this. I’d never heard of the friend my bestie was talking about. I had no idea she had a Barbie skateboard, or any skateboard, ever. She and I were college roommates for three years and somehow I missed this information entirely.
Afterwards, I told my pal: “I liked speed-friending you. I thought I knew all of your stories and I never even knew you had a Barbie skateboard!” With old friends, we often think we know everything there is, so we don’t ask the questions that we might of someone we just met. I’d probably never ask one of my best friends to tell me about a pal from childhood because I’d figure I knew all the stories already .
Clearly I’d be wrong.
Just as you should date your spouse—keep things interesting! learn new things!—so too should you friend-date your friends. There’s always more to learn. I mean, a Barbie skateboard? That’s BFF gold, right there.
Ever learn something new about an old friend long after you thought you knew everything? Do you make a point to bring the “friend date” attitude even with old friends?
MWF Seeking BFF made the NY Times extended bestseller list for the second week in a row—and it even moved up to #27! A ginormous THANKS for all your support. It’s my absolute dream to make it to the short list (the top 20) so I’d be so grateful if you might spread the word about the book to anyone who might be interested. You (or a friend) can:
Order a copy
Read an excerpt
Get the book club guide
Watch the trailer