Goodreads Synopsis: When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, she realizes that her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington, D.C. Still, in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl talk over brunch or a reality-TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: Meeting people everywhere from improv class to friend rental websites, she’ll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was refreshing that someone shared a friending experience like this one. Rachel set aside embarrassment and awkwardness in order to share her experience at finding new friends. She adds tidbits of research at certain points throughout the book and then relates an experience that is a perfect example of the research. I could really see her growth over the course of the year, just in her actions – and reactions – to the different situations presented to her. If I lived in Chicago, or if she lived here, I would absolutely have taken her up on a girl-date! In the middle of reading the book, I decided to jump online to find Rachel’s blog. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was here on WordPress. Sweet, now I can follow her right here, so easy! Check her blog out.
Rachel’s book truly inspired me to consider my friendships. I have different groups of friends that get together…most of my friends are from college, but they are different groups that I hung out with on campus that rarely saw each other. (I think living with different people every school year really helped me meet many different people). Some of the friends are the girls I met/lived with my freshman year (and while I may not have necessarily share that tiny room with all of them, they lived next door and that’s close enough to say we lived together), and others are from the sorority I joined while in school. And obviously within those groups, I’m closer with some more than others. Of course, there are the others that moved back home to different states and that makes it THAT much harder to see each other. And I have the random “outlier” friends that I will always say hello to and do a quick catch-up with when I happen to bump into them, but nothing beyond that happens (maybe a “we should get together sometime…”).
While reading this, I’ve noticed that one of us will say “We need to do this again for real. Not just talk about doing it again” and while the others agree, it ends up being a lot longer until the next time. Maybe it’s the lack of follow through? I think I
should will start working on that. Granted, we are all very busy with work, family, furthering education and other obligations and schedules it makes it that much harder to plan. But we need to try, right?
Recently, my cousins (from my dad’s side of the family), my sister and I have decided to make plans once a month. But no pressure: if you can make it, great!; if not, no worries, there’s always the next month. At first, we started talking about just doing dinners. We had our first one a couple of weeks ago and it was a really great time. My eldest cousin suggested that we should always plan the next month at the end of the current get together, that way everyone will be on the same page and we don’t need to send a million emails to try to narrow down a date…it took us 2 months to get this first dinner planned! We all thought this was a great idea and (since we’re in the digital age) we all pulled out our fancy shmancy phones and added it to our calendars. We started discussing new ideas other than just dinner. As long as we at least schedule the next date, then we can work from there. We have “penciled in” the next gathering and can decide what to do. Maybe we want to catch a movie, a Red Sox game, or a Blue Man Group Show… who knows? But now that we’re establishing something and we all want to do it, we can make it work.
That is something I want to start trying with my friends, too. Like I said, we always say “let’s do this again, but without so much time passing…” so I
want to am going to reach out to them and start with another get together. I love them all so much and really miss not seeing them as often as I used to…and I certainly don’t want to lose them!
So now that I’ve digressed from my book review, excuse me while I go send messages/emails to my friends. 🙂