Annie was also 4 and lived on my street and though specifics are lost to misty memory, I do recall many happy hours playing with dolls together in my back yard. At any rate, we became best friends. *cue sappy music* Her BFF status came to a screeching halt when her family decided to locate elsewhere. (It’s darn near impossible for 4-year-olds to stay in touch). I still remember the day she brought by her autograph book for me to put pen (or crayon) to paper and express my unending devotion when I happened to glance at adjacent pages. Imagine my shock and dismay when I spied the moniker under the heading “Best Friend.” Yes, dear gang, it was not your humble servant but rather the devious little minx, Joanne, who succeeded in stealing my closest companion AND my starter boyfriend!!! My little heart was ripped to shreds in my undeveloped chest after discovering this callous betrayal. Years passed and though my locale changed, my luck in the "bestest buds" department remained dismally consistent.
In my early 20s I met cute, vibrant, sassy, fun-loving Cathy through her sister-in-law and we hit it off big-time. All went swimmingly for several years until she met Mr Wonderful who arbitrarily decided I lacked the lofty scruples and high caliber moral fiber needed to continue a female alliance with his newly wedded bride. As I was now deemed an unsuitable companion, she swiftly cut all ties and I was left to drift away in the passing current as they waved in unison from the marital shore. The happy, attached-at-the-hip couple eventually moved away and though I still occasionally see her when she visits relatives, we limit our chats to brief, meaningless pleasantries.
Time passed and with amnesia clouding my spotty memory, I tripped headfirst into the BFF lair of TBC’s younger sister, Susan. We whiled away many pleasant hours at the swimming beach, downing brews, soaking up the sun and showing off our svelte bodies. Invariably, we took turns one-upping each other in the saucy retort department. She also moved away (I’m detecting a pattern here) and six months later married a guy in her apt. complex. This time the addition of a spouse had few repercussions as our congenial friendship continued unabated albeit distantly. Being related didn’t hurt either. Several times I drove up to visit and we laughed, relaxed and caught up on news. Our unforeseen parting of ways occurred in a most unusual manner. One weekend she was down visiting and TBC and I included her in a trip to see my sis who was then living in a neighboring town. I offhandedly made a remark about an article I had read in a popular magazine when she haughtily and disdainfully informed all present that she never read that offensive publication. Excuse me? This 180 degree turn must have been of recent origin as she was far from a paragon of virtue and was well acquainted with said journal. Icy silence engulfed the return trip home. Apparently this minor disagreement was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg as a massive cataclysmic upheaval in relations resulted. She returned home to MIL and let volley a barrage of invectives cataloging endless real and imagined grievances against yours truly which then snowballed into an even larger firestorm of epic proportions with MIL! The excessive fallout was irreparable with both and though things were partially patched up by the time MIL died, things never returned to the easygoing camaraderie we once enjoyed. Long divorced from her spouse, Susan still resides in her adopted city, rarely darkening Okieland’s door. The few times we have spoken in the intervening years, the tenacious chip remains solidly affixed to her stubborn shoulder. And it all started over a silly magazine that even I quit reading eons ago. Amazing. Needless to say, I have staunchly sworn off BFFs for good and with understandable reason. I do hope your experiences have proved far less toxic than mine but promise me you will periodically check your vulnerable back for those telltale stab marks because truly, being forewarned is forearmed, right? Live and learn.