Last week Emily sent out a round up of the best BFF jewelry out there and I died a little inside but not in a good way. I wasn't reminiscing warm-and-fuzzy style on those sixth grade salad days when a true best friend would have been like the answer key in the back of the book. Instead, I was left flailing about on the fringes of best friendship trying desperately to solve the problem of my lack in worthiness. Basically, EVERYONE had a BFF but me.
Of course, we didn't call them BFFs in 1991. No, back then you showed and proved. If you were really into a girl you gave her jewelry. There was a hierarchy of friend swag. A homemade lanyard key chain was no biggie. Girls gave those out like pinkie swears. They meant nothing. I had a ton.
Higher up on the list was the friendship bracelet, which also being homemade was something most girls had. The thing about the friendship bracelet wasn't so much that you had one but that yours looked vintage. The yarn should be gnarly -- dirt-crusted with bits of soap stuck in the crevices from showering with it on because you NEVER took it off. It was like how some girls won't be seen with a new Louis until its leather has aged. A grody bracelet meant the friendship had matured and was long lasting.
And at the very top of the list was the "Best Friends" necklace, a heart-shaped pendant that was broken into two halfs. We'd discovered it in, like, a Precious Moments catalog or something. I knew immediately who I wanted to shell out the 15 bucks for. A girl named Wendy who was pretty much the total package -- blonde, skinny, freckled -- with a killer poncho game.
If Wendy wore the other half of my necklace I'd be set, a made woman.
The necklaces had the added bonus of having a complete sentence on one side, as such the "Be Frie" half was coveted above "st nds." When I got up the nerve to tell Wendy that we should get the necklace and I should wear the "Be Frie" half (the balls on me), she laughed casually, "I mean, you'd be a burnt fry."
Everyone laughed and a cheap shot came to symbolize my entire sixth grade experience. All these years later I can still remember thinking, "Someday none of this will matter," despite going home and crying.
So, yeah, not getting the "Best Friends Necklace" represented a seminal moment in my growing up. I realized then that the girls I wanted to be mine weren't worth the 15 bucks. Eventually I'd be lucky enough to count three women in my brain trust and they've yet to buy me something to commemorate our commitment to not being friends with assholes.
But, guys, that's me. I'm sure some of ya'll have fonder memories of those damned necklaces. Share and I'll pretend like they're mine.