I can’t remember the last time I called someone my “best” friend. Middle school maybe?
Okay, I’ve probably referred to J as my best friend at some point; but there really isn’t a human I’m closer to. But I digress.
Yesterday Miss H and I were chatting and she said something about writing a post card to her “best” friend X and it made me pause.
“You really like X more than any of your other friends?” I asked slowly.
“No, I just like her a whole lot. She’s a really good friend,” H said without skipping a beat.
I wasn’t sure if she’d get my point if I continued, or if maybe I was just being terribly nit-picky, but I knew that hearing people throw around the term “best” friend without a second thought never sat right with me, so I had to sallyforth with the conversation.
“You know when you use the word ‘best’ you’re implying that there is no friend that is even of equal value to you because that one person is your very best friend. Friendships ebb and flow. Maybe you do have a best friend. It’s very possible. But be careful throwing that term around because it can be hurtful to someone else. If say, Y heard you call X your best friend, she’d believe she wasn’t as loved or cherished by you as X is. And that’s probably not true.”
H pursed her lips together. Then she nodded slowly. “Hmm,” she pondered. “You’re right. Could I say good friend or dear friend? Or would that be like saying best friend?”
“Good friend and dear friend are great ways to explain someone. And even just plain ol’ friend. Because the word ‘friend’ all ready implies it is someone special to you.”
Miss H nodded. “That makes sense! Well, I need to make a postcard for my friend X,” she continued.
I don’t know if it will truly sink in. Maybe it doesn’t even really matter at all. But hopefully she will grow up realizing “best” implies only one and above all else, and will think very carefully before declaring that someone is her best friend.
At least for the sake of her Momma’s great pet peeve.