Meeting A Best Friend For the First Time

This weekend I met six besties, BFFs, biffs and believe me, it was a BFD. I’ve blogged about these ladies before but we met on the parenting website BabyCenter in 2007 and formed a group focused on fitness. Six of our 10-member clique met in person for the first time Friday and spent the entire weekend together in a condo in downtown Chicago. Almost sounds like a reality TV show, eh?

We’ve been looking forward to meeting in person since those bonds were forged over swollen bellies. I’ve met a few of them as they’ve looped through Chicago or when I’ve winged through New York. But all of us under the same roof? Eeks! What if you don’t get along? My husband asked. What if you guys get in a fight and it forever changes the group? A friend questioned. What if they’re not as cool as you think?

I blew off their questions. We’ll be fine, we’ve know each other so long and have shared our lives’ most intimate details. Everything will be fine. Inside, though, I was nervous. We run the spectrum on racial backgrounds, tax brackets, religious beliefs, and political persuasions. Will we get along?

First of all Chicago’s air traffic didn’t disappoint. The girls came in from Minnesota, Texas, New Jersey and Florida. Practically everyone’s flight was late and the city was properly clogged with Blackhawks celebrations, so we got off to a later-than-normal start. We picked our rooms in Real World type fashion: First come first serve. All the rooms had spectacular views from the 38th floor across the street from Millennium Park and near the lake front.

At first it was me and Jess unpacking groceries and prepping snacks. Then came Sarah and Brady and there was never that awkward first-date feel. We all fell in lock-step, not like friends, but more like family. We traipsed up and down Michigan Avenue, I bought too much but what else is new. We chatted and shopped and laughed and talked and giggled and gabbed.

We noshed on Chicago’s famous pizza back at the condo while Linds arrived and then we waited for Lynn. She was set to get in after 11 p.m., and a welcoming committee of three met her at the L stop. It was a relief to have the last piece of the puzzle in place, we were all here. Our Hawt Mamas group.

The next day there was the Field Museum, Blues Fest, World Cup soccer watching on the Magnificent Mile, tapas at Cafe Iberico, followed by Navy Pier at night. We did a lot, but the best part was just lounging around the condo talking about everything and nothing. It was freeing to talk face-to-face with the girls instead of pecking out feelings on the keyboard.

The more I thought about that feeling of comfortability, the more I realized I truly love these women and they love me back. Unconditionally. And that was probably the most surprising thing about the weekend _ how unnaturally natural it was to meet a best friend for the first time.

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