Written by Hazel Davis

Lifestyle

Oi! You with the face! Wanna be buddies?

It’s never too late to make a new BFF. Is it? Hell no, says Hazel Davis, who knows that fortune favours the bold (and slightly stalkerish).

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

“Hey, you live in Huddersfield, don’t you?” she had called, across a crowded festival. We chatted briefly and politely and then left it at that. But I’d felt a connection. I liked the look and sound of her. I liked her smile. When we parted company, I was a bit bereft. How could it be over so soon? I thought about her on and off for the rest of the day. I imagined us having coffee and laughing uproariously at rude jokes. I imagined our kids playing together. I was in friend-love.

I pondered on it for a couple of days and then (obviously) stalked her on Facebook. Looking through her profile (OK, so it DOES sound weird when you read it in that voice), I noticed that she had called her child the name we almost called our oldest child; a name SO niche and odd that I am glad we didn’t because then there would be two children in the area with a bonkers (but lovely) name. There were a few other similarities too. We were clearly a match made in heaven.

The thing is, if this had been a romantic exchange, it wouldn’t seem weird at all. I’d have clocked a guy (in my case) across a festival and thought to myself, “Hubba, hubba. I’d sure like to get my leather stretched by him.” Then it would be perfectly acceptable to saunter over and get his number (well, apart from the fact my other half would be FURIOUS). It’s completely allowed, nay, positively encouraged, to notice a chap in real life and stalk the buggering fuck out of him online before inviting him back for some shimmy shake.

“Of course I sent her a Facebook message saying, ‘Why aren’t we friends? We should be friends. Best friends!’ I instantly regretted it and checked my inbox every three minutes for the next few hours.”

But what do you do if you see someone you’d literally just like to have a cup of tea with? “Er, excuse me, you’ve never met me before, I have no idea where you work or where you live or what your politics are, but your dress and glasses make me think we’d get on like a house on fire. Can we hang?” Sex somehow is the thing that makes the entire thing straightforward. When there’s NO sex involved, it’s a whole bunch of excruciating.

With a platonic hook-up, it feels like you’re somehow supposed to give it time and build up gradually. Well, I’m nearly 40 for Christ’s sake. I don’t have time to let a friendship develop organically. And I work for myself so I can’t casually invite “the whole office” – but really mean the girl at the desk next to me – for lunch.

Of course I sent her a Facebook message saying, “Why aren’t we friends? We should be friends. Best friends!” (OK, I see what you’re saying.) I instantly regretted it and checked my inbox every three minutes for the next few hours.

But, reader, guess what? She replied! She agreed we should be friends! While I was thinking the words, “I like the cut of your jib,” she wrote the words, “I like the cut of your jib.” She agreed! And she told me she had actually nearly called her child the name we had called our child. For the love of Ada (that’s not the name).

So we’re friends. I saw her in town the other day and we hailed each other humorously as good pals. She told me she had the same jumper I was wearing at home. Of course she does; we’re brothers from another mother. We agreed we’d definitely meet up soon but we’re both really busy. She even invited me to her birthday party that I couldn’t go to (though obviously I have looked through all of the pictures on Facebook).

So, er, aside from the fact we haven’t actually met up properly yet and I still know very little about her, my telling a perfect stranger that I wanted to be best friends with her went amazingly well and I intend to do it again the next time the opportunity presents itself.

@hazedavis

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Written by Hazel Davis

Hazel Davis is a freelance writer from West Yorkshire. She has two tiny children but the majority of her hours are taken up with thinking about Alec Baldwin singing sea shanties and the time someone once called her "moreishly interesting".