Remember camp friends? We snuck off during rest hour together, slept on each other’s beds, and held late-night DMCs during which, drunk on lack of sleep, we revealed all sorts of personal details. Remember high school friends? We slept over for Shabbos, passed notes in class, and planned each other’s futures together. Remember seminary friends? We have embarrassing pictures of each other and reams of things we’re not allowed to tell each other’s parents and husbands.
When I had to stock the references section of my shidduch profile, those were the people I went to. They know all about me – the good and the bad. But five years later, most of them are long married, living in different cities and countries, not returning emails or difficult to get on the phone, impossible to meet up with, and otherwise out of my life. They can still talk glibly about the Bad4 they knew in summer camp, high school, and seminary, but that’s not the person who’s currently dating under my name and face. The current Bad4 is a net improved edition, but they don’t have a list of spec updates.
It would make sense to swap some of them out and replace them with people who do know the up-to-date me.
There’s only one problem.
With whom do I replace them?
It’s not like I don’t have a social life. There are people I hang with in school, at home, on weekends, via email, IM, and occasionally visit. But usually that’s about the only way they know me. In college, my relationship with the other frum students doesn’t extend much beyond commiserating over the pathetic food situation, comparing professors, passing on textbooks, and exchanging the latest anecdotes about our non-Jewish colleague’s wit and wisdom vis a vis Judaism. IM conversations during work rarely get beyond the headlines of news, weather, and life-events. On the few weekends I get to visit old buddies we alternate between catching up on 4-6 months of life and being silly, or cooing at the baby if there is one. If there are any late-night DMCs, it’s between the pal and her BFF. Besides, let’s face it – there’s more to talk about in her life than mine, seeing as she’s the one buying a couch, throwing dinner parties, and darning socks. (Or whatever that particular MF obsesses about.)
I guess I’m short on best friends at the moment. There just doesn’t seem to be anyone who shares a significant portion of my life anymore. Is this why people move to singles communities and crowd into teeny apartments? For the hanging out, the late-night uninhibited conversations, the shared activities… and having someone who actually knows you to field shidduch-related questions?