In Karrie Gavin’s laugh-out-loud “My Year as Your BFF,” she illustrates the 80s era perfectly–green-and-blue plaid Tretorns, Benetton, Sun-In, and sad, crooning songs when you’re nursing a break-up with an 8th grader you have nothing to say to but are convinced you’re going to marry anyway…
“I loved having a boyfriend, even if we had nothing to talk about when we called each other on the phone. I dreaded calling him, but I did it so I’d have something to talk about to you the next day (“We talked for a whole hour…My parents were going to kill me!”) But the best times I had weren’t with Randy–they were with you. Remember when we decided we needed to have “our songs” with our boyfriends? We chose them with no input at all from the boys. Mine with Randy was “I Think We’re Alone Now,” by Tiffany, and yours with Greg was “Faith” by George Michael. When you showed up at my bedroom door red-eyed and teary, I knew it was over–not only for you and Greg, but also for me and Randy. We listened to George Michael again and again, and you officially changed “your song” to “One More Try,” the sad last track where George begs for another chance with his true love. Conveniently, Tiffany also had a sad, longing last track on her album: “Could’ve Been,” about mourning the end of a relationship. You told me during recess the following day that you heard Randy was going to break up with me. It was inevitable. After all, you’d orchestrated my relationship with Randy, so it made perfect sense that you would orchestrate our breakup. I called Randy after school that day. “This isn’t working out. Our relationship has run its course,” I said maturely, as per your instructions, to the boy I still believed I would marry…”
KARRIE GAVIN is a freelance writer who lives with her husband, Damian, and their dog, Dottie, in Philadelphia. She is the author of Moon Philadelphia, part of the esteemed Moon Handbooks guidebook series from Avalon Travel Publishing. Karrie has written for USAirways magazine, AAA World, Philadelphia magazine, Pennsylvania Wine & Spirits, and numerous wedding and shelter publications. She covers a wide variety of topics, but Philadelphia, travel, and relationships are her specialties. Karrie has a master’s in journalism from Temple University, where she also taught public speaking. She is currently working on a memoir.
Read the rest of Karrie’s letter, and 35 others, in P.S. What I Didn’t Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends, now available in bookstores!