Survey says, one in four of us is still best friends with someone from elementary school. Okay, a dubious survey.
Says Lucy Cavendish, writing about her three best friends in the Mail,
Although you can make really good friends later in life, it's not quite the same. Your oldest friends won't tolerate pretense or affectation - they have the photographic evidence of your dodgy haircuts and dodgy boyfriends, and remember when you drank Malibu and had a crush on Gary Numan (whereas new friends might think you always had glossy hair and loved opera). Whereas other friends know me now, my true life-long girlfriends know everything about me. In some ways it's scary but in most it's truly wonderful.
When you're a kid, you spend more time with your friends than you will anyone else: usually these friendships are formed before you shack up with boyfriends or have things like classes in different parts of campus; you are literally together much of every day. Of course, these intense friendships can lead to equally intense falling-outs — maybe what the other three out of four people are thinking of. Cavendish jokingly likens her clique to that in the soaper (and miniseries!) Lace, in which three inseparable school-friends make a Secret Pact with Fateful Consequences (and Phoebe Cates.) But it bears remembering that by episode 2, the friendships have broken down, due to Secrets, Lies and Changing Circumstances.
I found the survey interesting because I happened to read it as I was making out my list of bridesmaids: three of the four, I realized, were friends I'd known since elementary school. And it's not just that they knew me when I hadn't discovered anti-frizz shampoo and was the smallest person in our class; rather, they helped form me. And wouldn't judge me if I had a crush on Gary Numan now — less dramatic than "which one of you bitches is my mother?" but arguably more important in a bridesmaid.
Of course, it does bear noting that the survey was of only 1,050 adults — by snack maker Pom-Bear. So if your own childhood friendships don't meet the enduring standards of either the Daily Fail or bear-shaped British snacks, take heart: neither did Lucinda Lace's.
Why Best Friends At School Last A Lifetime [Daily Mail]