Today's guest: Rachel Bertsche Why we love her: She's hilarious!
Her memoir: MWF Seeking BFF
The scoop on it: When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code, let alone an apartment, with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, Bertsche realizes that her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington, D.C. Still, in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl talk over brunch or a reality-TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: She’ll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever.
In her thought-provoking, uproarious memoir, Bertsche blends the story of her girl-dates (whom she meets everywhere from improv class to friend rental websites) with the latest social research to examine how difficult—and hilariously awkward—it is to make new friends as an adult. In a time when women will happily announce they need a man but are embarrassed to admit they need a BFF, Bertsche uncovers the reality that no matter how great your love life is, you’ve gotta have friends.
Our thoughts: Lisa went through the same thing when she moved to Chicago to be with her boyfriend (now husband). And Lisa also went on a lot of "woman dates" in search of a new "local" BFF. You will love this book about trying to make friends later in life. It's not easy!
Giveaway: FIVE COPIES! Just leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll pick the winners after 3pm PST on Sunday, November 18th.
Fun fact: She's worked for O, The Oprah Magazine and has written for tons of publications including Marie Claire. Oh and there's also the bit about her piece on vibrators that made it onto Howard Stern. But you'll have to ask her about that!
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...RACHEL BERTSCHE'S 5 BEST EVERS
1. BEST BOOK: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. I read it in a high school English class and was so struck by it that it became my go-to answer to this question. I recently re-read it to be sure it still deserves the title of Favorite Book Ever, and it does. I’m not someone who usually loves war stories, but The Things They Carried is ultimately about story-telling in general, and it’s so beautiful. (Need to mention my other, second place, favorite books ever: Little Women, Harry Potter—the whole series—Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, A Prayer for Owen Meany and Zeitoun.)
2. BEST SONG: My husband and I were recently in a cab and the radio was playing and every other song that came on I said, “This is my favorite song!” I said it often enough that I actually heard the cab driver laugh at me. My iTunes is a mixture of pop music, Broadway showtunes, country and Glee covers. I know, it’s kind of embarrassing. There are some old classics in there too, but I’m the one who is too shy to use her ipod as the playlist when there is a party because I have no cool indie tastes. I’ve usually not even heard of anyone labeled “cool” or “indie.” I can say that my favorite album of all time is Paul Simon’s Graceland. (Counting Crow’s August and Everything After and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill get honorable mentions). And my favorite radio station is Sirius radio’s “90s on 9.” Duh.
3. BEST MOVIE: Oh gosh. So many, again. For a long time my answer was My Cousin Vinny. I can quote pretty much the whole thing (“No! The defense is wrong!” I love Maria Tomei.) Lately every time Knocked Up is on TV (a lot) I can’t turn it off. Or School of Rock. But I think today, overall, my favorite movie is Spellbound, a brilliant and hilarious and touching documentary about kids in the national spelling bee.
4. BEST LIFE MOMENT: This is such a cliché answer, but it’s true: My wedding. My husband and I met in college and the combination of getting to marry him after being together for eight years and having almost all the people I love most in the world in one room…that’s kind of the best ever.
5. BEST PIECE OF ADVICE: Don’t wish your life away. My grandfather used to say it to my mom, my mom told me, and I recently passed it on to my Little Brother (not biological, but through Big Brothers Big Sisters, an amazing mentoring program). I heard my Little Bro say it recently—I think he forgot I was the one who mentioned that advice in the first place—and I realized what an important and sticky lesson it is. I’m always waiting for the next thing, getting frustrated that time won’t pass faster so I can get to another milestone. That’s no way to live. My Little Brother, who is 11, is always saying “I wish I was 16 so I could drive” or “I wish I was 18 so I could vote” and all I can think is how great it would be to be 11 again! So, yeah. Don’t wish your life away.
Thanks, Rachel! xoxo, Liz & Lisa