Author Raven West

BFF should be BFFN

According to Wikipedia, the term “Best Friends Forever (BFF) originated “In a 1997 episode of Friends (S3 E25) by the character Phoebe used the term BFF and had to explain to the rest of the gang that it means “best friends forever”.

(Understand that there was NO real Phoebe and that the term was, in fact, created by the writer Adam Chase who NEVER received any credit for the term, until this column!)

Since that showed aired, the letters BFF have been widely used to sell various jewelry items, cards, stickers, etc., usually by teenage girls. You may have used this method at some point, and at some other point years later, changed your mind.

Television, movies and other fiction outlets LOVE to promote the idea of a group of BFFs. Most famously Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte of “Sex in the City fame. We all loved watching these four fake best friends even though, in reality, they were far from friendly.

In reality, people change. Relationships formed in elementary school rarely last through middle school. The same can be said through high school and college. As much as we’d like to believe in the fantasy of a BFF, I much prefer the more realistic acronym BFFN… BEST FRIENDS FOR NOW.  Adding that one letter, takes a great deal of stress off trying to maintain a friendship. BFFN also relieves the obligatory invitation to parties you no longer wish to invite, or be invited to, phone calls you have nothing to say and don’t really care to share, as well as all the rest of the ANTI-social media sites.

BBFN gives you the freedom to DELETE when the relationship ends. This was a ritual I recently had the pleasure to perform.

One very good friend of more than 40 years “found Jesus” and every conversation we had since was uncomfortable for me, being Jewish. DELETE. Another one, over 50 years went way too political – told me I wasted my vote because I’m a Libertarian. DELETE. When I called another friend I’ve known since high school, all she did was complain about how terrible her life was. DELTETE!

People change. Life takes us in different directions and FOREVER isn’t as long, or as difficult to maintain if we all just added an “N”.

The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Writer

In the spirit of the 2022 Winter Olympic games this month, here is an article I wrote during the Summer games in 2004. Different sports, but the analogy remains the same. Enjoy!

Watching the Olympics this past September and seeing the profiles of all the athletes who were competing, made me realize how very much alone we, as writers are in own field of dreams. Each athlete had personal stories to tell about coaches, teammates, family, friends and sometimes entire towns cheering them on. When they had doubts, when they fell, numerous supporters were ready at a moments notice to help them back on their feet. And when they were finally in the arena, thousands of spectators watched, cheered and applauded their every achievement as well as felt their anguish when they didn’t quite make it to the finish line.

Yet, in our own “Wide Wide World of Writing”, the only “applause” we hear is from our fingers hitting the keyboard. Our biggest motivator is the blinking cursor on a blank screen “screaming” at us to KEEP GOING. Writing is a passion unlike any other. It comes from deep within, and has few rewards on the other side. The road is laden with obstacles, and laden with the hazzards of rejection. Most of our friends and family members can’t possibly understand that our burning desire to create the “perfect” sentence is just as strong as any gymnast’s quest to nail the “perfect” vault. Yet, we press on. Alone.

We watch an athlete practice for the great event and can feel their struggle. We see the “thrill of victory” and “the agony of defeat” as the camera zooms in on their faces at the end of a competition. The “team” hugs each other in triumph, or consoles each other through tragedy. It is a magnificent show of physical ability, strength and endurance, as they go for the gold, the trophy, the championship ring.

No one can “feel” the enormous weight of a writer’s block, or the pressure of a looming deadline. And no one but a writer knows the absolute, total thrill when, after hours of mental aguish, we find the one word that makes us literally jump up from our chair and yell “YES!” Usually, to an empty room.

The world revolves around athletes. From the youngest to the professional, families work their schedules around practices and games. Laundry, dishes and other household chores are for the “less talented” members of the family. If one of them happens to be a writer, it’s their world that constantly gets interrupted. (Pause here while I take the laundry out of the dryer).

Team pictures line the walls in an athlete’s home along with trophies, medals and other awards of achievement. And while it is true that the writing profession does have its own established awards, you won’t find many trophies for writers displayed inside glass cases in local high schools or colleges.

Writing is not a competitive sport, (although I know some writers who would disagree, unfortunately). For most of us who started down this road, either by choice or by chance, we chose to walk it, initially, alone. But on the way, something miraculous occurred. We met other writers who wore similar scars of repeated rejections, and bruises from scathing reviews, and yet somehow found the strength to continue the journey. We stop to chat, usually on-line, and offer support and encouragement before continuing on our way. And with each new writer we meet, we begin to feel not quite so alone as we did when we started.

Not everyone can be an Olympic Athlete, and not everyone can be a writer. We may never be on the pitcher’s mound in Yankee Stadium, but we can write a great story about an athlete who is. We may never sign a multi-million dollar product endorsement contract, but we can create a dynamite thirty second commercial spot. We may never stand on a podium and receive a gold medal, but we will always be there writing the script for the announcer who tells the world of their achievement.

Even if we don’t perform for thousands of cheering fans, we will always have this one fact to keep us going: Civilization will still exist without the Olympics, the Super Bowl and yes, even the World Series. The world will continue to evolve without theater, television, movies, radio and yes, even athletes. But without writers…

It’s Time for a LES MIZ Revolution!

IF I could only SING, I’d form a PROTEST flash mob and change a few words of the great Les Miserable song: “Do you Hear the people sing, singing the song of ANGRY men (and women) It’s the music of a people who WILL NOT WEAR MASKS AGAIN!”

WTF? We were PROMISED if we got the vaccine, we could THROW AWAY these ineffective, anti-social, suffocating POS, but because of a few A-HOLES who won’t, WE ALL HAVE TO SUFFER!

They say “don’t you want to protect other people?” HELL NO – it’s their choice not get the vaccine and possibly DIE. It’s NOT my responsibility to be forced to put a piece of cloth (made in CHINA BTW) over my mouth and nose just so THEY don’t get sick! It’s called thinning the herd.

We, as FREEDOM loving AMERICANS should exercise our RIGHTS to make our OWN choices – NOT be mandated by a few power hungry, control freaks who demand unquestionable submission!

With NO END in sight at this rate we’ll be covering our faces from the time we emerge from the womb – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY FACE and give us back our SMILES!

ONE DAY MORE????!!!!

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