It should go without saying that at some point in our lives, our mates or partners are always our “best friend.”

So then is she, who has always supported me emotionally and financially throughout my career. But of course, outside that sphere of bliss and contentment, a guy needs a guy to talk to about guy stuff. That is the way of things.

I’ve not had good luck with “besties.” Most, since my first, Alan next door, have died, vanished or gone to prison. Well, I added that last one for flavor.

I had no best friend in Hollywood, because no one in Hollywood keeps a best friend for long, especially if they do the same thing you do. There is an axiom in Hollywood: “It’s not enough to succeed. Your best friend must fail.” Cold, yes; true, yes.

Coming to Maine, I thought I would do without a best friend. After all, I had she, who does friend better than most, holds my head when I vomit, loans me money, tells me I look fifty. But a boy needs three things in this world: a dog, a hobby, and an “outside” best friend.

Arriving in Maine, I found one who worked out fine. He is a liberal Democrat, a simple country lawyer when we first met. He traveled abroad, acquired a patina of sophistication, and became a community legend. The only draw back is his sports passion. I choose to avoid talking about it.

We’ve been best friends now for 29 years. However, our time spent together has diminished. Community legends have busy schedules. Soon his family began to grow, producing countless grandchildren, like the Kennedy family on steroids. The good news is that such a thing requires constant attention. The bad news is that I require constant attention.

So I’m out looking for a new best friend, and it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. You can’t just run around the street grabbing people by the lapels and asking them, “You wanna be my bestie?” 

The process is rather like dating. So a woman friend of mine suggested that I go online to one of the dating services. She met her husband that way. They’re divorced now, but she swears it was she not he. She just wasn’t into him. She said if I don’t demand too much, it’s possible I’ll find a suitable bestie.

I checked out the top five and some others. There is one called match.com, the fastest growing dating site in the world. There’s another, OurTime. It’s for folks over 50. I should probably use that as I don’t want any teenagers for best friend, but on the other hand, how much over 50 is a concern. I don’t like really, really old people. They do offer dating advice from “genuine dating experts.” That offers an interesting job idea. I should probably see if they have any openings in their dating expert office. If there is one thing I’ve done more than anything in life, that is dating. OMG. I could write a book on dating advice.

There are several dating services for religious people. There is one called Christian Mingle. I’m not a Christian, and whereas I have no problem with Christians, I am married to a Catholic, I don’t like the term “mingle.” It sounds like one of those “get togethers,” where people drink warm punch, and there are plates of bad cheese with toothpicks in them. I decidedly do not want to “mingle.” I just want a best friend to have coffee with.

 “Jewish Friend Finder.com.” is listed. I already have Jewish friends, but they’re all in Los Angeles or New York. Too far for coffee. There is “Catholic Mingle.” There’s that word again. Forget it. I’ve been “mingling “ with a Catholic now for 53 years. OMG. Here’s one called “Christian Fling.” Does that mean you can have a fling and get absolved for it at the same time? Not going to touch that.

I think I will just give my original bestie another call. How busy can a community legend be? It’s still busy. Should I leave a message do you think, or give that Christian Fling a try?

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.