Women are interesting creatures living on the planet Earth. They change everyday, sometimes even categorized as “emotional rollercoasters”. But, everyone is different, including Lucy, who changes throughout a course of time, from her childhood to her adulthood. Lucy is emotionally stable for a long period of time, but gradually her concepts and view of life alters when she enters the period in her life of adulthood. Pam Houston describes Lucy in a complex, yet simple fashion if you thoroughly analyze the narrator of The Best Girlfriend You Never Had.
In this short story, it describes the life of Lucy, what she observes, and recapitulates the stories of her lie that happened during the past. Lucy changes from an independent, careless young girl, and blossoms into an observant, friendly woman, that is capable of succeeding in life when surrounded by the people who return her love. Lucy is a very careless girl, but this applies only to the loneliness of her childhood and possibly adding a solemn tone to the emotions of Lucy during her youth.
A young girl with a hard childhood has been impeded by her family members to overcome a lack of confidence and shyness, due to Lucy’s parents’ actions that could have been influenced through the rate of their alcohol usage. Lucy, careless as young human beings are, pulled a seven-hundred-pound cement urn off its pedestal and onto her legs, crushing both oh her femurs, stating that she believed that there were fish inside of the urn and that she wanted to see them. These careless mistakes resulted in an enjoyable “Best time of her childhood” period of time inside of the hospital.
These six weeks were “the best of her childhood” because she gained friends, received presents, and was able to break out of her shell at the hospital without anyone judging her. She was able to be comfortable at this new “home-like” place, and did not feel a hatred from anyone for that allotted period of time. Based on this quote from Lucy that this was the best time of her childhood portrays that Lucy was obviously a lonely young girl surrounded by people who did not show love for her nor receive the love that Lucy showed for them, these people being Lucy’s parents.
The Lucy that we knew as careless and lonely slightly revolutionizes into a girl who is more observant and more acquainted with the life outside of her own. Lucy becomes active and outgoing to try new things once she moves to the state of California and out of Colorado. She begins to be observant of everything around her, becoming more aware of the life outside of her own, through the lens of her camera. “Those first weeks I’d walk the streets for hours, shooting more film in a day that I could afford in a week, all those lives in such dangerous and unnatural proximity, all those stories my camera could tell.
I’d walk even the nastiest part, the blood pumping through my veins as hard as when I first saw the Rocky Mountains so many years ago” (Houston, 772). Exploring the world and examining the life that surrounds you is what Lucy has begun to care about and this has become her passion. Lucy’s nutshell is beginning to crack, as she is on the cusp of her adulthood, waiting to finally break free and enter a new life that will be put upon her. The careless antics that Lucy applied to her as a young girl depleted over the years of her life and changed her for the better when she entered her state of life as a woman.
Lucy does not only just become more aware of her surroundings; she becomes more competitive and obtains a drive to succeed, when friends that she truly cares about accompany her. Near the end of the story, the two best friends, leo and Lucy, spend time with each other on a boat that belongs to Leo’s friend. The two are very relaxed, sailing the ocean blue, when competition arises with a much larger and more expensive boat. A race is implied between the boats and the two are off. “You scared him, Leo says. He’s coming about.
The big boat turns away from us, back toward the harbor, just as the giant shadow of the bridge crosses our bow. Leo jumps up and gives me an America’s Cup hug. Above us the great orange span of the thing is trembling, just slightly, in the wind” (787, Houston). Through the motivation of Leo’s words, Lucy is able to focus on what is important and to excel to her fullest potential. Lucy has never sailed before, but concentrates on what is in front of her at the time, and achieves greatness through her determination and courage of participating in this race.
Lucy, the independent daughter of an unruly family changed throughout her life due to the different environments that she has undergone and lived in. She gains the support that is a necessity to succeed in life through the support of her friends that she loves, and those that return that love. She finally breaks the isolation that imprisoned her within her own bounds, and just by living her life and creating friends in the world outside of her own is she able to produce hope for herself and is able to flourish and thrive for the rest of her adulthood.