Guest Post: Making friends and going places

26 Oct

Our post today comes from my Lady Crush, Girlasaurus Rex. I met her a year or so ago and fell in love right away. She’s funny, smart and foul. All of my favorite qualities. Plus. she has a heart of gold. Did I mention that I really admire the way she makes shit happen for herself. Yeah, she’s pretty much a rock star. Enjoy…

When I was five, the second worst punishment you could leverage on the playground was, “oh yeah? Well you’re not invited to my birthday party anymore!” No matter how far away your actual birthday was. I believe kids innately understand the importance of social networking. The worst punishment? “You’re not my best friend anymore.” Ahh yes, even as a child I was a prolific emotional terrorist.

Awwww BFFs today. Years later the one on the left bangs the other kid's wife. Image courtesy of timeinc.net

But it was so easy to remedy those tragedies. You’d either make a new best friend before lunch or forget about the whole thing altogether by the time you got on the school bus that afternoon. As long as you weren’t the smelly kid (you know there was always one in every class), it was pretty easy to make friends from preschool through approximately 8th grade. I won’t touch high school in this post. No way.

A couple or three decades later, the protocol is worlds different. Friendship becomes something you earn based on a very ethereal recipe of mores. Sometimes friends are friends because they’ve known each other for years. They’ve been with each other through the worst and best parts of their lives and come out the other side together, often with some kind of freaky Vulcan mind-meld powers to show for it.

Some friends have what I like to call a “flash friendship” which is maybe not quite as sturdy a foundation as the previous, but is still loads of fun and enrichment. Flash friends meet in a whirlwind. Maybe they bond as coworkers. Maybe they meet as acquaintances of acquaintances and some common spark between them explodes into a feeling like they were Siamese twins in a former life. I have introduced so many flash friends over the years I’ve lost count, but I rarely make them myself. Always a bridesmaid, right? Sometimes these friendships endure the ages; sometimes they burn out in a dramatic cataclysm of horrific proportions. Real bad to deal with, real fun to watch.

Some friends used to be more than friends. Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean. Those friends are solid. It would be a mistake to discount that kind of friendship just because she got what you need, but she say he just a friend.  To have loved (or lusted) a person, hit hard times and split up, gone through any number of emotional and psychological hells to come to terms with the split and then decide the person is still so valuable to you that platonic love is an option? That’s gold.

And what else? How does one make friends in the absence of all the above situations? I find myself at a loss. The older I get the more difficult I find it is to actually make new friends. I can make the shit out of an acquaintance, but as I creep out of my youth, the number of people I feel comfortable calling up “just to talk” shrinks along with many other things in my rear view.

Damn that was some melodramatic bullshit. Let’s get own to brass tacks: I lived in the same place (give or take a hundred miles) from birth through the twilight of my twenties. I made a lot of friends. I grew out of a lot of friends. I filled every pocket of the above friendship categories and invented a few more, to boot. I’ve received so many suggestions on how to meet people, how to get myself out of solitude and into new social circles, but none so far as to how to take the acquaintance beyond coffee and chit chat without being creepy. I don’t know, is it creepy or too forward to tell a person flat out, “I like you and I think we should spend more time together. Let’s ditch this coffee house, pick up some beer and head back to my place for the greatest Wii bowling tourney you’ll ever lose.”  Because that’s really all I’m looking for: a new ass to kick at Wii.

So what happened, Scoundrels? Tell me how you all ended up BFFs with folks you didn’t meet on a school bus.

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4 Responses to “Guest Post: Making friends and going places”

  1. enyabiznass October 26, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Well, my dear… I’m going to take credit for forcing you and Sport to be friends. You’re welcome.

    I’d say that you have done a damn fine job of making friends since you left that 100-mile radius. And even if this was on the school bus (or the derby rink), you’ve still done it. And done it well!

    I think it’s always okay to let someone know that they kick ass and that you would like to kick his or her ass at wii. Or invite said person to happy hour. Or to play in the sandbox. Or something like that. Can’t let the good folks disappear. :)

  2. Psykome October 26, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    At times, I think FB and the other social networking sites need to change the “Friends list” title to acquaintances. Sure, I have a hair over 1 hundred but how many of them if we were to run into each other on the street would actually recognize each other. Very few. Most of them are people I have (barely) met in the past 4 years (derby peeps). A handful I have worked with (for the last 10-12 years), and the other handful are friends from other means. The rest are high school friends that we used to hang out but have not seen them in forever or at the class reunion that was this year. After looking at the list, I rarely actually talk to any of the people on my list. My best friends D (girl)&D (boy) totally do not get along when in the same room. However, as a pair me & 1of em… two peas in a twisted pod.
    It was not ever easy to make friends growing up being that I was really shy. Teen and early 20’s were the most “friendly” times for me (maybe because I was drunk for most of my 20’s so I did not care). Remembering back I still did not feel I had “FRIENDS” just people that included me. I agree, as I’m getting older it is much harder to make friends. Part because I tolerate less and am much more picky in who I want to hang out with. I understand part of that is because of me and my attitude, I tend to present to the world, but I do try putting the effort out. That’s all any of us can do, just try.

  3. Lady Crush October 26, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    I have to admit, things are noticeably on the upswing lately, but these feelings plagued me daily for two years upon moving to Colorado. I know part of the answer is time. I know it’s a two-way street– that no one is keeping their friendship from me because I haven’t yet asked for it properly. It’s just such an unfamiliar situation.

    Sport and crew have been ah-la-la-ah-mazing to me ever since we were introduced by the inimitable Enya Biznass. I really like you guys. Ok, love. It’s love. Hot damn, I’m lucky!

    AND AND AND! Congratulations on the century mark, TTTM! You’re the tits!

  4. TheBoo October 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    The truth? There is no easy way. I lived in the big D for 3 years without making any friends outside of work – and we all know “work friends” are rarely really friends. It wasn’t until I found something I could do practically every night of the week that I started consistently running into the same people, and even then *I* had to go talk to *them*. You don’t know how many really hot guys I met just because I was the girl that would walk up and talk to them when no other girls would.

    How many people did I meet that turned into bosom buddies? One. Count ’em. Just one. But through that person I have met about a dozen more “friends” who, though they may not be kindred spirits, are good for hanging out once every couple of weeks or so, and actually invite me to social functions on occasion.

    You’re right, best friends are few and far between. But I’m of the opinion that most friends are transient, and you just enjoy them while they’re there and be glad when you do find the one-in-a-million that sticks with you through thick and thin.

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