Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Friends Like This

Making friends is so easy when you're a little kid. Pretty much all you have to do is live near someone your age and boom - companionship. It's like, hey nice bike, let's play fort. Easy.

As a grown up proximity alone does not a friendship make. I mean, I'm friendly with most of our neighbors, but I certainly don't want to invite them over to play fort, let alone talk to them for more than 5 minutes. I'm fond of the neighborly smile and wave from afar.

Even when I am able to determine that I have a few things in common with someone, I have to build up to committing to hang out, meet for dinner or drinks or what have you, and even then it's sketchy.

Making friends as an adult is a crap shoot. Start to make friends with a new person and even when things seem to be going great and you're getting along the next thing you know they try to recruit you to sell Amway for them, invite you to their next Klan meeting or try to get you baptized.

It can be terrifying because not only does this loony have your number, now they think that you are friends. Then I have to be the dick in the situation and be all like "I'm sorry I can't come to the quilting bee/cockfight/candle party, but I'm just crazy busy for the rest of my life."

The scariest thing anyone ever said to me in an overly eager tone was "we should be friends!"

Back off freak. It doesn't work that way, and besides you don't just blurt out a sentence like that. Weirdo.

I realize that I am dazzling to look at and have been entertaining you with my captivating, dry wit at this cocktail party non-stop. Don't get me wrong you've been a lovely audience, but I cannot make a commitment to a friendship based upon this encounter. I need facts. I need a list of hobbies and interests. I need to know that you are not going to go home from this party and dress your pet ferret up like Snow White and then leaf through your collection of clown porn.

Not to say that I'm not weird or that my friends aren't all freaks. I am weird and my friends are all weird, but we're all the same kind of weird, just in different ways. A certain je ne sais quoi of weird. Whatever it is - it works.

Anyhoo.. at this point I feel I'm rambling on a bit so I'm going to wrap it up. I'm sure you have deduced from reading this blog I don't have many close friends. The few that I do have live far away. I was missing them all very much this long Labor Day weekend and was thinking about how hard it is to make friends when you're an old weirdo and how lucky I am to have such great old weirdo friends.


i am playing outside said...

i've got no friends either. lately, i've been auditioning for some of the many openings, but only one or two have stuck, and they're in the casual friend category. thank god i can see boredmando's building from mine, so i've still got that friendship going. cuz that one's for life!

Anonymous said...

When I moved to a new city after college, I made friends at the laundromat with a girl about my age who seemed really nice and friendly and just right. You know, not too perky and over the top, quite laid back, decent job, quite normal? So we hung out a few times casually and one night ended up at a venue where a local band was playing. Out of nowhere she tells me that she finds the singer super hot and asks me which band member I liked best, closing the sentence with the words, "And I hope it's not the black guy!"

I thought, was that a joke or something? I couldn't decide. Later that night she made two further comments along those lines (I believe one was something like "I've never been to the south, there are too many blacks" and I realized, horrified that she was a friend of the KKK. It was just puzzling. Here's this seemingly great girl and she has this irrational bigotry and hatred going on.

I phased her out after that till she stopped calling. It was weird. This is why making friends as an adult is such a crapshoot.

WendyB said...

I've been pretty lucky in my friendships. With one big exception. Hey, exception, should you happen to be reading this and wondering "Is that me?" ... YES, IT IS YOU!

Phew, glad I got that out of my system.

Gwen said...

Hahaha! I have a lot of close and amazing friends from different places and times in my life but as I age I find myself gradually pulling away from them because I simply don't have the time or the inclination to keep up anymore. I'm sure I am earning a reputation as a cold bitch as I go but I simply don't care. If I was that important to them, they'd show up at my house with an offer I couldn't refuse, like a blanket fort and ice cream.

That isn't to say, Dear Lady, that I am not inclined to meet you in Chicago some weekend. You, my friend, are still A-list and worth the effort. :)

Linka72 said...

I was always the "new girl" growing up so I usually just made friends with whoever was standing there..and it was always the meanest person in school..still happens in adulthood - I'm always the "Fucking Bitch"'s friend..anyway, since I've gotten older, people irk me more and more so I like my internet chat (IMVU) friends..they are less maintenance 'cuz I can always remove them from my buddy list if they become assholes..ok, I'm a cybernerd..*walking away embarassed*

Anonymous said...

Amen sister. I'm a fan of the wave and smile from far-away also. The one new neighbor didn't get the message and actually knocked on my door before I left for work to see if I wanted to drink coffee with her before I left. WHAT? She got the message and now just glares at me. Oh well.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Player - thank goodness for her then, eh? But remember too, you are pretty young - I didn't meet my best friend Amy until we were 25 and I met my friend Steph when we were well into our 30's.

Veg - that is terrible! But sadly, not unusual. Why do some people assume that because I'm white that I want to belong to their hateful honkey club. I dated a man once for about 4 months before I found out he not only was a racist, but homophobic to boot. I was sick about it. And people like that tend to act like you're the freaky one.

WendyB - I consider myself lucky as well. Cautious, but very lucky.

Gwennie - I have a feeling we are very much the same kind of weird. Drinks in Chicago anytime my friend.

Linka - you are so funny you nerdy thing - making friends is harder when we get older because we are (hopefully) smarter and more discerning. It's probably a good thing, but sometimes it can make one a bit lonesome.

Suze - OMG - the day we moved into our house the neighbor lady from down the street came to introduce herself by knocking on our screen door ONCE and then not waiting for us to answer before she just waltzed right into our living room. I was floored. (God how I wish we had been naked!) MDH told her never to do that again in a very stern tone and we have never seen her again. That was over 5 years ago.

CDP said...

Great post, and great topic, too. I watch how easily my kids make friends and I remember how that worked, but I'm quite cautious now. We live in a friendly neighborhood, and I'm now quite good friends with someone who knocked on my door with cookies, but if she'd knocked on the door first thing in the morning wanting me to have coffee with her, we wouldn't be friends now. I don't want to see anyone before I have had my coffee unless I'm married to them or have given birth to them.

SkylersDad said...

Have you ever had that person that opens up WAY TOO MUCH with you at a party in the hopes of becoming a friend? I seem to attract these crack-heads, they approach and say I am so and so, I live in this neighborhood, and oh yeah - I buried my mom under the front porch!

dmarks said...

CDP said: "I don't want to see anyone before I have had my coffee unless I'm married to them or have given birth to them."

Or both in the same person, if you are from Alabama.

steffi said...

Miss you, too. Loads.

Rachel said...

Not all of your friends are terribly far away Mrs. Lady.

I miss you and we need to get together more often.

Renaissance Woman said...

Friendships are hard to come by and even harder to keep. But when they are working...the best thing in the world. But no doubt that they require work on both sides and sometimes its hard to find people willing to do the work.