Context: I’m 27, soon to be 28, years young. I’m an introvert (INFJ, thank you very much). I’m a Scorpio. I’m a feminist woman with an open mind and strong convictions. I’m basically a mess. But I know this. I’m cool with it.
Question: How the hell do grown-ups make friends? No, really. I don’t go out to bars or clubs, I married too young to have bothered with Tinder or developing my online circuit or however that works. I’m hopeless in art class, I’ve never seen the movie “Ghost”, I’m not disciplined enough to pull my weight in some sort of musical entourage, and while I may be cynical, I get really fired up when all people want to do is sit around and talk about other people. Not my scene.
On a good day I can carry on a two minute long conversation with someone in a line somewhere like the grocery store or my local Homegoods. I’ve tried the coworker friendship scene and it’s really hit or miss and the proximity makes the misses more awkward than the transaction is worth (ohmylanta, SO awkward). So. What else is there, legimitately?
How creepy weird would it be to come up with business cards with blurbs about yourself and hand them out to the humans you like? Can we make this a thing? Mine would read:
“Hi there. Yes, this is happening. We should be friends and here’s why:
- Chris Miles, 27yof
- Introvert, Scorpio, bad-ass feminist
- Enjoys random adventures with trustworthy people and their well-mannered dogs
- Likes: cold weather, animals, quiet time, real conversation, live music, lemon bars, all things Gilmore, kind-hearted and open-minded people
- Dislikes: hot weather, people who talk too much about nothing at all, loud places/people/things, coconut, chalk and/or chalkboards, inauthenticity
- Pros of being friends with me: I have great taste in music, books, and all around style. I’m pretty great with birthdays. I bake and I’m part of a matching set; a two-for-one package deal, if you will (husband friend included). He’s pretty cool.
- Cons of being friends with me: I read into things because I firmly believe people say more than they care to admit and they lie more than they think they do. I invest heavily in my friendships. Because of this, if I feel my investment isn’t returned, I have a tendency to cut ties.
- If interested in being awesome friends, send reply via hilarious meme and/or gif and/or song to: blah blah blah”
So where is all of this coming from, huh? Don’t get me wrong. I have some amazing friends I can really count on. The type of friends who have been to hell and back with me. The kind I can call in the middle of the night or who call me in the middle of a crisis. I know because I have, we have. Just like I know even though I’m not incredibly close with all of these people anymore, if any of us needed the other we would be there, no questions asked. I’m lucky to have known not just one person, but several like this.
Luckier still, I married one of them. My husband was my best friend for years before we were ever anything more and we were there for each other through some incredibly trying times. In high school I sat down next to my best friend during orientation. We were instant. Several of my other best friends I met through this friendship and I gained a sister because of my proximity to this initial person. In college I was lucky enough to be partnered as roommates with my best friend. We did everything together. As an adult, with many years and miles between who I am now and who I was then, I have a different perspective and I understand even then things weren’t as perfect as I wanted them to be. But it’s fun to look back through my naïveté at the two amazing girls we were.
I’ve tried to write this particular friend into words many times over the years but nothing ever quite measures up. And there is still so much I don’t understand about who we were back then and the circumstances of our friendship. We told each other so much but it was the not being pressed about what we held back that gave us a level of comfort unfounded in other relationships I’ve had. Comfortable silence inevitably turned sour and our easy air grew heavy and stale until we couldn’t breathe around each other anymore. I was heartbroken for years.
I still haven’t found a friendship quite like the one I had in college or the one I first had in high school. But I’ve deepened and broadened others quite remarkably. I’ve discovered new, fleeting ones that were relevant at the time; they ran their courses and fizzled out. And I wasn’t heartbroken. Not even close. Because I think I understand it better now.
People want people while they want them and when they don’t, that’s it. And that’s okay. It’s all okay. And I wish them all well; I wish them only good things. You go your way and I’ll go mine and if we meet up again, maybe we’ll be on the same track. Maybe we won’t. But I know that if I keep on down the road I’m going, eventually I’m bound to run into a kindred spirit or two. I’m really just looking for people headed in a similar direction; folks I may share the trail with for a spell. So whoever you are, wherever you are, I’m here. And I’m impatient. But I’ll see you when I see you. And you’ll think my business card is f*cking hilarious.