I’m considering a move in the beginning of next year and this made me realize: I’m going to have to make new friends. Friendships, as with all relationships, take time and effort. The older I get, I find that it’s much more difficult to build these kinds of solid, trusting relationships. Why was it so much easier to make friends when I had a curfew? When I didn’t have a license? When I had to raise my hand to go to the bathroom? At what age did the basic rules of making friends change? The more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s not the rules that have changed, it’s the people. We reach a certain age when we suddenly become too busy to bond with new acquaintances; we become more skeptical of those around us.
For me, getting to know people isn’t the difficult part. It’s the following up, keeping in touch part that’s hard (thank you Facebook). This is something I need to work on. I’ve always viewed making friends like I view making a sale. When I meet someone new, I don’t hand them my resume, but I do engage them in conversations similar to the conversations I used to have when I was involved in fundraising. I ask questions, sometimes too many, and hope I like their answers (hopefully their responses aren’t similar to a serial killer’s). Even when my intention isn’t to make a friend I find it fascinating to learn new things about people. Mr. Kelley calls me a detective because I seem to play 20 questions (more like 50 questions) with everyone I meet, but I can’t help it. I want to know where you went to school, how long you’ve had that haircut, and what your dog’s name is. Tell me about your crazy boss or hypochondriac roommate. I want to know it all. It might not seem very interesting in the beginning, but if I don’t ask I’ll never know what I can find out in the end.