I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

With Friends Like These

Adult friendships are way, way harder than 7th grade friendships. Socially speaking, 7th grade is the most hideous time in one's life - you're awkward, kinda ugly, you think everyone hates you, girls are at their peak of mean-ness and evil gossip is the norm. Compared to that, though, adult friendships are worse. They're just so damn complicated.

Most adults I know make their new friends (as in, friends who are not from high school, college, or their stint working at Subway) via work. However, the friends you make at work often stay at work - and it can be hard to get them to the status of real friends. If you do manage to elevate them to outside-of-work friend, then you have potential problems: a) outside of work you find out they're really clingy annoying weirdo freakazoids, b) work issues become enmeshed in friend issues and then it's a mess when you claim credit for their work or c) in a moment of drunken weakness, you're forced to admit that you earn more than they do and then they give you the evil eye at work ever after. See? Complicated.

Once you have kids, there is a whole new social set of people who can become potential friends. These are the parents of your kids' friends - so in effect you are just piggy backing on your kids' social graces. Dangerous move, that. Piggyback friends are all good and well until either a) your kid now hates that kid, b) you want your kid to hate that kid, because that kid is an ill-behaved mongrel, or c) your kid loves that kid but the mom/parents are total clingy annoying weirdo freakazoids. See? Complicated.

See the problem? Making new, normal adult friends is hard. There is also the issue of the friend you don't want. The person who really puts themselves out there. Extends the hand of friendship. Passes the olive branch. Buys you a latte and a muffin. Calls you just to see what your weekend plans are. Says a lot of "Call me!" or "Yeah, we should totally do that!" It's nice, right? To be, well, pursued in that manner. Nice until you realise that you have less than nothing in common and conversation is a painful, painful affair. More painful than a crusty ear and a alcohol swab (and I would know). Still, they doggedly pursue you, and you're not really sure why. So you're left with the friend you really don't want to have, but out of mercy or boredom or god-knows-what, you're stuck with 'em. An added complication in your life.

Sometimes you get lucky. I met XABF at work, and until it all went horribly, horribly wrong, we had 7 brilliant years. I met Poppet's Mum via our kids (and our mutual laughter at their attempts to dance) and that's a lovely friendship. I've recently met The Baker's Wife at work, and she's so damn fab I'd date her if she or I was single, not married, and either of us were into that. I could go on. Suffice it to say I've been lucky, but plenty of times in life I've found myself lonely and wondering if it's because I smell.

In the end I came to the very emzee conclusion that I don't smell. It's just that adult friendships seem a lot harder than the ones I made in seventh grade, when I really DID smell, and had bad hair. Anyway, in honour of my lack of smell and my lack of bad hair, I'm encouraging you all to make a new friend today. Pass the branch, pay for the latte (and muffin, ya cheapskate), whatever - let's just be a bit nicer to someone today. Who knows? You might have the same clingy annoying weirdo freakazoid habits in common.

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