Circle of Friends

How do you make a friend?

It is a topic I have discussed previously as Sahar and I once spent an afternoon trying to figure out how to make friends as adults, which didn’t work out awesome.  Mostly it was just a bunch of dead ends.  I recalled to her my friend Carey, who is probably my only real friend I have made and kept as a fully functioning adult.  We met one evening in the spring of 2015, I believe.  She was the girlfriend of a guy Mark knew, and we went over and had a few drinks at their house and hung out.  She seemed nice, but we were just associates at the time.  It wasn’t until the following summer when we went to a sunflower field that I realized we were “actual” friends, and we’ve only been growing closer since.

Mark and I were just talking about this, about how friendships start some time after meeting.  I stumbled upon a meme on Facebook that asked folks to comment on when we met-it was a reminder of how long I have known my people.  If you go solely by the comments, you would think I made friends through family, theater, and high school the most, and I suppose this is true.

First, there’s family.  My aunt Mel commented that she didn’t quite remember meeting me, though I recall the day perfectly.  She was my uncle’s new girlfriend and she had on Winnie the Pooh overalls that I coveted.  She commented that our friendship grew over time, and this is true of me and many of my aunts.  They used to be these people I thought of as “adults,” but now I think of them as peers even if they are a generation or two ahead of me.  Friendship has blossomed as I have aged, just as it has with my own mother.  Ten years ago, the relationship I had with my mother was very rocky, but now I go to her house each morning for coffee, because since I have moved out, a friendship aspect has been added.

Then there’s the theater people.  I can’t begin to tell you how many folks I have met through theater, the pinnacle of which is Sahar.  Were it not for a show, I would not have met my soul sister, let alone all the other massively talented and creative people I have admired.  Though there was no gap between me and Sahar- we met, and we were friends, and that was it.  So, let’s use Tom as an example:  I met Tom because I was stage managing a show once and when we got to the performance space we realized it was simply too big for one stage manager, and so my friend Victoria brought in Tom.  At first, I was a little salty because he was somewhat new on the scene and I was concerned he would steal my stage manager thunder, but in the end, he was incredibly helpful to me.  Then I caught him smoking a cigarette, and joyous relief flooded over my nicotine-addled brain: someone to chat with during breaks.  Well, those cig breaks turned into many 2am AIM convos, dozens of drunken nights at random houses, and someone that even though I don’t see him anymore, I still consider him a good friend. 

And then, Sacred Heart.  Chelsea is an excellent example here.  We met one afternoon during spring break when we were in 8th grade through a mutual friend, Sabine.  She got us together to meet because she knew we were going to the same high school.  I knew two girls I was going with already, but it didn’t make me feel any braver.  Then on the first day, Chelsea came up to me in the hallway and I thought “oh thank god! A friend!”  We sat together at lunch, and that was beginning of a lifetime of friendship.

Speaking of a lifetime of friendship…Kevin.  His mother, Sharon, commented that she met me about a week after I was born, which is accurate, and also means Kev was in tow.  Kev replied, too, in his usual humor: “That time we both were just lying there laughing totally pissing and shitting ourselves because we were both infants,” which of course made me guffaw.  I can’t tell you when my friendship with Kevin started, because it has always been there.  That’s how I feel about a lot of my friends.

I’ve picked up a lot of folks along the way and I am grateful for it.  I wonder how many more people I will smash into and end up entwining my life with.  You never know who you will meet tomorrow…could be your best friend. 

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