I don’t have what one would characterize as a LOT of friends. That’s not to say I’m not liked. I’m pretty sure most rational people who meet me are fairly ok with me. It’s once they get to know me….but that’s for another time. Most people appear to like people in general (or are at least polite enough to not go running in the opposite direction – although based on some of the true crime series I’m watching, there are people you should go running in the opposite direction of when you meet them. Again, that’s for another time). I’d wager that rarely does one meet someone and think “Ugh, you’re the worst!” I imagine it’s more likely that people meet people and and are fairly neutral on them (ok, I’ll admit some people can be annoying right off the bat, but not the worst people ever) until some watershed moment where they realize the other person is either friend or foe. And still, that watershed moment doesn’t always occur, and people remain merely acquaintances or that guy you met once but can’t ever remember his name.

I think I used to feel like everyone should be my friend. Everyone should like me, and if they didn’t, then something was wrong with me. I’d look on enviously as my classmates in high school collected friends by the dozens. In college, I had a friend who I’d walk from one end of campus to the other with and marvel as she said hello to 20 people while I was hard pressed to pick out one person I knew (on a campus of 52,000 students, I was the norm in this situation). I wondered what it would be like to know so many people. But here’s the thing. I’m not sure she did know that many people – at least not in any meaniningful way. How much can you know about hundreds of individuals? I have over 200 Facebook “friends,” but really how much do I know about them? I probably know a LOT about 20 of them and one or two things about the rest (there are even a couple I’m not sure who they are – I’m looking at you Matt Mackowiak).

“Friendly not friends” is how it was explained to me once. Which, at the time seemed kind of harsh, but not an all together untrue concept. There are plenty of people that I’m friendly with on a regular basis but wouldn’t call them friends. To be fair though, I also wouldn’t tell them that to their faces. I do have some tact. Conversely, there are friends out there I haven’t talked to in months, and some in years that I could call up and pick up exactly where we left off. It’s an interesting thing – how we develop these friendships.

All of this, of course, is relative and not at all scientific. I’m sure there are people out there who have hundreds of friends and are close, in varying degrees,  to each of them. It’s just a concept I’ve never quite mastered, and while I don’t feel the need to be  everyone’s friend, I do recognize the need to open myself up to meeting more people and making a few new friends. In the meantime, I am happy to spend my evenings, weekends and/or free time at home curled up on my couch with a good book. I’m happy to go to dinner with a few people rather than a huge party, and I am happy to have my good friends that, while small in number are a huge source of comfort, amusement and support. Hopefully they find that returned.  And the cat. I’m also kind of happy for her. Provided she’s not drooling on me. Which is 50% of the time.

What?! Im, like, totally adorable.

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