I always found it interesting that there are some things you can ask in polite company, such as “What do you do for a living?” and some things you can’t, such as “How much do you make?”
If I said, “I really need to get laid,” every one of you would chime in yelling, “Go for it!” But imagine I said, “I’m looking to make new friends.” Wouldn’t that make me sound desperate?
For several years now, Sophia has been my best friend. She still is. But I feel like expanding my horizons.
Finding good friends has been a difficult job post-college. When I need to discuss something important, I usually turn to old friends back in New York. I would be completely miserable without these important friends that I’ve had since grade school. They’re more important to me than most of my relatives.
I’ve made several good friends since coming to Los Angeles, but most of them are in the entertainment business — and these people don’t always make the most reliable of friends. When every newbie writer/director/comedian/musician gets off the plane at LAX for the first time, they should be given a t-shirt that reads “Self-absorbed,” much like they hand out leis in Hawaii. I love my friends from film school, but sometimes I wonder if we can talk about anything other than screenwriting.
Getting married created a lot of upheaval of friendships for both Sophia and I. Some of my friends didn’t like Sophia’s politics. Some of Sophia’s friends didn’t think I was good marriage material. These friends became casualties of our nuptials. It’s easy to say that you will remain friends with someone despite his feelings about your spouse, but it is very difficult to make this into a reality.
Sophia and I started hanging out with other married couples. But there were problems here, too. Sophia is the type of woman who likes to hang out with the guys. I’m a guy who likes to hang out with the women. Unfortunately, after dinner, many couples still split up gender-wise, just like they did in our parents’ era. The women gossip in the kitchen, the men talk about sports and the stock market in the living room. And Sophia and I both hated being stuck with our gender. Yeah, I tried to play golf with a group of husbands, but it really wasn’t me.
To make it worse, it was almost impossible to become a close friend with another married woman. I really hit it off with Joy, who was one of the wives – just as friends. We both were English majors and met a couple of times at a coffee shop to talk about books. Sophia had no problem with this, but it still felt like we were cheating on our spouses. Sophia and I went out frequently with Joy and Mark, but Sophia would usually end up talking with Joy, while I was stuck with her Mark, whose main interest was tax software.
Marriage also affects your relationships with old friends. Suddenly, you’re not as “there” for your friends as you used to be. I can only imagine how much more complicated it gets when you have children. It’s not that I haven’t complained about other friends once they got married. I have a friend whose wife always answers the phone when I call. I like his wife, but I don’t always want to talk to her for twenty minutes about the kids’ potty training before I get to speak to my friend. Sometimes, I’m so talked out after my conversation with her that I don’t want to speak to my friend anymore.
My separation with Sophia has caused even more problems with some friends. Whose side do our friends take? Fortunately, Sophia and I get along well enough to still go out with our couple friends. But I can imagine how the divorces of other couples can destroy friendships as well as a family.
So, where can I find new friends? Bloggers, perhaps?
The biggest problem with becoming friends with other bloggers is that you’re already in an awkward position. You know too much about each other, even before you even meet. Recently I went to a LA blogger meet-up, where I finally got to meet some fellow bloggers. But, over the last few months, I’ve exchanged personal details with my blogging pals through our writing, and our face-to-face meeting could never match that intensity. In writing, we can write about whatever we want. In person, there are social constraints. Maybe if I actually brought my laptop with me and we just sent emails back and forth across the bar — I would have been more comfortable.
How do you online daters do it? Isn’t it weird writing back and forth to each other, impressing each other, flirting with each other, learning about each other (sometimes even having phone sex) — and then, after all that, actually meeting in person. What’s left to talk about – the weather?
So, I’m officially in the market for new friends. Some of you might make good friends, but the concept is a little scary. I don’t mind my mother reading my blog. But do I really want a close friend who reads my blog every day?
So, be forewarned. If I do become your real friend, I’m immediately blocking your IP address from my blog.