Thursday, November 7, 2013

On Making New Friends


I actually don't remember much about making new friends as a child. I think it had something to do with who lived closest to you and had a ball or hula hoop or plastic gun they were okay with sharing. As an adult, though, socialization and the making of friends tends to elude me. I'm okay in a group setting I'm comfortable with--such as church. But I don't tend to form the kind of relationships that have me dashing out for coffee and a lengthy conversation very often.

My sister is the friend-maker. So is my husband. I worked at a company for a year once without ever inviting anyone home. He started working at the same company, and two weeks later, we have a stream of guests. It's not that I'm against guests or don't like people. It's just not what I do.

Given my lack of understanding/comfort with friend making and socialization in general, I'm not sure how literal I should take the advice my sister gave me via Facebook messaging yesterday. I've reproduced the exchange so all the socially awkward blog followers can chime in to save me from what may be advice that only works for the friend-makers among us.

ME: I'm at the library and the glass door to the youth room is decorated with a huge thing of paper flames. Above it, it says "Catching Fire." Which all makes sense. But then, there's a TARDIS flying out of the flames.

ALICE: Someone is confused.

ME: I might be missing something. Hang on. I'll get a closer look. . .

ME (a few minutes later): There are two windows. One has the flames and "Catching Fire" and Nov. 16. The other says "Day of the Doctor" and Nov. 25 on it. They merge together so the TARDIS is coming out of the flames. So. . . Library youth coordinator is a HUGE (and possibly awesome) geek?

ALICE: Yeah. That is a geek right there.  You should be friends with them.

(Editor's note - I would never even think something like that. Is it odd that my sister classifies people as "you should be friends with them," or odd that I don't? Is this why I'm not a very good friend-maker?)

ME: I don't even know who it is. Should I just walk up to the desk and be like, "Yes, I have a library card. I would like to check out the awesome geek to be my best friend for the next three weeks."

ALICE: Exactly!

ME: If they really are an awesome geek, that wouldn't sound stalkerish at all. . .they'd be "Sure. Let me just scan myself into the system."

ALICE: Then you know you found your new best friend.


Speaking from experience, though, this approach is more likely to develop into a seriously awkward conversation with a well-meaning library attendant who doesn't understand my request. And then I'll be forced to explain the entire thing about the flames and the TARDIS and the possibly awesome geeky best friend I'm coveting. Which is way more information and words than I'm willing to share with a random librarian.

So, what do you think? Is using your library card to take a best friend out on loan an actual friend-making tactic?