Friday, February 02, 2007

talking to strangers

I have learned an important lesson in life.

Sometimes it's worth the awkwardness to talk to strangers (and, lets be frank, sometimes it's not).

This is a story about how it is worth it.

A while back you may remember me mentioning my street car friend. Or you may not; it wasn't that interesting a post. Here's the recap "I have been talking to someone on the streetcar every morning, he seems cool, it’s fun".

See, I told you it wasn't that interesting.

Well, my street car friend now has a name.

Not only does he have a name, he has a job, a house, a life, the whole bit. And now I’m part of it. Well, not his job, or his house, but his life. At least, I seem to be well on my way to becoming part of it.

We hung out one night last week, and we hung out last night, he’s coming to my birthday party tomorrow night. The one challenge is that we seem to drink an awful lot when we hang out, I might need to work on some kind of mitigating strategy for that, because I sure as hell can’t keep this up. But beyond that (who am I kidding – including that…) we’re having a great time.

I love the process of becoming friends with someone. I am always thrilled by the idea of being accepted into their life, while accepting them into yours. I was saying to John that in some ways it’s a bit like when you start dating someone. When you start being friends with someone – someone you can actually picture becoming a good friend, a regular part of you life, someone to talk to not just drink with – there is an element of infatuation. I don’t mean sexual, I don’t mean romantic, it’s just the next level in the ‘friend crush’. Suddenly I want to hang out with Mr. Streetcar all the time because I want to know all there is to know about him.

I’ve had this happen before with other people too, it’s a pattern for me. I have good friends who I love dearly who I see once a month, and who although I’d like to see more I don’t feel absolutely driven to see more, whereas a new friend, well, damn it, I want to see new friends 3 or 4 times a week.

It by no means reflects how I feel about one over the other. Or, wait, maybe it does.

Because I know that my friendship with 'longevity friend' is solid, I know that we’ll get together and pick up where we left off, I know that there is enough history that we won’t have to go through a new ramp up time if we don’t see each other often. With 'new friend' there isn't the history to hold all that together.

So, in fact, it demonstrates my comfort level and the value of the friendship for longevity friend. What seems like the short end of the stick (is a stick not one vaguely straight piece with out particular ends?) is actually an affirmation of something positive.

And thus concludes today’s motheringly long post…

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