The Great Friend Shift


Once again I have a friend leaving me. The first time this happened was after high school in a mass exodus of people moving off to college. Then, after our B.A. more people moved off to go to graduate school. Since there is a gap in my education between my B.A. and M.A., I got to witness it once more as several friends that stayed local for one advanced degree left for another. And now after another friend completed her M.A. she, too will be leaving me.

Some of my friends eventually moved back (like Tanya, even though she remained in Berkeley for several years after graduation), while others only return for the summer and winter holidays (Sean, Ashlyn, once in a while Trish, Jason, David, Henry, et al.), while others I have not seen in many years (Julian, Mer, Justin, Leyla, et al.). As you can see from this list, aside from the seasonal folks who come and go, my friend list over the past ten years has been greatly diminished.

As Hannah is getting ready to leave me and get her Ph.D. in Minnesota (and seeing as how I now have plenty of experience with friends leaving) of course I hope she moves back once she is done, and visits on occasion while she is there, but in the interim, I will proactively begin a search for her replacement.

To narrow down my results and ensure a successful friendship, I have outlined some important qualities my new friend should ideally possess.

1. I prefer female friends. This doesn’t mean I can’t work with male candidates, but I will not attend sporting events (except for tennis), I do not wish to know how things are built, and am not particularly fond of aggressive behavior.

2. You don’t have to be an English person, but it does make things easier as I foist my research on you. Also, I like to swap books, and I am not terribly interested in other subjects (with exceptions of course). Although Hannah is an 18th Century person, and that seemed to work out just fine, I would also not mind someone closer in time period. Like 500 years closer.

3.  Hannah and I walked placed, so you too must like walking. In other words, if something is two blocks away, you are not getting me into a car.

4. You have to drink coffee, or at the very least tea. Okay, fine, I will settle for you just sitting with me at a coffee shop.

5. You should probably  like piano playing because I will invariably drag you to a piano bars and/or trendy jazz clubs and make you sit there with me as I look about as delighted as a five year old in a candy store. While Hannah has managed to avoid such outings, my other friends have not been so lucky. In fact, not that long ago I made Tanya sit through a several hour piano frenzy at the Blue Whale. She appeared to be having fun.

6. You have to let me help you with things. However, despite my eagerness to be helpful you must also realize  I have sever foot in mouth syndrome and am just about the klutziest person you will ever meet. And this is not limited to my physical state, but extends into my verbal and written sphere as well, including my social awkwardness that should become apparent the first time we meet.

7. I have children, and while you don’t have to have any, you should understand that they will always come first for me. Hence calling me an hour before you want to do something will not work.

8. I have a tendency to over share, as in “here is my life story in twenty minutes,” which sort of goes hand in hand with the social awkwardness, but should serve as a reminder that if such things make you uncomfortable, we probably should not be friends.

9. My blog is like my third child. In fact, after the other two go to sleep, this is where you will find me. I don’t expect anyone to read as much as I write considering I post almost every  night, but acknowledging its existence every once in a while would be appreciated. Also, if you do not wish to be mentioned in my blog, please tell me this *beforehand.*

10. You cannot be allergic to cats. Even if you never come over, I am probably carrying all sorts of cat scents.

11. You cannot be allergic to dogs. Even though my dog has been living at my mom’s house for five years and I only see her once a week, I have several friends who do have dogs and carry all sorts of dog scents. I like my friends to socialize with each other as well.

12. I am not a huge fan of shopping with other people around. So if you like to shop with all your friends, I will come once in a while for the social aspect, but please don’t ask me to try on a billion things.

13. Let’s just say my sense of humor is an acquired taste. Deadpan. Often morbid. More than often “did she just say that??” Yes, I did. I *will* point out what no one else will. And I don’t sugar coat things.

14. I respect your eating habits, but please don’t ask me to join in. I have no problem with vegan/vegetarian restaurants, or any other kind of food, but I do not diet. I don’t trust activities where the first part of the word starts with “die.”

15. I don’t have age requirements for my friends. But I am no longer 25, so let’s keep that in mind.

16. My children, like my cats, will not like you at first and shy away. If you are around more than a month, meaning you have survived me at my most strange, they will eventually poke their heads out of their respective rooms and come either meow or talk to you.  Occasionally my children may meow because they think this is standard small creature behavior.

17. I am not an “outdoorsy” person so to speak, but I do enjoy a fair share of outdoors-like activities. It would be a plus if you would come along. Yes, there will be walking involved.

18. This last one will probably never happen, but if you happen to have a 5.5 shoe size and own ridiculously cute shoes, then you will be instantly upgraded to best friend status.

So, if you fit at least ten of the above, and wish to audition as Hannah’s replacement, I am currently accepting applications.

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