Dating is hard, but making new friends is harder. Friends you thought you had start to drop like flies you just drowned in Raid (yes, I use Raid on flies, too. So?). It’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it also tests the depth of your friendships and reveals relatively quickly how close you guys really were.
All that said, going forward, I’ve devised a list of the types of friends you should strive to make and maintain throughout your adulthood — at least the younger part of it anyway. This list is completely shallow and surface-level, but sometimes it’s the only way.
1. A Friend With A Lake House
Being Jewish, I didn’t grow up with a lake house or know any bagel-eating, sushi-guzzling, gossip-supporting Jew who owned one. It’s a thing with Jewish folk – we don’t claim lake houses. The reasoning behind it is something I’d have to think through for an entirely separate piece, though. When it comes to summer, having a grown-up friend with full lake house access is like winning the lottery of friendship. Get in good with him or her and watch as you’re invited weekend after weekend to sit on docks, ride on boats, try your hand in water sportz, and enjoy late nights with beer and bonding. There is nothing quite like being tight with a lake house accessible friend. It basically ensures summer fun for a grown-ass adult who doesn’t get a summer anymore. Unless your prospective lake house friend is married or (WORSE) married with children. Then all bets are off and you aren’t getting invited anywhere unless you can add a loud child to the mix.
2. A Friend Whose Family Owns A Restaurant
Befriending an individual who’s in good with the restaurant industry is priceless. Fast seating, getting in when there’s no chance of any other lowly patron getting in, enjoying free or heftily discounted food and drink — all this and more can be yours for the low price of pretending to like a new buddy! No, I’m kidding. Of course, nothing I list here will be half as fun unless you actually enjoy spending time with said individual. But should you be so #blessed as to meet a worthwhile new friend who either works in or has some seriously legitimate ties to the industry, you won’t be able to imagine a day you went without it. Food is the best, but it’s also the worst for your wallet. Get you a friend who as an in and relish in your gorging. Fridays and Saturdays full of “Where should we eat?”, “I wonder how long the wait is?”, and “It’s so expensive tho…” will be a thing of the past. A past you’ll laugh at, hard.
3. Friends With Dogs
There’s something special about surrounding yourself with friends who own pooches. It’s like, sure, you all may not be ready to give birth to real human children just yet (or ever), but no one said anything about fur babies not counting as real babies. While all your peers seem to be moving through life at an accelerated rate, popping things out of their things, you can gain the same kind of satisfaction by, first, getting a dog and then befriending folks with dogs all to create one, big, happy dog party. And, yes, there’s bound to be at least one friend with a pooch whose pooch you like more than the human, but you will suck it up because it means playtime for your dog and you need to practice selflessness. Furthermore, dogs are wonderful buffers. Want to go to that daytime concert in the park, but all your best friends are busy? Call up that “sort of” friend with the great dog and relish in knowing it won’t be at all awkward. You guys will just listen to music and probably talk about your dogs the entire time anyway.
4. One Super Talented Friend
As you progress in the professional world, you’ll come to discover that you’re in dire need of a super talented, artsy friend who can make you look really good. I myself was blessed with flesh and blood (my sister) who can guide my very pathetic, confused hands in the graphic design world. But as for the rest of you, see to it that you go out of your way to make out with/date/befriend/buy lunch for/buy dinner for/go to a concert with/grab beers with/talk about their innermost feelings with a greatly achieved design type that will aid you in appearing a lot cooler than you are when it comes to résumés, portfolios, and overall web presence. Don’t think you need to disguise yourself in tattoos and kimonos to be taken seriously and catch the eye of the creatives — sometimes they look just like you, dressed in non-descript everything, grabbing a Starbucks. Stereotyping makes an ass out of you and me (isn’t that the saying?).
5. A True, New Friend
I know, so predictable, right? You didn’t really think you were gonna get through this incredibly shallow list without one inkling of humanity, did you? I really do stand by all of the above, but it’s just as important to find one — just ONE — new friend in the real world to add to your list of best friends. Because people do change and time does weird things to humans. You will fall out of touch with childhood companions and college girlfriends — it’s depressingly inevitable. So if you can meet and fall in love with just one new someone once you’re a working gal/guy, you’ll be better for it. Create new memories and have new kinds of fun (early dinners followed by early good-byes on a Friday night) with one new, grown-up friend who doesn’t turn out to be a fucking psycho or a stupid, slutty bitch (I’m doing a lot for feminism in that sentence). Tread very lightly, be sure you take your time getting to know them, and try to spot evil tendencies early. Then dive in.