I haven’t even really begun to touch upon my feelings about aging in this forum. I’ve mentioned my disdain, and perhaps how my skin blisters from the thought of turning 30. But honestly, I’m still trying to find the language that properly communicates my disgust. English, Swahili, Sanskrit all lack the vocabulary. But while words are no help, I do cry frequently (and vehemently) in front of old people. I just can’t contain the pain I feel for their plight.
Anyold, this is not a rant about aging and my mortality, it’s just a little prelude to something else. And that something else is how I try and see myself as Old Man TAN to get a different perspective on a particular subject.
One subject that has come up relatively frequently of late is friendship and friends. I’ve had a lot of convo on what qualifies someone as a “best friend.” Or how many friends are close friends, how many are just acquaintances. Or how close do you have to be to freely fart in a friend’s face without significant consequences.
And in reverting to Old Man TAN mode it made me wonder, do female friends ever fart in each other’s faces? Why do guys get a kick out of that? And what about male dogs? Are farts in the face a big problem in the dog world?
After that gripping tangent, I also wondered if people gain friends after say 25? You obviously gain people you know. You add to the network, and it’s not to say you have an unfriendly agenda with them in any, but it’s just… how do you make friend? No matter how many e-harmony questions you answer, or how many e-mails you share, you need that in-person time. You have to experience some things together, preferably some sort of challenge or obstacle. And the thing is, after 25, careers and family become so dominant in a person’s life there’s no time for making new friends. You go with what got you there.
And we talk about friends and family as different. But the only reason family has a special place is they get maximum time exposure. From birth on, they know what you’ve been through. Of course families that fall apart don’t know each other, so they’re like acquaintances, or strangers. But traditional families earn a different designation than “friend.” They have so much time invested they’re “family.” But family is more a product of time than blood, therefore they're really just “advanced” friends.
Do you know anyone now from when you were ten years old? They’re probably one of your best friends. You might even consider them family. Then you go through high school, college, etc. After that new friends in your life are largely circumstantial. Or bloggers. Stay at one job long enough, you’ll get some good friends probably. Grad school also. They have access to you. Time. But at a certain point, it’s hard to squeeze others in outside of work and school.
And if you need new friends cause you lost old ones, then the onus is on you to make the effort. You have to apply the pressure – wanna go to the movies?, wanna go out to dinner?, wanna go tip over some hobos? (hobo tipping is the urban version of cow tipping, and it’s not to be confused with giving them money/tip). If you’re over 25 you’ll probably have to spend money and buy yourself some life experience with this person, i.e. two tickets to a dangerous deserted island where you’ll need each other to survive.
If you do have friends, anyone trying to break into your inner circle is facing an uphill battle. People sabotage relationships in a lot of ways, for a lot of reasons, but mainly it’s because they have other relationships. Yours is not necessary. If you’re looking for new friends that is the challenge you face.
A little twist in this is in the romantic context. The idea in a marriage is your best friend is your partner, your wife. Maybe this is the actual foundation of love/romance. It’s not the sexual reproduction angle. That’s there, but even more than sex you need someone with whom you can share life experience. A man and a woman, who are both best friends and lovers, is ultimate synergy, the maximum use of all our faculties. Why do we have this conscious mind? It’s so girls and guys can play head games. Keeps us mentally sharp. All these arguments are just mental sparring sessions. Every guy knows after trying to win a fight with his lady, a meeting with the boss, or having to wrestle a bear for food is nothing.
Hmmm I could save this for a separate post, I could call it SCOREBOARD DATING.