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On Friendship

Seinfeld famously said people over 30 can’t make new friends. Having experienced this firsthand, what I really want to know is why? I take it as a given that the weight of shared history makes it easier to reconnect with old friends, but why should the lack of same preclude new friendships? Are we just lazy? It’s too much effort to get to the tipping point between someone whose email address is merely in your address book to surrogate family these days?  Or perhaps that’s my problem-I consider my friends, my true friends, as family members. Sometimes closer than my actual family, considering how little those people keep in touch. So, I’m expecting too much from people then? Again??

It’s a failing I have, from forever on, I have always held other people to my own standards of behavior. And ever being disappointed when they fail to live up. I’m certainly not saying I am perfect, but I by god am saying that I am honorable. I treat people honestly and straightforwardly (which is why I suck so very bad at practical jokes, an unfortunate side-effect), and take it personally when not accorded the same.

To me, friendship is like Jonathan Livingston Seagull’s perfect speed: being there. Humans need contact, be it physical or emotional. Friends can provide for that need, but if the actual contact is not there, then there is a natural distancing that will occur. Only masochists enjoy being an emotional drainpipe.

The point is, I think, when trying to make (and keep) new friends over the age of 30, it might be possible that we have to actually work a bit harder at it. Just a thought.