Saturday, August 13, 2011

Will You Be My Friend?

It's hard to make friends as a grownup. I wish I had more friends in San Francisco, but I know it takes time. I do have some awesome friends here, but people are busy and my fear of the BART system keeps me from traveling to the East Bay. I gotta get over that.

How do you make friends in a new place?

I read somewhere that loneliness is often higher in more populated places. Mostly because people feel anonymous in a sea of faces. Quantity does not equal quality. Never having lived in a city before, I feel hopelessly uncool when I traipse about town. There are a lot of cool people here. Or maybe I just feel super uncool in comparison. Can they tell I'm from the suburbs? Do they know I eat casseroles?!?

While I'm pretty outgoing, I get nervous going to public events alone. Like a poetry reading, for example. Most people will go there with a friend. What am I supposed to do, walk up to people and say, "Will you be my friend?" Awk.ward.

Remember when you were kids and a new student came to your class and all the kids would rush to be best friends with them first? Ok, maybe that only happened to me. In the third grade I moved to a new school district in the spring, so the kids in my new class were pretty bored with each other. A new student coming in was a novelty. Everyone want to be my friend! When a new kid moved to the neighborhood, you'd just knock on the door and ask if they could come out to play. Even in grad school, everyone was in the same position: in need of friends.

It would be nice if it were that easy. Still though, I am a good candidate for a friend. I'm fun and I ask good questions. I like things like beer and poetry. Often simultaneously, but that's not a requirement. I like lots of things. Settlers of Catan? Awesome! Chinese dumplings? Delish!

In other news, I found a blog that is specifically about my neighborhood in San Francisco. It's called Haighteration. Isn't that cool? I will venture out to some of the neighborhood events soon, try to knock on some doors, see who can come out to play.


Shawnte said...

"loneliness is often higher in more populated places"

That's got to be true. That's how I always feel at parties.

Laura E. Davis said...

Me too! Unless I know a lot of people. Although, I am ultimately an extrovert. Introverts (different from being shy) will feel alone or exhausted by groups. I feel that way if I am in a group for a very long time or I feel like no one there really knows me or cares if I am there or not. 

Matt Hemmerich said...

I'll be your Berkeley friend!  Seriously, BART isn't bad at all, just don't ride during an earthquake when the transbay tube is prone to snap like peanut brittle. 

And ignore the swag hipsters and moustache-clad fellows, they're not as cool as you may believe.  I come from a suburb, too, but I love being lost in a city.  It's desolate at times, and difficult to make friends, but once you're cozy make some, it's amazing. 

Also, your fourth paragraph reminds me of a lovely Craigslist ad posted in SF about a week ago (

You should come out and visit the East Bay, though!  I'd be up to grab a coffee

Laura E. Davis said...

Hi Matt! Thanks for the comment. It's possible I'm more terrified of the Bart now. But that's ok. That article was hysterical. He reminds me of Andy Dwyer from Parks and Rec, except smarter. How'd you find my blog? 

Matt said...

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Haha, I am,
too, but most of my friends are in SF, anyway.     I believe you were
going to add me on LinkedIn some time back, and I wound up finding your blog on
a Google search.  I was also going to submit to Weave, but I wimped out
last second, so I guess those are my two degrees of Kevin Bacon?


Matt said...

Whoa, apparently my Mac has Tourettes and spilled a bunch of code in that response (my apologies).