I moved to Colorado without knowing anyone, which was romantic, but also stupid. The practical implications of my rugged individualism turned out to be watching old episodes of 90210 while eating Caesar salad alone. Of course I wanted to meet new people, but I didn’t have much experience actively making friends. My friends were people I had met in school or at work, at times when I wasn’t desperate for or even aware of new companionship. Friends were just people who popped into my life and stayed.
What I learned moving out to Colorado is that making new friends is a numbers game. You have to meet a lot of jerks to find someone who is cool. For instance, out of three alumni meet-ups I’ve been to, I’ve made one friend. Those odds aren’t bad, but at the first two events, I was pretty depressed to be hanging out with people whose life highlight seemed to be getting into a good college.
But one advantage of needing to make new friends is being aware of the moment when the person stops being a number in your phone becomes real. The other night, a new friend called me to gossip about the previous night’s party. And even though there’s nothing like an old school friend, one who borrows a book from your mom while you’re out of town, there is something nice about being part of a nascent friendship.