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How not to make friends, or how to make friends the creepy way

March 24, 2010

I see a lot of people go through the doors of the coffeeshop. It’s nice to have familiar faces in the community where I live. But they’re just that — faces.  Lately I’ve been craving that feeling of knowing someone everywhere you go. Occasionally, I’ll run into a customer at Trader Joe’s, but they’re not someone I can strike up a conversation with, because our script does not function outside of, “Good morning, what can I get for ya?”

There are a few regular customers that I admittedly have friend crushes on. Turns out one is still a teenager, so I nixed asking her on a friend date. But this week, I mustered up the courage to ask small-Americano-guy-formerly-known-as-small-pumpkin-mocha-guy on a friend date. It went a little like this…

“Hi, umm, so, this totally isn’t creepy but sorta is, and for the record I’m married, and your girlfriend is really cool, too, and, um, so there’s this concert at the coffeeshop on Saturday, and I’m not telling you this because I work here, um, I’m telling you because, um, well, I think you guys are cool, and um, I kinda wanna hang out with you, so I thought, um, maybe you could come and, well, I like beer, so we could go out for beer afterwards…. so… ?”

My palms were sweaty. My face was the color of a radish. I was perspiring. And I totally felt like I was trying to pick him up. Because, well, I was. But I only wanted a friend date.

He says: “Oh. I’m sorry. We’re going to be in New York this weekend.”

Waah waah waah waaaaaaaah….. rejected.

But he continues: “…but next weekend there’s a concert in DeKalb we’re going to. Ever heard of [insert band I don’t recognize or remember]?”

He bit! We’re friends now!  Except, “Oh, is that Easter weekend? I can’t.”  (I suck.) “Some other time then? By the way, my name is Renee. And your name is Dave because I looked at your credit card. I’m sorry I’m creepy and awkward, but I have a friend crush on you!” Buzzkill, Renee. WTF? Why do you say shit like that?

But we’re totally friends. In just two days of small talk, I’ve discovered they’re both grad students at my future grad school and they live four blocks from us. And though we may not have plans to be Real Life Non-Coffee-Shop Friends quite yet, we’re totally going to hang out.

By the way, he one-upped my creepy by telling me he’s going to look into the windows of houses on my street when they’re out walking the dog. Hilarious.

You guys, making friends in your 20s is HARD WORK. I’ve always been a confident gal but when it comes to approaching people I think are cool, I’m one big wad of awkwardsauce. I think it’s part of my charm.

At least, I like to think that.

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2010 5:24 pm

    “Wad of awkward sauce”? You got your charm right there, baby.

  2. March 24, 2010 5:27 pm

    lol you are adorable. i’m very happy for you and friend-dave. and props for having the guts to ask =)

  3. March 24, 2010 5:47 pm

    this makes me want to be creepy, awkward friends with you.

  4. March 24, 2010 6:20 pm

    Ugh. The date-ask for platonic friends is the WORST.

    I will be your friend though. Don’t worry.

  5. March 24, 2010 6:45 pm

    I like to think I’m charmingly awkward too. It is hard to approach people and strike up a conversation. I’m glad that you’re going to be friends though.

  6. March 24, 2010 7:22 pm

    Good for you, dude! Making friend dates is way harder than romantic dates, because people either do or do not want a significant other, but whether you want new friends is always on a continuum. It makes rejection feel a little harsher. I’m rooting for y’all!

  7. March 24, 2010 8:27 pm

    New friends are really hard to make and not feel entirely awkward about- and yes, it’s definitely like trying to pick someone up! My hair stylist is someone I really want to be friends with. She’s amazing creative, talented, and volunteers with AIDS orphans in AFRICA!

    Now I just have to pick her up? lol

  8. March 24, 2010 9:41 pm

    Dude! Good for you!!! If it makes you feel any better, I’m totally awkward, too!

  9. March 24, 2010 10:53 pm

    I think you did a great job! I’ve totally asked people on “friend dates” before…and they almost always work out 🙂

  10. March 24, 2010 10:54 pm

    Erm, not because I’m awesome, just because I think a lot of people are scared to make friends in their 20’s and are usually relieved I’m less afraid of making an ass of myself.

  11. March 24, 2010 11:20 pm

    Oh dear lord— YES. Especially when you don’t have the “hey, we’re classmates!” buffer and don’t necessarily want to be BFF with your coworkers (or if, like me, you live miles and miles from your workplace). Good for you, though, making friends! And now you’ll always have the story of how you became friends immortalized on the internets. 🙂

  12. March 24, 2010 11:36 pm

    Yes, making friends in your 20s is hard. You done good. Also, I don’t know how to do that.

  13. March 25, 2010 12:14 am

    Try being one of the few single late 20s women in a town full of “I get married at 20” people. Meeting new friends is TOUGH.

    We can do it though. 🙂

  14. March 25, 2010 12:16 am

    Way to go! I’m still mustering up the nerve to do this someday. It’s easier to ask blog friends on a date, but cold calling like you did takes guts!

  15. March 25, 2010 4:58 am

    Good work! Im waaay to awkward for all that – I don’t think Ive made a friend that wasnt a friend-through-other-friends or a work friend since I was……about five, I’d say lol

    Ahh, if only those friend making skills still worked as an adult…”Hi, you have pretty hair, you’re totally my new best friend”

  16. March 25, 2010 8:43 am

    Creepy or not, I admire your courage. At least you have befriended someone and that your effort has been a success. Achieving something we want takes certain amount of risk. 🙂

  17. March 25, 2010 11:18 am

    Loved this post! And I agree- finding new friends is hard. After college, you’re supposed to have all the friends you’ll need and the significant other and the dog and all that good stuff. If you don’t? You’re some sort of weirdo, it seems. Though I have the girlfriend and the dog, I could use some more couple-y friends to hang out with. Maybe I should go to more coffee shops.

  18. March 25, 2010 12:37 pm

    Creepy or not, I think you did an impeccable job! I wouldn’t be able to say two words to a stranger with the hopes of being her friend, let alone to a BOY. Holy crap; the thought of that gives me the willies.

    I think that’s so cool, though, Renee. How very inspirational. :] One of these days, I’ll grow balls as big as yours & try it myself!

  19. March 25, 2010 5:59 pm

    I feel totally creepy asking the “friend date” too! Making friends in your 20’s is HARD! And I’m in a new city, a new country… I always feel slightly lame, like “I have no friends and so want you to hang out with me.” and it’s all sorts of awkward.

    I’m proud of you though, and impressed you went for it!

  20. March 25, 2010 7:28 pm

    I am so impressed! I’m a total chicken when it comes to making new friends. I wish there was a badge you could wear when you’re in the market for making new friends.

  21. March 25, 2010 8:21 pm

    Oh man I am the same way. I am so nervous about the friend date and then when you’re denied, it’s deflating. I was in Chicago for six months before I made friends because it was so awkward and difficult. Then I met my first and longest friend at a bar event. Magic.

  22. March 26, 2010 9:40 am

    I would totally be the same way! It is even like that when you work with someone a long time and you finally want to exchange numbers and it feels all date like!

  23. March 26, 2010 1:38 pm

    I know how this goes. It is hard to make adult friends without having an in. Good for you for putting yourself out there.

  24. March 28, 2010 6:41 pm

    Ha ha! I feel you… the whole lets be friends but nothing more thing is kinda awkward… I am dreading having to go off and make friends next year in a new city.

    Best,

    Hannah Katy

  25. March 29, 2010 6:20 pm

    it’s creepy, but in a really cute way. this post kind of reminds me of the movie Singles. anyway, i think it’s fine to put yourself out there (with friends, too); what can you lose? in my experience, you have to weed the flakes in life so it’s kind of a numbers game anyway.

  26. March 30, 2010 9:56 pm

    last time I asked the guy half of a couple on a friend date (only cause he was the one I saw more often) it didn’t go so well. I specified both of them called to hang, it was him and his cousin. Then he tried to get in my pants. Um, no. Just ause hubby was out of town & said go have fun doesn’t mean it’s cheating time. Now I can’t be just her friend (which I mostly wanted anyway) due to the awkward your boyfriend tried to bang me thing. *sigh*

    you have inspired me to try again though. Except next time i’ll do it when she’s there JUST to be sure.

  27. March 31, 2010 7:36 pm

    haha. I love when other people are just as blurty and awkward and earnest about making friends as I am. Good for you for being brave!

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