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