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The great friend migration

Published: Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 11:25 a.m. CST

My friends have abandoned me.

I’m trying not to take it personally. But it’s getting difficult.

With bands of my buds packing up their lives and heading back east in droves that rival Africa’s great migration, I can’t help but wonder whether I should have showered more often or not have let my pet rabbit gnaw on the cuffs of my pals’ pants or have picked up the bill a few more times. Sure, my friends all claim to be moving away for jobs or family or opportunity, but it’s really because I borrowed one too many DVDs that I never returned, isn’t it? Isn’t it?!

We had some good years, didn’t we? The camping trips. The football games. The game nights. The nights we don’t remember too well. The nights we remember all too well. Secrets stay secrets even if you’re living in a different ZIP code, right?

To be fair, I should have known this day would come. I’ve always been absurdly lucky in the friend department, garnering and maintaining more friendships than any person should be allowed. And seeing as I know me, I feel qualified to state that I am no catch. The discrepancy between how many friends I have and how many I deserve is large enough to throw the entire Earth off its axis. Really, it’s only fair to set the world right and leave me friendless on a Friday night.

Now, for the first time in my adult life, I am left with a chum conundrum. How do you make friends in your 30s?

I’d always assumed that by the time I was old enough to lose all my friends, my co-workers would have become my new besties. This proved to be a poor plan. I have great work pals, but to me, time with friends is supposed to be a break from work, not time spent talking about the office when you’re not physically there.

I’d also imagined that in my later years, my children would be playing soccer on Saturdays and I could scope out the cheering parents for someone who shares my obsession for “Game of Thrones” and pineapple jalapeno pizza.Sadly, this plan, too, has backfired. My son turns 2 this weekend, and he can’t even dribble a ball. His lack of viral-worthy gifted athleticism is really putting a damper on my social life.

Without my son or co-workers to rely on, I crafted five alternatives for finding friends.

1) Crash a bachelorette party. Positive: Instant access to a group of women around my age who totally know how to party. Negative: I don’t know how to party. Not really. Not anymore. Unless the party wraps up at 7 p.m. with brushing our teeth to Elmo’s toothbrush song. That’s my jam!

2) Camp out in homes in escrow and yell “surprise!” when new owners move in. Positive: Seeing as the families presumably are new in town, they will be on the hunt for new friends, too. Negative: Potentially ends in a restraining order or my arrest.

3) Join a sports team. Positive: Exercise releases endorphins and will put everyone in a good mood to make a new friend. Negative: ...until my clumsiness makes our undefeated team lose a million games in a row and the team toilet-papers my house. Not that I know this will happen from personal experience or anything.

4) Join Tinder or OkCupid. Positive: I’ve heard I can state that I am only in the market for new buds. Negative: I’ve heard no one believes the people who state that they just want to be friends, and my first play date may be at a hotel or in the back seat of my new friend’s mom’s Chevy.

5) Join a gym with classes. Positive: Make friends while getting a workout. Negative: You have to work out. No friend is worth that.

After carefully considering which of the five friend-finding techniques to pursue, I’ve decided that none of them will work. Clearly, no one has ever made a single friend without being at school, at camp or inebriated at a bar. It can’t be done!

I guess that in the meantime, I can always just try being nice to people and see where that gets me. And barricade the highways so none of my other pals can leave.

Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. Check out her column at http://didionsbible.com.

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