Making friends as an adult is far from a walk in the dog park. It’s been a well-documented struggle–from the Neil Peart-fueled buddy Bromance I Love You, Man to the pretty solid video below, we’ve seen the perils and pitfalls that come with trying to achieve platonic intimacy with another (relatively) mature human entity.
These courtships tend to flood themselves with awkward pauses, financial bracket litmus tests, and plenty of overzealous drink slam-downs–emphasizing the gravitas that is the collective struggle of dealing with their significant other, or socially opaque boss.
That said, because postgraduates are pretty into embracing hashtaggable interest and career related cultural movements, we inevitably expose ourselves to a new cast of characters–the types of people that will signify that we’re shockingly capable of moving on from college.
The path to becoming a Real Human Being (and a real hero) is dark and full of terrors, but here are some of the people that you’ll start talking about last night’s Homeland with:
1. The Office Commiserator
You got hired around same time, and you’re roughly the same age. The social contract here consists of:
- Shitting on superiors and humorously summarizing gripes with a healthily competitive escalation.
- Never snitching when that person doesn’t totally get the job done, in attempts of fostering a “I need someone else not to give a shit with me” de facto workers union.
- Secretly always trying to outdo them, but in a way that doesn’t make that person look bad.
Given the nature of you guys working in the same place, there’s always a little something you’ll probably hold back. But all in all, this is one of the more frutiful relationships postgraduates make. When one of you moves onto different colored pastures, you may have a pal for life.
2. Rando Roomie
Fact: The rent is too damn high.
Fact: Unless you’re a banker living in Bismarck, North Dakota, you’ll probably need roommates in order to survive.
Most human beings know a lot of people, but only really know like 6-10 people. Half of that is your immediate family, so you’re down to about four people.
The likelihood of these four people moving to the same city, maintaining the same living and financial desires, and sustaining a collective relationship that isn’t mired in increasingly volatile resentment is incredibly rare. Point being, there will come a time in your life where you’ll have a random roomie.
A random roomie might share the same fervent zeal for projects Joss Whedon is involved in, but also might have a tendency to cook strange smelling stews. These people are very circumstantial in regards to building long-term friendships. But you’re gonna get to know the guy who’s seemingly incapable of cleaning the sink after shaving.
3. Extracurricular Eli
Be it a sports league or improv comedy, even the laziest of Lawrences tend to pick up a hobby. This is because as children raised on overly regimented soccer, dance, and synchronized baton twirling programs, after school activities are more ingrained into our brains than that recent Facebook photo of an Ex going to a flea market with that uglier-looking new person.
The bond will take awhile to form, as both parties will probably be afraid of scaring the other away. But slowly, the prolonged discussions about the activity at hand will cede to why Karen needs to stop monopolizing the time with the instructor you’ve all paid to learn from, which will cede to talking about life outside of Tuesday night fencing practice. Which will cede to actually hanging out.
Congratulations, you’ve sealed the deal.
4. Social Media Sally
There was this New York Times Wedding Announcement yesterday, that I can no longer find because 10 minutes of google searching is basically the internet equivalent of several months. But if you did have the link, you’d know this couple used twitter to communicate in a way that ultimately led to sexual relations becoming a trending topic. This is now a thing.
5. Your Barista
Your barista knowing your order is a big step. But the biggest step, clearly, comes when the conversation organically transcends the traditional topics (commenting on the weather, commenting on what day of the week it is relative to the other days of the week), and morphs into a daily ritual in which you both talk about actual shit.
6. Career Hard-On Harry
In Orange Is The New Black, the latest cultural work that we’ve decided to leech onto in order to demonstrate personal sophistication, Jason Biggs’ character becomes enamored with a friend of a friend who hosts a big-time radio show on NPR.
In addition to being arguably the whitest plot-line ever devised in a television show, Jason Biggs tries to form a deeper bond with this man. Partly due to career ambitions, but partly due to general admiration. Yes he wants what he’s got to offer, but he also wants to be friends with this dude.
As our careers take us places, we will stumble upon cool people. And we will develop career crushes on them.
7. Doorman/Drug Dealer/UPS Guy/Pizza Boy
The constants in your life, who you’ll find yourself unexpectedly opening up to. There’s a reason people talk about their barbers with a protective reverence reminiscent of how Mufasa talked about Simba.
Brad is the friend of your high school friend’s college roommate, who for some inexplicable reason will show up on your radar way too frequently. You can’t tell whether he’s incredibly insecure, or simply just a giant dick. But he’s always there, and he never uses a coaster. A stain that’s never coming off the coffee table.
Eventually though, he grows on you–it’s your only choice really. You kinda need a Brad.