1. Your cousin who you haven’t seen in years
Maybe she’s moved across the country, or maybe you haven’t seen her since that half-assed family reunion from 5 years ago where it was increasingly clear you no longer had that much in common. But no matter how far you grow apart from a non-distant relative, you’ll always have something in common — family.
During any major family crisis, you’ll hear from them. And sometimes, you might be coordinating and organizing with them. A cousin could be like a co-worker from the other side of the building, whom you also at ice pops with at age four.
2. Your childhood best friend
Whether you still remain close with him or haven’t talked to him in years, few people know you better than your childhood best friend. Sure, they have no idea who you’ve become — but while everyone else can’t understand why you quit your job to work on a sustainable energy project halfway across the world, he understands it completely.
3. Your Barista/Gym front desk person
Friendly greetings will transition to talking about the weather, which will transition to one of you being excited to go on vacation, which will transition to talking about their significant other. Soon you guys will be like that kid you were great friends with in school, but for some reason never hung out on the weekends.
The routine interactions will allow them to pick up on things you didn’t think anyone would notice — when you’re a bit sluggish, or when there’s something else plaguing your mind. They know a very specific version of you, and they know it very well.
4. Your college friend’s high school friends
This generally works two ways — you either hate them/have no idea why your friend hung out with these kids/ultimately think less of your friend, or you totally hit it off.
When the latter occurs, the bonding that goes down is unlike any other — you realize that there’s a part of you in this other person, because you would probably be hanging out with them had you gone to that high school. Meaning that instead of hearing about the story about outrunning the cops on the beach, you’d be in it.
5. Your parent’s friends
What used to be you having temper tantrums at public restaurants has blossomed into an actual friendship. Just like you and your parents are now kinda friends, you’re also kinda friends with their friends.
The older you get, the more they seem like they want to reveal details about your parent’s courtship that you’d rather not know.
6. A memorable one night stand
It’s not so much being close to this person as being close to a very specific mood, and then attributing it to that person. An adult one night stand brings with it a lot of #feelings — lust, some sense of maturity, and oftentimes an unbridled sense of individualism (if the one-night standiness was mutual, in the sense that nobody was expecting more). Part of you can’t help but occasionally wonder what if, but you know that the escapade is best left untouched.
7. Justin’s Chili
A few years back, I spent New Year’s Eve at the ski house of a friend of my brother’s. One of the guys who lived in the ski house was named Justin — he was a few years older than my brother and his friend, and I was the youngest by far. (We went out that night, I was 20, and Justin was all like “man, I can’t even remember the last time I went out with someone underage.”)
Although this article will likely prompt me to do some investigating, I currently know nothing about him — how old he is, his job, whether he was married to that girl or was justing dating her, and what gel he used for that great hair he had. But what I DO know, is that he makes some incredible chili — chili that he labored over diligently the next day, chili that he talked up the point where none of us believed it was gonna be as good as he was hyping it up to be. Justin’s Chili has become immortalized between us three, to the point where it’s now the name of my March Madness bracket entry.
8. The kid who you never talked to in high school, but now posts ridiculous stuff on Facebook
This is a weird one. You never talked to him in high school, but you can’t help but follow his every status and outrageous bottle service (that’s clearly not actually bottle service) pic. It’s just way too entertaining not to.