I’ve gotten to a certain age where I’m a bit more set in my ways then is probably good for me. This means that whole groups of people are likely to be eliminated as potential friends right off the bat. You’re not very political? You smoke? You’re churchy? You hate cities? You drink cheap, yellow beer? You never went to college and, frankly, don’t see the point? You wear black socks with shorts? You love amusement parks? You would never go camping where there weren’t flush toilets available? Well, then, really, what’s the point? I know the folly of this way of thinking. I know that there are at least a few of you who would answer “yes” to some of these questions, yet we are friends. A couple of us are even close friends. You snuck through, apparently bringing with you enough other fine qualities to balance these black marks on your record or worming your way in before my thinking became so rigid. So, if you turned out to be okay, couldn’t others who presented, at least upon first glance, as not-a-chancers? Sigh. Unless I reform my evil ways, we will never know.
But you people have a role in this, too. As I sat in the bar the other night, chatting with someone who was an agreeable sort, the right (enough) age, and drinking good beer, I found myself writing this person off because of what you, my already-established, dear-to-me (yet somewhat flawed) social circle would think. Oh, not like you would tell me this person was inappropriate (see qualifying factors named above) or evil, but there was a style choice in the personal appearance of this candidate that would not have escaped notice, comment, and probably some mild ridicule. In other words, there are now too many voices in my head (mine and yours) telling me to not even bother. If I never make a new friend again, I’m blaming you, okay?
3 weeks ago