Everyone needs a friend, or at least one person who will pick you up at the airport or pay a ransom to a Nigerian prince.
Making new friends is never easy. However, there are ways to make the process easier. Here are just a few that don’t require paying someone to say, “No, those jeans definitely don’t make your left buttock look big.
Take initiative – You’ll never know if that perfect stranger you spot on the subway could be your best buddy unless you step forward and invite him hiking on the Appalachian Trail for a week.
Smile – A beaming grin will make you appear approachable. And even if it doesn’t lead to a burgeoning friendship, it may at least get you a good reference for some excellent psychotherapy.
Be a good listener – People appreciate an empathetic ear – as well as a sympathetic nose and a compassionate eyebrow.
Join a new club or organization – Just because a group is being monitored by the FBI doesn’t mean you won’t meet a lifelong friend at its yearly Aryan Resistance Barbecue.
Be open about your flaws – Sooner or later, someone will appreciate the fact that you’re a middle-aged man still living with your parents.
Be curious – People love to be asked questions. For example: “I noticed your name tag reads ‘Big Penis Parksdale.’ Is your middle name ‘Penis’?”
Try a new activity – Some of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet belong to Greek Orthodox fire walking clubs.
Step outside your comfort zone – Delivering a TED talk about losing your virginity to a pretzel kingpin from Königreich Romkerhall may seem like too much sharing, but how else are you going to meet other people who lost their virginity to someone from Königreich Romkerhall?
Be enthusiastic – You can’t imagine how many people will want to know more about you by simply screaming at the top of your lungs, “OH GOD, YES, SUPERSIZE IT!
Be yourself – Unless, of course you can be a more interesting version of you.
If someone can read tea leaves or Tarot cards, should we assume they can also read a rental car agreement?
Never go to a discount therapist who shows you his perspiration stain and asks, “What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?”
Think twice about returning to a restaurant that charged you extra for the Heimlich maneuver.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) should never be used for parking violations, and certainly not for failing to pick up your small dog’s poop.
Has this ever happened to you?
Have you ever thought a stranger is talking to you, only to realize they’re actually talking on their phone? If you’re like most people, you immediately feel embarrassed. But look at it this way: In all probability, you are a more interesting conversationalist than the person on the other end of that call. In fact, had that person been calling you, you probably would have let it gone straight to voicemail. Because, if they’re not calling to talk about last night’s orgy and networking meetup, you can’t be bothered.
I don’t mind being a celebrity, although sometimes I wish my groupies would help me fold my sheets at the laundromat.
Before I die, I want to see how sausage is made.
If you capture everyone’s hearts, are you obligated to release at least some?
If you’re trying to project a devil-may-care attitude, you should never show up on a blind date with a lawyer holding prenuptial agreement.
Has this ever happened to you?
Are you, like me, quiet and solitary? If so, you’ll understand how annoying it is when people badger me with bothersome questions like: “Why were you staring in my window?” “Suspect number three, would you please turn to your left?” And of course, “Are you hiding anything illegal in your lower intestine?”
I always thought it was important to be a results-oriented person until I impulsively screamed during sex: “I finished first!”
I’ve always wanted to argue a case before the Supreme Court, but I have a fear of being asked, “Do you even know what amicus curiae means?”
If you want to witness some nice brawling, accept any invitation to a Political Affiliation Reveal party.
Was I dreaming?
I have this vivid image of calling 911 and the operator only wanted to talk about her problems. After twenty minutes, I realized my burning home was less important than her disagreements with her roommate.
Every relationship begins with trust. Just provide me with blood and hair samples, and then let the magic begin.
Has this ever happened to you?
Last week, I was trying to think of something interesting to write about, but was distracted by a space alien captor probing my body orifices. Then a few days later, I headed into the woods for a little solitude, and wouldn’t you know it, Big Foot kidnapped me and insisted on showing me his new breakfast nook he carved out in his cave. These distractions are killing me. I think I’m just going to write about shopping for socks.
Establishing emotional bonds with anybody has always been difficult for me, but I will continue trying until the day I wonder why I can’t connect with my undertaker.
That’s why I don’t see Stockholm syndrome, a condition in which hostages develop a psychological bond with their captors during captivity, as being a totally negative thing. To me, it’s an opportunity to experience a connection I so crave with one or more creatures that are not a dog, cat or turtle.
Being a hostage certainly has its drawbacks. No one likes to have their mouth duck taped shut while their captors are negotiating with the police, Still, to feel an almost affinity with a gun-toting hoodlum who holds my life in his frenzied hands, at the very least, beats feeling alone in a crowd at an after-work mixer. At minimum, my abductor would “get” me and hopefully, should I survive, I would get him or her.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “You’re just looking at the positive aspects of being held hostage,” and you’re right. What if, for example, I was immediately released as a goodwill gesture to the police? Why me and not the other hostages? That kind of rejection would be hard to accept.
Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You have to take a chance and keep an open mind and an open heart. Plus, who knows? Maybe I’ll bond with someone on the hostage negotiation team.
How can you tell if someone’s natural facial expression is a queasy grimace, commonly known as resting bitch face (RBF), or they are simply downright ornery?
As someone who’s often accused of looking like Jack the Ripper on his worst day – even while happily folding my laundry, I know what it’s like to be constantly asked, “Are you okay? Is everything alright?”
It’s precisely because of my sometime – okay, all the time – less-than-sunny facial expression that I give every angry, moping, sullen, surly face I encounter a free pass. Cutting a few ill-tempered characters some slack is a small price to pay for showing a little empathy for every RBF I meet.
I’ll absorb an icy glance from any might-be psychopath on the off chance they are actually a wonderful person who was voted Most Unapproachable in high school.
As someone who is regularly misjudged as a threat to society or, at the very least, a threat to my book club, who am I to judge folks who don’t say “Hi” while attempting to break into my car?
So your constant look of oncoming nausea regularly causes family and friends to dial 911. Big deal. It still beats trying to force a smile whenever a sales clerk says “Have a nice day.” (Note: According to many studies, so I’ve heard, more crimes are committed by smiling sales clerks than scowling proof readers.)
Will the world ever be more accepting of sullen facial expressions? Probably not. But here’s one thing you can count on: If your angry puss ever encounters my resting bitch face, it will be met with an accepting and non-judgmental frown.
After years of wondering where I got my compulsion to flick errant crumbs off messy eater’s lower lips, I decided to trace my ancestry with one of those DNA kits.
It’s been quite a journey. So far, I’ve discovered:
I had a great uncle who was a failed bootlegger of non-alcoholic whiskey.
My quarter half aunt twice removed was the first female elevator operator to announce: “Third floor, women’s lingerie.”
An extremely distant relative on my father’s side cured a young Abraham Lincoln of his stove pipe hat phobia.
My paternal great-great-great-grandfather was the first Pony Express rider disciplined for riding side saddle.
My great-great-not-so-great-aunt traveled with her husband to California in 1850. After their gold mine went bust, she opened the world’s first brothel for pets.
Immigration agents at Ellis Island granted my great-great-great-grandfather entry to the United States, but not his pet komodo dragon.
I’m also related to Lewis and Clark’s first official biographer, who in 1813 was fired for refusing to remove a chapter titled: “More Than Just Good Friends.”
My DNA search didn’t lead me to an explanation of my crumb flicking urges, but it’s nice to know I have enough interesting descendants to more than make up for our present day family of couch potatoes.