Sorry I got that song stuck in your head. What song, you say? "Make new friends, but keep the old...one is silver and the other gold." That one. You're welcome.
For some reason this past year I've been making a lot of new friends. Many from my Buddhist practice, some from theater stuff, a few from improv stuff, a handful from random life stuff. I remember having a conversation with my improv buddy Joe when he was a new friend, sometime last year, about how it's a lot different making friends when you're 28 vs. when you're 8. When you're 8, the "getting to know you" conversation consists of about three questions - where do you live, what school do you go to, how many Barbies do you have.
Now there's a whole history behind us when we meet people. And that, combined with my short-term memory problems, means I ask a lot of the same questions and can never remember which stories I told to whom (I really don't want to be that girl that tells the same story over and over...but I fear I might be that girl). It also means I have to pick and choose what's important to talk about, how much is over-sharing, how much is too much.
I recently went on a friend date with Libby (that's her blog I linked to up there about the Barbies) . Before we even went into the restaurant, we sat in her car and downloaded each other on past relationships, where we grew up, school and theater stuff, more stuff about past relationships...
During dinner, we found the things we have in common (about a million), talked about current and future writing projects (and made plans to collaborate), talked more about past relationships... Ok it was mostly her talking about past relationships, I don't have much to offer in that arena.
At one point we talked about how making new friends is kind of like dating. You're tentative, you don't want to seem too eager, sometimes you feel like your new friend is out of your "league," you hope they like you, you think it's going well but you're not sure. I even sent her a text the next day saying "i had so much fun! this is the official post-date text."
We've had two more friend-dates since then, and our friend-tionship seems to be going very well. In fact, we had a 3 am phone conversation last night when I was suffering from an evil recurring nightmare. It was nice to have someone to talk to about it, and it was nice to get off the phone with an "I love you, I'll talk to you tomorrow." We're still in the honeymoon phase. :)
Actually, that's the one thing that hasn't changed from 8 to 28. I love my friends, and I tell them so. I have a few friends who I always tell I love them when we get off the phone - no matter how long it's been since I've talked to them, no matter how often we talk, no matter if it was a five-minute conversation about logistics or a two-hour ramble about life. So I guess with some friendships, the honeymoon phase never ends. And that's why it's nice to keep making new friends. (hey, I'm a poet!)