I have developed an inappropriate obsession with stories of how friends meet.
You know how some people love reading the wedding announcements in the New York Times Sunday wedding section? They flip through the lists of newlyweds, simultaneously rolling their eyes in disgust and acknowledging their deep-seeded jealousy of the seemingly-perfect pairs. I’m one of them, but only for platonic partnerships.
I never quite cared about reading the wedding announcements, save for scrolling through to see if any of my former high school classmates made the cut. Reading the same old tale of a college meet cute every Sunday gets boring after a while.
However, my fascination with how two BFFs found each other is off the charts. And it gets just plain weird.
Take a couple weeks back. I was leaving my Saturday morning dance class when I ran into a old college classmate of mine. About a year ago, said classmate started working at the same company where I was a web producer. We were in different departments so rarely interacted. When I saw her at dance, she was taking class with another former colleague, this one in an entirely different department than either of us. Ours is a pretty big company, so people in different departments don’t usually hang out much. So how, I wondered, had my ex-classmate become so buddy-buddy with this other girl? The fact that they were working out together on a weekend made clear that their relationship was more than a passing office courtesy.
I know it sounds like I was jealous. I wasn’t. I don’t know either of these girls that well, and I have my own set of “dance class friends.” But the fact of their friendship certainly sparked my curiosity. I harassed my old classmate for dish: How exactly did your paths cross? Did you hit it off right away? When did you start hanging out outside of the office? How was the invitation extended?
Being something of a friendship fanatic, this information intrigues me. I want to know the logistics of how it’s done. I’ve asked the same questions of women who met at the gym, or as neighbors, or through mutual friends. They all have one thing in common: They’re creeped out by my aggressive questioning.
Some people want to learn everything about dead presidents, or shooting stars, or the cast of Roseanne. I want to learn everything about real-life friendships. But let me tell you: it’s real hard not to come off as a personal-space invader when firing these questions.
Oh well. Such is the price I pay for my inquisitiveness (I feel like that word should be inquisitivity….)
If you’re on a friend search, are you constantly trying to figure out how other pairs made it happen? Ever ask for a rundown of the friendship history, or are you too shy/embarrassed/respectful of personal space to bother? And if you want to share the who-what-where of your BFF meet cute, take it away!