Tag Archives: new friends

Getting to know you: your way sucks

There are lots of different ways to get to know a person. Spending time with them, asking them questions, listening to their responses. Obviously all these methods take time and effort, and are therefore fairly rubbish- because what if this new person, who is busy taking up all of your precious time answering your pertinent questions and showing you the type of person they are, turns out to be terrible? What a waste. Here are some excellent ways to get to know somebody:

1. Look at their bedsheets.

If there are brown, beige or bobbly, you do not want to be friends with this person. Either they are that rare and irritating creature who thinks sleep is ‘overrated’, or they are that much more common, and equally irritating human- someone with no taste.

2. Bombard them with movie quotes.

If they do not react, or seem puzzled, do not become friends with them*. No matter how interesting a person is, one day you will run out of things to say to them. It is imperative that you are able to sit in silence and watch a movie.

3. Do they have a pet? Does their pet look like them? No.

4. Have they planned the music which is to be played at their funeral? There is really no point being friends with someone who clearly has no long-term goals or future plans. Ditch them now, before you get too involved.

5. If you can’t imagine what their face looks like, blotchy and disgusting, while they smear snot across their poor chapped under-nose bit, you cannot be friends with them. No adult human will survive the length of a friendship without getting a fearsome, repellant cold. If you do not wish to be there, nodding sympathetically whilst they run out of tissues and start using the kitchen towel, walk away now.

6. Do they laugh at this?

*There is obviously a caveat here for those who grew up in places which don’t really have cinemas, like New Zealand.*

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My new builder friends

I’ve moved, and was feeling slightly bereft without the perpetual presence of my contractor. Luckily, the people at the end of my new road are renovating.

I casually strolled to their house, mobile at my ear, laughing uproariously. (Obviously there was no-one on the other end of the call. Other people aren’t that funny). I ‘hung up’ as I saw the builders, and rolled my eyes dramatically. ‘God,’ I said loudly. ‘Some people. All they do is talk. Honestly.’

The builder smiled at me vaguely. ‘I mean,’ I continued. ‘You really get the feeling they’d talk to anyone.’ One of the builders laughed nervously. ‘In fact,’ I said, warming to my theme. ‘They probably walk about all day looking for new friends. New friends to talk to.’ I looked meaningfully at the builders. I let the uncomfortable silence stretch out menacingly. ‘Well,’ I said finally. ‘Thank God we’re not like that.’ It’s early days, but I’m pretty sure we’re all going to get along famously.

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I was 14, and my friend and I were in Barkers on Ken High Street. We were there because we wanted to try on Miss Sixty jeans, which we had coveted for months, and at £75 we were very far from getting. A gentleman walked up to us. We had become distracted, and were now simply wandering around stroking clothes we couldn’t afford. ‘Are you a model?’ I spun round, thrilled. He was talking to my friend. ‘You should be a model. I’m only in town for a few days, but I’d love you to head up the new Ralph Lauren campaign. Oh sorry, I’m the MD of Storm Models. Here’s my card.’ My friend quietly took his card and wandered off, embarrassed. I thought about running away from her in a strop but I was having a sleepover at her house that evening.

‘Let me see!’ She handed me the card. ‘Are you going to call him?’ ‘Of course not. Ooh look- there’s new Hello Kitty t-shirts.’ She strode purposely towards them. ‘Wait. You’re not going to call him? You’re not going to make millions of pounds and get free food and to meet Leonardo DiCaprio?’ (Looking back on it, I am impressed with my prescient awareness of Leo’s penchant for models). My friend was utterly unfazed. ‘Shall we ask to be picked up? We can rent a video because it’s Friday.’ Unless it was a video in which we could go back in time and make sure I never ever went shopping and was ignored and not asked to be a model while my friend was, I wasn’t that fussed.

Yesterday, I politely asked another friend how her day was going. ‘Oh my goodness. Guess what happened to me today?’ I should have stopped replying to my emails at this point. It’s as if the last 11 years hadn’t happened. ‘What?’ ‘A famous actor mistook me for an actress! He said I couldn’t possibly be an assistant, I had to be an actress because I was so pretty. Isn’t that ridiculous? People are hilarious’  People are not hilarious. I’m changing all my friends.

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First impressions

I don’t know why people place such importance on first impressions. The first time I meet somebody new what I’m mostly thinking is, “does this person realise how funny I am?” If it looks like they haven’t, I like to point it out. “Yeah, that was me, I know- that joke was ridiculously funny and apt. I mean, it comes pretty naturally to me, to be honest. I’m extremely funny.” I just don’t like initial meetings to be awkward. I like to put people at ease (I’m a nice person). Plus I think it’s good to be honest and up-front. “Yes, of course I’d like to be friends. But no, your jokes are not as good as mine. In fact, sometimes when I laugh at your jokes I’m just re-playing an earlier quip of my own. Oh, also I might not have that much time to hang out as I actually have a lot of other friends. However at dinner parties that I can attend I will regale you with stories of parties you weren’t invited to. And have seconds.”

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