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May 14, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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Idiot’s guide to making friends

I bet you picked up this week’s Salient and just couldn’t wait to find out what you could learn from me today. Well good. Today, you will learn how to make friends.

That way, next time you pick up a Salient you won’t be so desperately lonely.

First things first. Lower the magazine from your eyeline and look around. Do it smoothly- perhaps whistle a tune while doing it. ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ is my favourite but you must choose your own favourite tune- not mine. Anyone you see is a potential friend. As my parents told me- and I’m telling you- strangers are awesome. A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet. So, are you ready to make a new friend? Let’s go!

First step. Picking your friend. Don’t take this lightly. You can eliminate all the hotties. That means both guys and girls you find attractive. If you walk over to them and start conversation they are going to assume you want them for their body. Not their love. Drunken flirting is not acceptable during the day- so eliminate all hotties. In fact, let’s go further just to be on the safe side. Anyone of the opposite sex is off limits to you right now. You have to find someone who is like you downstairs. In the pants. You know.

So, look around. Count out anyone larger than you who could kick your ass. In fact, you’ll probably make a racist joke too, so anyone who doesn’t look exactly like you should be avoided. Remember idiot, different is bad! Okay. So you’ve probably located the three or four people who are potential new friends. That guy who is reading a book isn’t interested okay. There is nothing more annoying than some idiot walking up to you while you are clearly trying to read especially if he himself is whistling ‘I Dream of Jeannie’.

Don’t talk to the guy who is having lunch, especially if he is a vegetarian. He’s not there long term. Both with life and with lunch.

That leaves you with one clear option. The guy sitting alone on the staircase over to your right. He is your best option, and therefore, next best friend. If you notice him rocking, or talking to himself, then that only makes your job easier. Now, how to approach him. Don’t run over there and give him a kiss like you would with your grandma. Certainly don’t spoon him from behind. You don’t know him, so you are not allowed to touch him-yet. Always stay outside of his personal space, or hula hoop. (The hula hoop is that big plastic circle toy you have. You have to imagine he is using a one, and if it was swinging towards you, whether it would hit you or not. If you think it would, you are standing too close to him, aka you are in his hula hoop.) Now it is time to talk or make mouth noise.

If you don’t talk, people get uneasy. Usually they will fear for their life, and often you will be pepper sprayed. Some of my best friends don’t talk and to be honest it freaks me out. So just follow this simple conversation starter:

You: “Hey, how is it going?”

Them: “Fine, how are you?”

You: “Pretty good. I am _______ “(enter your name) (Don’t say ‘enter your name’ in the above line of dialogue. Use your name, e.g. Denny).

They will respond with something like, “I’m Blair, what do you study Denny?”

Every question they ask you, reply to, and then ask something back. The key to answering questions is to try to tailor the answer so it fits the question- don’t just start whistling ‘I Dream of Jeannie’. So converse away! Sure, this guy will think you are a bit slow, but at least he will be your friend. The last advice I offer is, invite him to something. Something real.

Like a BBQ at your place. Or a night at the pub. Not a dirty weekend in Carterton- yet. If he says no thank you, then smile, walk away and search for another loner. If he says yes then you’ve done it, you have a friend! Hopefully the person you pick has also read this column, and then all you idiots will end up in one breeding pool, away from the rest of us. The rest of us will have to just keep dreaming- of Jeannie.

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