Moving to a completely new place without any friends is a hard thing to do. And it's been so long since I've made a new friend that I forget how to do it. The act itself of making friends isn't so difficult -- just don't be a dick -- and I'm sure it will be exponentially easier once I actually have a job and interact with people on a daily basis again. But the act of finding a group and establishing myself in said group proves to be more challenging than I quite remember. Right now, I'm just rowing along in my little rowboat with B, sending out meek distress signals and hoping a rescue boat filled with attractive people who like to drink a lot of booze come our way and pick us up. At least, that's my hope anyway.
In college, all you had to do was walk into someone's dorm room during that first week of school, when everyone was so desperate for friends we clung to each other like drunk little otters, and you'd be biffle bizzles for the next four years. "ZOMG you love macaroni and cheese TOO?!?! I can't wait to tell my mom about you." And just like that, we had a group.
Naturally, there was also a sheets ton of alcohol involved too, which in the beginning, is like the sloppy glue that cements every new group of college friends together. Boozing aside, these people are some of the most important people in my life. And when I think back on all the amazing times we've had together throughout the years -- good and bad that we've gotten each other through -- it still kind of blows my mind. And gives me a little bit of a boxed wine hangover. Franzia for the fail.
Like that time Mojo and I got in a RAGER of a fight at Dewey Beach bar during senior week over something that neither of us can quite remember, but then spent the rest of the weekend attached at the butt. Literally. Okay, not literally, but I'm pretty sure we were holding hands for at least 90 percent of the next three days. Even in the back of the Dewey Beach Police Department paddy wagon that I had flagged down to drive us to a party because it was raining. And he did.
Or the time we had a five-keg party in our tiny Baltimore rowhome and I discovered mid-party that someone had snatched my electric toothbrush (sidenote: WHO STEALS A TOOTHBRUSH?!) but at that point, although piiiiiiissed, I was too tired to make a fuss, so Carolyn marched down the stairs, put her hands on her hips and screamed, "CUT THE MUSIC! SOMEONE STOLE MY TOOTHBRUSH!!" And hundreds of heads snapped to her attention, the girl screaming about a toothbrush in the middle of a party.
Or the time we invited Guster back to our house for a party and they came.
Or the time sophomore year when I was really homesick, and Caitlin drove me all the way from Baltimore to Philadelphia for a weekend trip.
Or the time Julita made us all go to a Haunted House outside Baltimore when we discovered that "outside Baltimore" is actually Confederate Country, ya'll!
Or the babillion times we crawled out of bed, went to brunch in our sweatpants and laughed until tears were streaming down our faces about the events of the night before or boys or boys from the night before.
But when I first went to college, I was convinced that I'd never find a group of friends as good as my "home friends." All those crazy girls and boys who I'd gotten myself in trouble with for the past four years and, um, life.
Like the time Lauren and Caitlin told their parents we were going to a New Year's Eve party at the Poconos when we were actually on our way down the shore to meet our guy friends when we got in a car accident as soon as we crossed the Ben Franklin Bridge and we spent the next two hours in the back of Officer B. Zimmerman's patrol car while we waited for Caitlin's dad to come pick us up.
Or the time Monica and I had our first sip of beer from the can of Red Dog we stole from her dad's fridge and walked around the neighborhood forcing down gulps in disgust. Red Dog: the gateway beer.
Or the time we made up gangs in the hallways of our all girl, private, Catholic high school, named the rivaling factions The Nipple Cutters and The Sandy Vaginas, and divided ourselves accordingly.
Or the time during the snow storm when we all made our way to each others houses for an intense few hours of leg wrestling. We were, um, a little weird in high school.
And that time Michael planned an entire weekend "retreat" down the shore in the middle of February and we sat around writing letters and sharing feelings and telling each other how much we loved each other. I could go on, but I'll spare you.
It's the combination of these people now that make it impossible to imagine what my life would be like had we never bonded over fake I.D.s or musical tastes or Kairos letters or passed notes. And when I opened a package last week containing two Paul Newman movies and a giant cookie, from the same two people who drove from Philadelphia to Baltimore to celebrate my 21st birthday and STILL managed to make it back in time for 6 a.m. crew practice the next morning, I wondered if I'd ever find friends who know me so well and went so far to show me they cared again and now we're 400 miles away from each other and what will I do? (Cause, you know, I'm kind of a big deal in Philadelphia). GAH I AM SO EMO SOMETIMES I CAN BARELY STAND IT.
But not having a job gives me a lot of time to watch Paul Newman movies think about how my life will never be the same again OH MY GAH I MIGHT AS WELL JUMP. But also, since I tend to always get a little emo in the midst of a gigantic change that throws me completely out of orbit and leaves me writhing and writhing and writhing and gnashing my teeth, I've learned by now that it does usually get better. In fact, it usually gets awesome. More awesome than I had ever expected.
So for now, I'm just waiting for my awesome and occasionally gnashing my teeth. So step right up, future friends. I am ready for you to love me! Any day now. Today would be nice. Maybe tomorrow if you're busy. I'm flexible.