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"Dating" to Find New Friends
*A break from complaining about men*
The pandemic basically caused many of my very best friends to move away from LA. Some of them, I think really needed it — because living here can literally murder your soul. I don’t need to tell anyone about how bad the pandemic was/is, or that most people didn’t want to be in lockdown alone — so many of them fled back to their homeland to be with their families, and really, to not be forced in having to pay a zillion dollars in rent for a room you basically never leave.
Besides the obvious issues of going on dates using apps (d*ck pics anyone?), and all the stupid new problems of being on dating apps brought up while being in lockdown (like, not knowing if you could ever meet in person safely?) — many of us were just getting used to Zoom parties and Facetiming friends who were now in other states and in different time zones.
I’ve always had friends on the opposite coast than me, and one friend who swears she can’t talk to me unless she sees my face, so it wasn’t super weird at first. But when it came time to come out of lockdown and go back to doing some of the real world IRL that it really hit me… uh, I have no friends.
Well, not like NO friends, but like, a lot fewer.
I don’t know about you, but do you have friends that fit into certain categories? Where depending on what the event is, you have to question if their personality will fit with that event?
Like, for example, I am the friend that will call you and say things like: “I have a plus one to Post Malone tonight, can you get here in fifteen minutes?” to which the few friends I have left here would immediately say no to…. Yes, like even a FREE Post Malone show. I know. Or, “There’s a party on La Cienega for some influencer’s makeup release party… they have giant gift bags and that guy from the show you like is here, can you get here?” or “So…. feel like seeing Hamilton this weekend?” or even, “Hey, so…. The show hasn’t started yet, and Joey Fatone and his girlfriend are here. Do you wanna come? I know you super love him.”
I only say that certain friends fit certain categories because there is only so much of my weirdness and weird events they’ll put up with.
Alas, now that so many of my friends have moved away, I find myself trying to figure out how to find a slew of ladies that would be willing to be my friend IRL…. and maybe attend a few random Post Malone concerts with me. For instance, my sister is one of my very best friends, we are almost Irish Twins, but we are 16 months apart instead of 12. Usually, she gets the invite first for almost everything — but also, her feet ALWAYS hurt her, so you can’t really invite her to things where she has to stand forever. She also doesn’t know any Post Malone songs.
My best friend from college likes to proclaim, “I’m old!!” about ten times per hang out and doesn’t enjoy events that start past 10pm. I, on the other hand, refuse to say the words “I’m old” outloud, and have confused my own cousins about what my actual age is…. they constantly ask when I’m turning 30. HA.
This friend and I once went to a party on a Thursday night at 8pm, and she wanted to leave at 9pm. The band didn’t even go on until 11:30, which was the whole point of us attending this party. Not to mention, it was small and sweaty and they were giving stick and poke tattoos in the living room. I am also (unfortunately) that friend that will convince you to drink all the kombucha margaritas you can handle on a Thursday night, AND to get the palm tree stick and poke tattoo. So, I guess I’m like not a good influence or whatever, but dammit, I AM FUN. Alas, there’s always that moment with her on the way home where she sort of says “please never invite me to one of these things again,” and I swear I won’t ever again. That is, until the next party comes and I invite her and just leave out a whole lotta details…
There’s also a category of friend when it comes to me, that has to be able to deal with entertainment industry things and not find certain sayings or doings weird or offensive. As in, if the random movie star we invited to the show asks my plus one to hold her purse while she pees — I would hope that friend would do it to make a good impression on my behalf. Or if the band reeeeeally wants to order a bottle of tequila for the AirBnb after the show, I’d hope that whoever I brought wouldn’t think it was weird that I delivered alcohol to myself via an app (using the label’s card, duh) at a nightclub and told the delivery man to meet us outside by the grey Maserati for hand off. (My sister accepted both of these challenges with much grace…because she’s a real one)
But there are a few of my friends who would NEVER help me do something like this. And for what it’s worth, I generally have never done anything illegal. I’m just good at solving complicato situations when it comes to “Creative” types… and that sometimes means doing really out-of-the-ordinary things.
But besides this, it’s weird to find IRL places to find women who might want to be my friend. Because, let’s face it, if you are younger than 30, I probably won’t know a lot of the things you talk about…. But I will certainly try. I also can’t use a lot of young people slang in actual sentences, so I can’t say things like “so fire” and be like, believable. I also like to pretend that I am young still, but my body knows full damn well that it can’t drink thatttt much alcohol anymore, or dance that f*cking hard for that f*cking long, or wear high heels of any height without having to go to the chiropractor the next day. But I am also not the friend who just wants to stay in and watch Netflix and order food, because that’s been every night for the past 18 months… there’s a middle ground, where maybe there are like chairs, and ballet flats are fine. And that’s where I wanna go, and I wanna have friends to do it with, but I also need you to be ok if I invite that one guy who was on Glee for a couple seasons without you being weird or starstruck, ya know?
I guess I just never realized how much trying to make new girlfriends feels just like dating. Like, I arranged to have coffee with a new friend, and found myself thinking, “make sure you nod a lot, so you look really interested in what she’s saying…” like, WHAT. I talk so much normally, I would talk to a wall, why is my brain doing this to me?
Or like, sitting with a new friend and thinking, “I don’t think she’s ever seen me from the neck down before… Does she realize that I have a HUGE ass now that I’m here in person? Do I mention it? Is it the elephant in the room, or?”
Or like, how many “new” friends is like, a viable number to have and nurture? Should I be trying to find a few more friends to feel weird around? And will I ever have the kinds of friends I had before? You know, where you share dresses and eyelash glue and sleep on their couch with their cat, and just be like, really ugly together sometimes while you eat pizza?
I know they make apps where you can find friends, but JUST like dating — everything seems so awkward and forced. I don’t want you to fill out an application to see if we can hang, like can we just hang and see if things are cool? But also, how do I find you? Will you think that I’m weird because I like crystals and say “Oh that makes so much sense” after asking for your star sign?
I mean, I was bad at dating before the pandemic. But now I gotta be bad at dating AND at making friends? It just seems so cruel.
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