People have craved friendships since the beginning of civilization. For some, the process of making a friend is easy, while for others…it’s a mystery. Children, I have noticed, need only be close in height to start a conversation with another child. Women…. Well, although I am a woman, I am also a writer, which in my case means that my best friends are the characters I create. Men? I’ve never been one, so this is unfamiliar ground. You men out there should feel free to click on Comment under this post’s title and share how you make friends. Frankly, I’d love if everyone reading this post would share their most tried and true methods of making friends.
Here are a handful of ways available to us to start a friendship:
1. Greet and start a conversation with your neighbors. (“Good Morning, Mr. Brown. How many times does this make it that the snow plow has taken out our mailboxes?”)
2. Working on homework with someone from school. (“Didn’t we just have a test last semester?”)
3. Chat with the person in front or behind you while waiting in line at a store. (“Oh, I see you like Hummus, too. Don’t you think it tastes better than it smells?”)
5. Someone next to you on an airplane. (“Are we there yet?”)
6. A misaddressed letter. (This actually happened when I was a child. A letter with the right P.O. Box, the right town, but the wrong state arrived in our mailbox. My mother mailed the letter back with a clever poem, telling of the adventure the letter had. A phone call followed by the family in Vermont. After a couple of hours on the phone, my parents discovered they had scads in common with this lovely couple, so much that we took a vacation to meet them.)
7. Need I mention the internet? (Where do I begin?)
I saw a movie in which a friendship developed when a balloon, with a message tied to the string, drifted into someone’s backyard.
Here is this Wednesday’s prompt and inspiration.
Let’s pretend that tying a message to the string of a balloon is the only way to start a friendship. What message would you write? What do you want the stranger who receives your message to know about you? Will you write a quick sentence, merely asking for friendship? Will you write pages, telling of your likes, loves, dislikes, hardships, wants, needs, colorful past, and dreams for your future? Will you send a list of your hobbies and interests, hoping the one who receives your balloon likes knitting, classic black and white movies, and writing, too?
Suppose a balloon with a message drifted into your window. What message might you respond to? We receive countless e-mails throughout the years. Some e-mails are advertisements, some are Facebook notifications, and updates from friends and family. What causes you to respond to an e-mail? What would the anonymous stranger need to write to get you to write back? Would having a hobby in common be enough? Would simply needing a friend be enough?
As always, I’d love to hear from you! Just under the blog post title you’ll see the word Comment. Please click and share.