Have you ever stopped to think about how you met all of the friends in your life? People who you talk to everyday; have you ever stopped to remember how you got to know them in the first place? It’s not something you usually think about, is it?
A few years ago, I tried to think about all of those points of origin and for some people I drew a blank. For others, they were just your typical friend-meeting-friend on the first day of primary/high school, we found out we caught the same school bus in the mornings, we both did karate, we had friends in common, or school just brought us together so often that it was inevitable that we would become friends. Then there are the friends you meet because you’re dating/want to be dating someone. I met some of my best friends in high school that way.
There are also the work friends you bond with because you hate your customers/boss/or someone at work is just driving you both insane. Some of the best drunk conversations I’ve ever had have been about work. Sounds lame I know, but seriously: if you’ve ever worked in the customer service industry you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I have a friend who I sort of knew through high school but didn’t really get to know until I graduated and he was in his final two years. All thanks to that wondrous invention known as Facebook.
Plus, everyone has that friend they met online, right? It’s the second decade of the new millennium, there has to be at least one person who you got to know over chat or FB. I have a couple of those friends. But, you know, there’s always the chance that the person you’re talking to is a complete psycho so always, always be careful! (Though you all probably know that, seeing as you’re familiar with the blogging process, you’re probably also aware of being wary of the whole online interaction thing).
There are also the friendship “meet-cutes”. You know that moment in rom-coms where the main characters meet because of something adorable like dropped textbooks, reaching for the same >insert object here< at the shops, or a case of mistaken identity. One of my best uni friends I met because she couldn’t figure out how to turn her computer on. First day jitters. It had taken me a few minutes to find the right button as well! Of course, I acted cool as a cucumber and found myself an awesome friend.
But my hands down, absolute favourite friendship point-of-origin story was with another of my uni friends. We were both sitting in our first tutorial for a journalism class. The tutor had already gone through all of those horrible ice-breaking activities that makes everyone want to curl up and die a little inside.
Once that was out of the way, the tutor brought out the big guns: we were to pair up and go find a “story” on campus. Now that was terrifying enough without 99% of the people in that class turning to each other with smiles on their faces. At this point in my uni career, I’d only taken writing classes. So the journalism student population was entirely foreign to me. So I turned to the girl sitting a few chairs up from me and we did that awkward shrug-and-nod manoeuvre.
You know the small talk you make with strangers: Oh, how’s uni going? How much do you hate our lecturer? How’s your assignment going? Man, this weather, so hot/cold/windy/rainy, right?
But we were lucky. We also got to try and figure out how to work our microphone/recorder device that was supposed to tape the “interviews” we found. From memory, we gave up on the recorder and used her iPhone. Which, I’m pretty sure would have worked better than uni equipment anyway.
As we walked down the main street (because there was also this main street full of cafés, a gym, a Woolworths, and a bottle shop at our uni), we saw all of our classmates splitting off in the same general direction. Being the contrary women we are, we took the road less travelled. I remember walking past all of the cafés and thinking about how hungry I was. I’d either forgotten to pack lunch that day or was waiting for my break. Anyway, it wasn’t too long until we both figured out that maybe there was a reason everyone else had gone the other way. We stayed the course, though, and eventually found the art gallery.
Trying to find the entrance led us to an interview with a maintenance man. Riveting, riveting stuff. But he told us that there had just been a student art show and that there were still some of the pieces inside. Relief spurred us into a bit of a sprint. But what we found was disheartening.
There were a few haphazard pictures still hanging on the walls and one piece that was a looked like a page of a story. I can’t remember what it said, but I remember reading the whole thing. It was good, but I couldn’t see people spending any amount of time reading anything at an art show when there are pretty pictures to look at.
We searched every single nook and cranny of that student gallery until we found the installation that basically cemented our friendship forever:
On top of a plaster pedestal, there was a sculpture of a penis. An anatomically incorrect sculpture of a penis given that it was missing two pretty important elements. We burst into a fit of giggles, the art students glaring at us as they cleared up their masterpieces. We snapped photos on our phones (the photo I lost some time ago, seeing as I’ve gone through a few phones since that day) and left, chatting away about the weirdest things we’ve ever seen classed as “art”, which lead to conversations about weird things in general.
What better way to build a friendship than on a foundation of weirdness?
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