So you want some new friends. Maybe you don’t have any yet because you just moved to the city. Maybe you recently broke up with your girlfriend, who turned everyone you know against you (whore). Or maybe you’re just kind of sick of the friends you’ve already got. I mean, let’s be truthful here — they really are a bunch of assholes.
So what do you do? No, not take a shit ton of Valium and watch reruns of Law & Order in bed by yourself. Well, maybe you do that, but then you get dressed, look in the mirror and say, “I’m good enough!” Even if you’re not, you still definitely have some options. In perusing the following suggestions, I would caution you to consider the kind of friends you want, how much you value your dignity, and the amount of energy you truly want to expend on this endeavor.
1. Post a fake roommate wanted ad on Craigslist
Pretend there’s a room opening up soon in your apartment and post the ad ASAP. You can tailor it to attract the types of people you want to be friends with, which is a perk you don’t always get in the real world (as opposed to the fake, web-of-lies world). If it’s important that your friends like Werther’s original butterscotch toffee candies and the Detroit Red Wings as much as you do, say so in the ad. After you’ve filtered the responses and begin having interviews (which could be weird if you already have roommates, but use your resources to figure it out), do the right thing and offer a beer to everyone that comes by. This way there can be no mistaking the fact that you would make an excellent friend.
When you’ve weeded out the losers and found your new entourage, E-mail each one and say something to the effect of, “The guy moving out decided to stay, but we should totally hang out sometime.” See where it goes and never mention the lying.
It’s nice to volunteer just, you know, to be a good person and not a selfish shithead. But volunteering also really is a great place to make friends, though it might take a couple tries to find what you enjoy — or people you enjoy. If you’re at all interested in writing, kids, or pirates, 826 Valencia is an awesome place to volunteer. I can tell you from personal experience that everyone there is really cool (except that one guy. You know who you are). There’s lots of online resources you can check out to narrow down your possibilities by interest and location, like the great VolunteerMatch website that Alison wrote about a few weeks ago.
3. Take a dog to a dog park
If you don’t have a dog, borrow one from someone you know. If you don’t know anyone with a dog, you can always find one tied up outside of Safeway. Making friends at the dog park is a nice strategy because the people you’ll find there are generally open to conversation, even if that conversation begins with, “Wow, Buddy really seems to like the smell of your puppy’s rectum.” All the dogs are at the park for the same purpose — to run around and play. Why shouldn’t their owners do the same?
4. Write to a prison pen-pal
This could be either extremely scary or extremely exciting. Through Writeaprisoner.com, you can search inmate photos and profiles, which list, among other things, the crime each is incarcerated for. So if you already have a serial killer friend and aren’t super into making another, simply move on and find a conspiracy-to-distribute-cocaine friend. Here’s a sample bio from the site: “Yo. Name’s Latarian. Real Gemini stunner. Attracted to honesty, despise liars.” Well, that’s nice to hear, Latarian, seeing as how you’re in prison for CHECK FRAUD. Just remember, prisoners need friends too.
5. Try out Chatroulette
There you go. You’ve been wanting to do it and I just gave you permission. Just be prepared…FOR ANYTHING.
6. Be friendly
This is very important. People don’t want to be friends with a jerk or anyone who comes off as a jerk. So SMILE, okay? ‘Cause I’m not gonna start a conversation with you at a bar if you look at me like I just stole your bike.