#198 Becoming friends with the other guy who doesn’t know anyone here

Welcome to the place where nobody knows your name.

1. The Boring Party. You’re watching Saturday Night Live on the couch or hanging by the punch table at prom while everyone else dances up a sweat to The Power, Informer, or Pump Up The Jam across the room. When that other guy plops on the couch or your fellow nerd in a math-themed T-shirt pulls up for a handful of chips, you know you just met your conversation buddy for the next hour.

2. The Wrong Age. Dragged to mom’s book club because the babysitter cancelled last minute, you were expecting a warm cup of grape juice and four boring hours in someone’s rocking-chair and doily-filled living room. But then another misplaced kid arrives, too! Since they also have no intention of discussing underlying themes of lust in The Handmaid’s Tale, you bond for an afternoon full of new toys and maybe The Neverending Story on TV.

3. The Office Social. You’re the new guy in accounts payable at the quarterly meeting or the fresh-faced college grad in a roomful of old farts. Since you don’t know anyone else it’s great when someone in the same boat swims up to you near the empty chairs at the back. Neither of you know anything so you get to figure it out together.

Yes, there’s something sweet about becoming friends with the other guy who doesn’t know anyone here. Sure, maybe circumstances threw your friendship together but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. Life is short, delicate, and fragile and some insta-bonding is good for the soul. Use all your old jokes, be a new you, and enjoy those short and simple moments with someone you’ve never seen before.





Photos from: here and here

26 thoughts on “#198 Becoming friends with the other guy who doesn’t know anyone here

  1. Bahahahaha … LOVE the YouTube vids … nice.

    It’s so great to bond with that other misplaced person. I’ve actually had some great friendships come out of those situations!

  2. The funny thing is that I was just at a party on Friday night that I knew only the host at. Not about the hog the host so the first half involved me watching SNL till I made a new friend.

  3. For business purposes, I had to push the limits and “make a whole lot of new friends” this past weekend; most of whom others would find seriously intimidating. The first day I was, so much that I just let them hover-over-my-craft! The second day, (regarding apparel), I added this to the poster, “Black is awesome, but Alive is Awesomer!” To some extent this sensitized and humourized us to a humanized bond. I also frequently and silently visited my second site…”Awesome-land”, which said, they all fart, poop, belch and maybe even get frightened and cry, because truth of the matter is, “Every body hurts sometimes,” and I’m just so thankful everything went all-right:)

    1. (I needed an “Informer”,
      to help me get smarter…
      somebody just like you!
      I feel like, “I’ve got the power”
      now more than ever, for new me to “Pump up the Jam.”)
      As always, thank you!

    2. Ha ha ha! That’s an awesome “mis-heard lyric” Wendy! I am totally going to sing as “farmer” from now on in your honour!

      1. It goes like this…
        “Farmer, icky boom- boom down!”
        alright then, I’m holding you to it!

        1. ya’ think it MIGHT’ve helped if I’d had cable-vision…don’t look like no farmer’s falling on cow-pies to me now!
          Oh, where have you been all my life, Neil!

  4. I do this a lot. Mostly because I know how they feel. On my trip to Canada back in high school- I was the only one from my school that went and I saw this other girl sitting by herself. She was the only one from her school too. We became great friends and hung out the entire time.
    Here at work, I tend to be the only one to talk to the new people first and make them feel welcome…even with the temps and interns.

  5. That’s exactly how I met my boyfriend, we were at a birthday party and didn’t know anyone so ended up chatting. It was recently our three year anniversary and I think we’ve got many more to come!

  6. After being the new kid in school in 3rd grade 35+ years ago I have always made a point of getting to know the new person.

    And Yeah! Pump up the Jam is definitely one of my guilty pleasure songs. #467…

  7. This is inspiring =) I usually just avoid events where I’ll be one of those people who doesn’t know anyone there. Maybe I should go and seek out the other person!

    And I appreciate the shout out to The Neverending Story! It’s one of my childhood favorites except I’ve tainted it because I watched it again during college and realized how fake/cheesy everything looks/sounds. Some memories just shouldn’t be tampered with =p.

  8. Oh, and my favorite line in this is: “Use all your old jokes, be a new you, and enjoy those short and simple moments with someone you’ve never seen before.” That’s beautiful right there!

  9. Having moved so many times; I know this displaced feeling well…it’s almost as if nobody is a stranger anymore and nearly everywhere I go I meet these people: in line-ups at the bank, grocery stores; walking my dog, all sorts of events, and we naturally gravitate toward one another and usually stick like the bestest glue movie and glue songs ever…age, no barrier, we are kindred-in-spirit. And in the picture above, you can just see this song playing…”People, who need people, are the luckiest people in the world!”

    1. Maybe I’m just a geek, but that would be #197.5 since we’re going backwards… and yes, it is completely awesome. :)

  10. Not only did I make a new friend at my husband’s last high school reunion, he bought me drinks all night long. Double win!

  11. Math themed shirt FTW!

    I’ve got one, and I love it.. It’s a made-up shirt for my college math team.. It’s got other things on it, but my favorite part is that on the back it says: “Differentiate THIS, fool!”

  12. Once again Neil, this is perfect!! I’m starting in a new school this coming September, and I don’t know one person… I’ve become acquaintances with two. This reminds me of that! Another awesome thing? Meeting people who you know will probably be your best friends… AWESOME!

  13. this is EXACTLY how I met my husband. he didn’t realize initially I was chatting so I didn’t look so absurd being alone not knowing anyone else in North Carolina…

    LOVE your blog.

Comments are closed.