A few nights ago I met two strangers on a train ride home. We had all just come from the Dallas Stars preseason game and by some chance of fate we had gotten onto the same train car and sat across from each other. We had a lovely conversation about movies, mixed in with a few other topics, but mostly it was about our favorite movies/best moves for a genre. Something I love talking about.
The thing I have been thinking about since I departed from the train and left those two strangers onboard who had become train friends, is that isn’t it odd how we make friends?
As a young child, most of our friends come from school, church, parents friends, activities at local community centers, and such places. As children, we rarely question the fact that another child is a complete stranger to us until we say hi. But it’s okay to say hi in the space that was provided by our parents.
We carry this logic into our adulthood, the logic that if I am in the same space as someone else, a space that was provided by someone else, then it must be okay to become friends with this stranger. Work, college classes, local bar, neighborhood.
These spaces become okay as an adult to make friends. When we start a new job it doesn’t feel weird that the person across the office has come over and offered up their phone number. It isn’t strange when we go meet this completely strange person for drinks after works.
But if you met someone on the street, not knowing a thing about them, and went out for a drink with them, most people would be very skeptical if it was a safe thing to do.
I’m just wondering if others feel the same way. How do we make friends after school. How are we supposed to adult in spaces that our childhood self would scream stranger danger?
Life after college I am trying to figure out how adults make friends outside of spaces like work and their kid’s lives. Do adults make new friends outside of designated okay spaces? Am I destined to go about life with the idea of only meeting people in my small corner of the world?