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Chillin’ out max and…

October 21, 2009

So, I was wondering this morning, as I was waking up, what attracts people to one another? Now I don’t just mean romantic attraction. I mean friendships too.

When I was in elementary school Eva Walstrom was my friend because she liked to play with me on the teeter-totters. In junior high Jenny Posthumus and Carla Rains were my friends because they would sit with me at lunch time. And, in high school the music and theatre kids became my clan.

But I know it was more than that too. These coincidences weren’t the only things that drew us together. Because Andrea liked the teeter-totters too, and we weren’t really friends. And Donald Bradford probably would have sat with me at lunch if I had asked.

If you’re one of those people who believes there is something good in everyone, (and, like me also believes there is something bad in everyone) then inherently everyone you meet has the potential to be a great friend.

I know sometimes it’s about how a person looks. No matter what, we all really want to have pretty friends. But there are things – shared experiences, similar lives and cultural backgrounds – that also attract us to each other. For me, I very often feel a kinship with someone because of something they say.

For example, the first time I met – or I should say saw and heard – Julie Schaller we were at Small Group and Ensemble Contest at the civic center. All the girls were huddled around admiring one of the boys from our rival school.

It was either Brandon Parrish or Aaron Pushcar – because it was always one of them. Anyway, Julie was commenting on how she wanted to try to talk to one of them, but that he seemed so cool and talented that she felt like he would just brush her aside with a phrase like, “Away from me, you pesky mortal.”

I instantly had a friend crush on her. And I have had one ever since.

I also crushed pretty hard on Andy Bradley and Sky Seals from the moment I met them. But the talented duo really sealed the deal one night after a performance of the freshman/sophomore play. We had all gone to JB’s – a diner on Eighth Street – for the sundae bar, and the two of them started performing Monty Python skits.

And I was hooked. I wanted to duo to become a trio, and I instantly started pursing friendships with both of them. That night, in fact, I think I made Sky sit next to me in the booth. I probably even shared my sundae.

I have experienced this working the opposite way as well. My freshman year of college, I was standing in line to get dinner and I just happened to be standing next to Aaron Thurston among a group of friendly acquaintances. I don’t know how the conversation turned to music, but I ended up serenading the group with a classic rock song.

No big deal – its the type of thing I do all the time – and then I sang the guitar part. Aaron turned to me with his eyes wide and made a comment about how cool it was that I would sing the guitar part. He has since told me that was the moment he decided we had to be friends.

At another point that year – also in the cafeteria – As I was sitting down to eat someone asked me, “so, what are you up to today?”

“Oh, you know, just chillin out max and relaxin all cool,” I replied.

“And shootin some b-ball outside of the school?” someone continued.

“When a couple of guys…” I went on.

And eventually the entire table was singing. And we all started spending a lot of time together after that.

I like to refer to it as the “Fresh Princident.”

So, how about you all? What makes you want to befriend a person? Do some of you perhaps remember why you decided to become my friend?

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