I grew up as an only child. Furthermore, I grew up on a street with only one other kid my age. Actually, only one other kid period. Until 7th grade, when set of brothers moved in down the street. One of those became by best friend.
But, being an only child, and not having a plethora of playmates, I was had two roads ahead of me…one of being a shy, solitary guy, the other being an extrovert, “take no prisoners” friend gatherer.
So, that’s what I did. I made it my personal mission to either befriend or acquaint myself with as many people at school as possible. Heck, I was elected class Treasurer in 8th grade. Still not quite sure how that happened with my inability to correctly pronounce the letter “R” and stuttering, monotone speech, but I did.
I wasn’t part of the “popular” group in high school, nor was I a “jock.” I guess I could have been a “nerd” but I really don’t think I was too far into that either. I was a “floater”, and as such, I drifted through high school without any conflicts. But I built a great friend base. How did I do this?
Well, I threw parties! Okay, so I made friends just being myself. But I did throw parties! Twice a year, I would have my friends over to my house which was on a lake. We would play pool, play darts, play the latest Nintendo system or computer games. We had a hot tub and a fire pit. The party usually started at noon and ended at midnight. I had Papa Murphy’s pizza and Costco soda!
In a word, they ROCKED! I LOVED my parties….and I think my friends did too, as they showed up twice a year, like clockwork. Mostly they were the same group, with an extra boyfriend or girlfriend added into the mix here or there. But it was fun.
I would like to say that I stay in touch with many of those same friends. And for the most part I do. Thanks to Facebook, it’s very easy. I check up on my buddies, I like to see how they’re doing. Someday, I would like to throw another party, for old-time sakes….of course, now we have wives, kids and families in general to think about, so who knows what will happen.
The point is this. I needed family, more family than just my mom and dad, because siblings weren’t in the picture. My friends became THAT family. So, if any of my old friends are reading this, THANK YOU for being there.
So…if this rings true to you, and even if it doesn’t, reach out to an old friend. It’ll warm your heart and theirs. A win-win if I’ve ever known it!