Thursday, August 18, 2005

The stratification of friendship

We all have friends; at least, those of us with affable personalities and good hygiene do. Now, I am talking about real friends, not the Internet kind, nor the imaginary ones that some of us invent. The latter usually indicate that you need some sort of psychiatric help, while the former exist on an entirely different strata, which I will deal with shortly.

While we may believe that there are many different kinds of friends, there are actually just two sorts: the kind that you can burp in front of, and the kind you can't. However, to make this entry a little more interesting (and lengthy), I will examine the Inferno-like circles of friendship.

At the outer edges of the friendship pond are the Untouchables. These are usually friends of friends who you can't stand, but you tolerate for the sake of peace, as long as these jackasses don't try to stand too close to you or attempt conversation. Another in this group may include people who irritated you and, although you forgave them, you did it so sarcastically that they should realize you don't really like them all that much- and yet they don't. This also includes the creepy guy who you accidentally made eye contact with at the restaurant- he's now your friend!

Closer in we have the Unknowns. These are people who you lost touch with a while ago and suddenly bump into at, say, the grocery store. Although you might have had a good friendship with them before their disappearance, now you can't be certain what your relationship is. Expect awkwardness, moreso if you're meeting the person for the second time. Others in this group are people who you are too afraid to approach, such as co-workers and lepers.

As we move closer to the all-encompassing power of your glorious friendship, we come to the Acquaintences. Your extended family lives here, waiting to pinch your cheek and tell you how they remember how small you were and how you have grown. If you're a teenager, your entire family is here. Don't worry, you'll probably grow out of it. This large group also includes anybody you've met more than once, or your "good friend" at work who you wouldn't socialize with in any other social situation. These aren't bad people, necessarily: they're just not good enough for you to pay any real attention to them.

The widest ring is that of your bonafide Friends. It's also subdivided into groups, and it's almost a necessity to keep those groups separate. For instance, if you have bicycling friends but also drinking friends, do not let them meet each other: either the reaction will be like oil and water, or like matter and antimatter- either way, nothing good can come of it. Occassionally, one or two can slip between groups, but it's best not to force the issue. In fact, you probably don't want to let the groups know the other exists, except in a vague way. Refer to them as "those people I bike with" with a sour look on your face and you'll cover your ass.

Near the center of the circle is the thing ring of Best Friends. These are like friends, except you talk to them about sex. For women, this involves details of lovemaking. For men, this including the phrase "bang","screw" or "fuck". Then the subject changes to sports. Best friends will not judge you or lie to you or betray you, unless it's especially in their best interest to do so.

At the very center are Sex Friends. These are friends that are having sex with. When you're done with each other, you will be relegated to each other's Untouchables group. Sorry, that's the way it goes.

"But wait", I can hear you saying,"you have not yet explained to us how Internet friends work, because we are otherwise unable to draw these conclusions on our own." Very well, since you ask: Internet friends operate on an identical plane that resides just above the normal one. It is impossible to jump from one plane to another, unless you do a bunch of stuff that involves the occult and witches, so don't even try. It has nothing to do with the personalities of the people involved, or even the way they look, really. The Internet allows us to be far wittier and sociable than we actually are, all thanks to the backspace key. We can take back that stupid comment we were about to write and replace it with something charming. People cannot do that in the real world, and so say those things aloud, thus dooming any relationship.

So, is there hope for someone in a lower strata to move up, to approach the greatness that is you? Possibly, but it probably depends on their effort, or barring that, extravagant gifts.


At 6:03 PM, Blogger tiara22antoinette said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 7:13 PM, Blogger Knows It All said...

Right on Dude. I am curious though....what if you were old friends with someone, and then they find your blog... and now they are really internet friends?

And that backspace button allows so many socially inept actually interact with others, I think that whomever invented it ought to be given a reward. I, who constantly stick my foot in my mouth, worship the backspace and delete keys.

At 2:00 AM, Blogger chica bonita said...

i'm much more charming in real life. *purrs*

hehe kidding!

and yes you are right. in one way or another we do entail self-censorship when it comes to what to say to others in real world. :-)

At 3:22 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

How true...(I just hit the backspace key ;) )

We do censor ourselves to some degree with all the friends categories you describe including Best Friends, all in the name of not hurting their feelings. So who can we really be honest with?

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Mahd said...

tiara22antoinette, while I enjoy long, anonymous rambling posts that hawk, actually I don't.

Anonymous, at least your mercantile post is short. I do need women's shoes, however.

Knows It All, That's a good question and it breaks my view of the universe. And I too worship the backspace key!

chica bonita, it's those times that we don't censor ourselves that we usually get in trouble.

ChickyBabe, the ideal of honesty is a hard one: it comes down to how dark or dirty your truths are, and how willing you are to have them known to another.

At 4:26 PM, Blogger sheriff of nothing said...

can Best Friends be Sex Friends?
can internet friends become best friends?
can Internet friends become partners?

At 4:57 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

I like Sheriff's questions and am interested in your point of view Mahd :).

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Mahd said...

Sheriff and ChickyBabe, here are your answers:

Can Best Friends be Sex Friends?
Yes, but you're straddling a line. On one side is a Relationship, which you may not want. On the other side is a yawning pit with, I don't know, snakes. But also you're risking the friendship- can things be the same once you've seen their Naughty Bits?

Can Internet Friends become Best Friends/Partners?

Absolutely- the Internet has no special properties other than it's ability to completely obfuscate who you really are. However, if you can resist the temptation to glorify yourself (why yes, I do look like that model) or otherwise mislead the other person, there's no limit to what you can find. It's like dipping your hand into a pool of cold chocolate pudding. It smells good, it feels gross and you can't be sure of what you're handling- but you may be able to pull out a gem.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger chica bonita said...

i met ex-boyfriend through internet once upon a time. well, it's been almost 5 yrs now and although i'm seeing someone else (sort of), we're still in err... open relationship. it's complicated but he's the only guy that i've came to love this much.

At 3:33 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

Thanks for replying Mahd :).

Can Best Friends be Sex Friends?
I don't think you can be objective in your friendship is you're sex friends. And if I were to see my male best friend's naughty bits, I'd never look him in the eye again!!

Can Internet Friends become Best Friends
Absolutely, provided both parties are honest from the start and there is no pretence.

Can Internet Friends become Partners
Not in my experience but I know some who have gone on to be happily married.


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