The voluntary nature of friendship makes it subject to life’s whims in a way more formal relationships aren’t. In adulthood, as people grow up and go away, friendships are the relationships most likely to take a hit. You’re stuck with your family, and you’ll prioritize your spouse. But where once you could run over to Jonny’s house at a moment’s notice and see if he could come out to play, now you have to ask Jonny if he has a couple hours to get a drink in two weeks. [more inside]
Once, work was a major source of friendships. We took our families to company picnics and invited our colleagues over for dinner. Now, work is a more transactional place. We go to the office to be efficient, not to form bonds. We have plenty of productive conversations but fewer meaningful relationships.
Best friends forever: Separated in China, 2 girls reunite in U.S.
Mae and Mai spent the first years of their lives in the same orphanage in southern China, before they were adopted by families on opposite coasts of the United States. They were inseparable in China. As close as sisters. They ate together and played together, and even after they were moved to separate foster families in the same town, they went to school together and often shared meals at one girl’s home. Adoption may have saved their lives, but they both lost someone they loved.
This week, four years after the best friends were split up, the girls reunited in Oakland, where they’re receiving treatment for the same genetic blood disease at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.
"I often think about my long-ago friend, and I wonder what happened to her," wrote children's author Eric Carle in his book "Friends", published last year, inspired by his friendship, as a 3-year-old, with a young girl growing up in Syracuse, New York. He did not know her name, just that that she was the daughter of Italian immigrants. Last Sunday, over 80 years after he last saw her, he and his long-lost friend, Florence Ciani Trovato, reconnected.
Until this point, your friendships happened through a vague combination of forced institutional socializing, classes, sports and booze. None of your friends can remember exactly how they became friends with each other. But now you are an adult, and now that friend-making is a conscious act, you realize you don’t know how to do it.
Faux Friendship: "…[a] numberless multitude of people, of whom no one was close, no one was distant."
Faux Friendship traces the evolution of friendship from classical times to the modern Internet age. By William Deresiewicz, literary critic and former associate professor of English at Yale. (Warning: long.)
Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism. Examining the social rules and norms, as well as the pitfalls, of electronic "friending" (yes, it's a verb now - or is it a gerund?). Via.