How to make friends in a new city (in Ten Easy Steps)!

by gabbybates

So you just moved to a new city. Maybe this is your first stint in what college seniors like to call “The Real World.” Suddenly, you realize that meeting people is hard. You’re not looking for a Best Friend… that slot is already occupied by someone who now lives many states away from you, probably someone with whom you once played Little League Baseball or double dog dared to kiss Kacy Tucker. You’re just looking for someone to go to Wine Tastings with you when your boyfriend has the flu, or to meet you for Margarita Monday at the Greasy Gringo.

I feel your pain, and so I have come up with these 10 easy steps, a simple roadmap through the unmarked back roads of life to the destination of Friendship[1]:

1. Quickly brainstorm five things you like, but are not sexually attracted to.

      Example: 1) Books 2) Sweet Potatoes 3) The whiskers on small rodents 4) Jamie Lee Curtis 5) Kleptomania

2. Get dressed as if you are going to the grocery store.

3. Do not go to the grocery store. Instead, locate the largest reflective surface you own (ie. refrigerator door, shard of shiny glass, mirror, etc.) and stand in front of it. Attempt to stereotype yourself based on your appearance (ie. “Cool Mom,” “Unwashed Sportsfan,” “New Vegan with Chip on Shoulder,” etc.).

4. Say to reflection: “I am a ______________ (insert stereotype here) and I deserve a friend.” Example: “I am a New Vegan with Chip on Shoulder and I deserve a friend.”

      Repeat until hungry.

5. Scramble yourself some eggs, and eat them.

Dear Gabby,

                  I am allergic to eggs. Does this mean I am destined for friendlessness forever????  PS. Big fan of your column!                                                                


                                                                  Allergic to Egg but Not Friendship

                                                                  North Dakota

Dear Allergic Egg But,

                  I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that yes, you are destined for friendlessness forever. The good news is that it’s not because you’re allergic to eggs! It’s because you live in North Dakota!



6. Wait until Saturday.

7. Go somewhere where people who stereotypically look like you go to hang out on Saturdays. For example, if you have dreadlocks and wear rainbow clothing made of hemp, go hang out near a rainbow! Or if you wear heels and enjoy burnt coffee, go to Starbucks and say things like “The company budget does not allow for such frivolity!” into an imaginary Bluetooth headset.

8. Scan the room (or meadow, lighthouse, underground fortress, replicated American colonial village etc) for Conversation Starters. Top CS’s include Visible Tattoos, Clothing Logos, Headphones, and Pets.

9. Stand in the vicinity of Potential Friend and say something that could be directed at them or to no one. Tone is key.

      (For example, “I want to get a tattoo, but I’ve heard they’re addictive so I’m scared.” Or, “What time is that Big Game tomorrow?”)

      When they look up at you uneasily (don’t worry, they will if you repeat yourself enough), pretend to notice them for the first time. Laugh. Say, “I’m sorry.” Then introduce yourself, and employ the first interactive hand gesture that comes to mind.* Unless the first one that comes to mind is a karate chop to the face, in which case, refrain.

10. It’s all downhill from there! Exchange phone numbers, strategize weekly rendezvous, and exchange $10 edible gifts at Christmastime. 



Enjoy your new friend!

[1] I have a degree in Creative Writing.