Listen, facts are facts and fact is you don’t have time to be friends with everyone. There’s TV to watch and cocktails to drink and second careers to plan. I know someone who commits upwards of an hour a week to a full check of her 767 Facebook friends so she can send as many “keep in touch” messages as possible. That is outrageous.
My mom says you should be able to plop your friends into one of three categories: friends for a reason, friends for a season or friends for life (my Mom loves rhyming advice). I’m not sure which she says are best to keep, but I guess start there and see where you net out.
The truth of the matter is that five to ten fantastic friends are better than three dozen you could do without. But if you’re going to narrow it to just five, my reco is that they hold significant value. Not like can-cry-on-their-shoulder-day-or-night value. I’m talking actual helpful purpose in the futurement (whatever, it should be) of your being. It does take a village to raise a person, so I’m saying you best fill your village with the right peoples.
Here are my recommendations:
- a photographer friend: you want to feel better about yourself as often as possible? have an amazing photographer take some black & white action shots of you and your friends doing any number of ridiculous things. You’ll say things like, “wow, we’re amazing, we look amazing, my god we’re having so much fun.” Is it 100% true? Who cares! It looks true in your Facebook album. Also, photographer friends make for a source of excellent and very personal gifts for every occasion. Mine in the incomparable Jenny Anderson. You can’t have her but you can buy any and all of her art for a very reasonable price.
- an accountant friend: You know what is just terrible? Turbotax. Accountant friends are like living/breathing Turbotax except you don’t have to remember any confusing passwords and also they have lots of other human value beyond computation skills. We’re young so we don’t know just how much we need our accountant friends but trust me, they will be excellent to have in the bag once we start buying real estate.
- a lawyer/doctor friend: these are grouped together because they are of equal value. Doctor’s appointments and lawyers fees are incredibly expensive making having a doctor or lawyer friend much like having a friend who works for a fashion label/closet/magazine. Free, expensive stuff + advice.
- a friend who works for a fashion label/closet/magazine. See above.
- a really handy friend – we of the never-did-anything-for-ourselves generation take for granted the importance of, say, wallpapering a room, laying tile, or hanging a door. These needs are real, and real expensive if you don’t have someone who can teach-a-man-to-fish-you for free. I don’t personally have one of this type of friend, but I’m happy to consider anyone who’d like to apply.
- a chef and/or just really good cook friend – there is nothing more fantastic than attending the dinner party of someone who really knows what they’re doing in the kitchen. That’s all really, but shouldn’t be undervalued.
- a friend who knows wine – See, most people who know wine really well are assholes, so if you have a friend who really knows wine you could go to them instead of having to deal with some asshole sommelier. Or if your friend is some asshole sommelier you’re probably more tolerant of them as you’re already friends.
- a friend who knows what to do with babies – there may come a time when you find yourself with a baby and no knowledge of what to do. In this case it’s really excellent to have a baby-expert in your arsenal. This can/should probably be your Mother which wouldn’t count against your five closest friends, so if you’ve placed yourself in close enough proximity to yours, bravo you’ve save a friend slot.
- a graphic artist friend – it’s amazing how many times you find yourself needing an original logo for some project within 24 hours, right?! A graphic artist friend can really be a coup in these circumstances and/or whenever you need to photoshop one person’s body onto another person’s head. Mine is Mr. Zachary Wilson (who also boasts impressive copy-writing skills to boot). Again, he’s not for sharing, but he is for sale.
- a really annoying friend you just can’t seem to shake – what would the Seinfield 4 be without George? Probably all annoyed with each other. There’s something to be said for having a friend that the whole group is against. Hate to admit, but doesn’t it seem true?…
Now, who did I miss?