I have rewritten and reread this post many times and I still can’t stop it from sounding a bit gay. But you know what; I’m actually okay with that. In fact, I’m going to test the gayness of this post by adding pink points to the gayest parts (represented by this symbol ) followed up by a rating on my gayometer.
As I have been working in my current job now for around six months, our little team has grown by many numbers and has now added a pair of men to the equation, which has helped me out no end.
Now please don’t get me wrong, I have loved working with the group of lovely ladies on my team so far, but being the only bloke on our programme has, at some points, left me feeling very isolated. So it was a great relief that I immediately bonded with our new additions and can, I hope, count them as friends.
Nearly everyone I am friends with in my life has always said that they hated me when they first met me. Apparently it’s because I am as about as approachable as a burning fireworks factory that is surrounded by landmines, velociraptors, and fundamental Christians. Which is, of course, not very approachable at all. But I totally get where they are coming from.
But once people actually get to know me, they find out that I am actually a lovely person and immediately take me to the bosom of their hearts where I will remain for the rest of their lives. Always there. Lurking. Watching. Waiting.
In many ways, becoming friends with me is very much like taking a trip to Ikea. At first you really don’t want to be there, but after having a good look around, you find there is a lot of interesting things going on in all the nooks and crannies and realise that this is the best place you’ve ever been too. But then as you leave the store, filled with the joy that this new found discovery has brought you, this feeling will then fade in time to be replaced with bitterness and despair until you are left alone, crying silent angry tears into the instructions of a shattered Rutundra coffee table and wondering where it all went wrong?
Actually that is a really shit metaphor. I have absolutely no idea why I just included that. I am nothing like Ikea.
When you were younger, making friends was a simple as going up to someone on the school playground, kicking them in the ankles and pulling a mong face at them and then asking “Do you want to go look at some worms?”
Unfortunately you can’t use this approach as an adult (though it would make meeting women much more interesting), so making friends is a lot more difficult when you're older. It always helps if you have something in common, which is most definitely what I did have with the new addition to our team (a really funny bloke with the dryest sense of humour going), that thing in common being playing childish practical jokes on one of the long suffering girls who we work with (who, I hasten to add, has taken it all in very good spirit and has only threatened to mutilate our genitals only once).
So far we have managed to pretend have an argument, stuck hundreds of small furry toy creatures all over her desk when she wasn’t in, and most impressively, prised off the keys on her PC keyboard and rearranged them, so when she came in the next day she thought she had turned dyslexic overnight. All incredibly childish and immature, but that is most definitely the level I operate best at. And it was a great way to become good friends with the new guy, which I hope I have done.
*Note- When I am actually doing these practical jokes, in the thick of it so to speak, you will normally find me giggling away to myself like a schoolgirl. When the recipient of the joke finds out, and the cries of “Who the bloody hell has done this?” rings round the office, you will then find me at the back of the rapidly forming crowd with my arms crossed, shaking my head in disgust at how some people can be so childish. Now you may call this the coward’s way out, I just call it cunning.*
My other new BFF is a guy who works in our sister office in Stratford. He actually reminds me of a younger, cooler Woody Allan, which is in no way a bad thing. For some reason we clicked straight away and I am comfortable enough in actually counting him as a good friend already. Although everyone else that we work with has now started to rip the piss out of us by saying we have a bromance going on, so we have had to stop things like holding hands on the office and calling each other “Babe”.
They just be playa hating.
The good thing is that we have a very similar sense of humour, which basically means we just laugh at each other’s jokes while no one else does. No one. At all.
We have all been out for teams drinks and so forth, which is really good, but now just me and him are arranging to just go out for a drink after work on a “Man date.”
Now the legendary “Man dates” have to follow a set pattern. To prove that two blokes going for a drink alone are in no way gay for each other, there are only three topics of conversation that are allowed.
3) Personal insults.
So a simple line of a conversation would be: Went West Ham last night, saw a bird with really big boobs......You massive twat.
So just keep rearranging those sentences anyway you want, and keep repeating them until drunkenness kicks in, and by then you are allowed to go a bit gay anyway because you normally end up slurring: You know what mate? (hic) I bloody loves you.
What you most definitely don’t want to do return to your table with both hands pressed to your cheeks just after putting a song on the jukebox and then proclaiming loudly “Oh my God! This song is sooooo about me!” and then spend the next three minutes miming the lyrics to ABBA’s Dancing Queen as it plays out around the pub.
Believe me; I’m not making that mistake again.
I once went on a man date with a bloke from a football forum I go on. We arranged to meet up for a drink before the game, and, as I had never met this bloke before, I was actually pretty nervous. I kept on having random thoughts running through my head. Will we run out of things to talk about? What if he thinks I’m a dick? Will he think my hair looks pretty?
Lucky for me, we actually got on alright and just spent the afternoon playing pool. But the whole notion of making new friends is still a personal minefield that can sometimes blow up in your face spectacularly.
But that is, I guess, what friends are for?