Wilder In Real Life: Remember First Grade?

by Lauren Wilder

Two months in Chicago feels like a year, in a good way. When you’re in a new city you run into and meet a lot of fascinating people. Making friends in your early twenties is pretty tough, well really after college; it’s fun, annoying, and even lonely. Sure I have friends from childhood and college, but they’re not here to experience this new chapter of my life. So, for this installment I would like to take it back to the first grade. Some of us can’t remember that far back and if not I’m sure you can recreate in your mind what it was like to make friends as a kid. I can recall one childhood friendship and I simply asked her, “Will you be my friend,” adorable isn’t it. Now let’s try this in adulthood…

I work for a really nice clothing store in downtown and the majority of my coworkers are older, much older. Luckily I have a manager in her late 20s and two other part timers about my age. Before I continue, I’d like to say I really enjoy people and I grew up with a twin and we did everything together. I guess maybe I’m missing that bond that I’m looking for that P.I.C. (Partner In Crime).

So, my coworker an upbeat and stylish person asks “Want to be friends?” That’s a pretty dangerous question in adulthood. Here’s why, in adulthood you really don’t know who you’re going to get as a friend. In childhood the worst thing that could happen is some sand in your hair and a highly unlikely fight, which usually escalates from a play fight. In adulthood however you deal with adult problems. Getting ditched in the club, excessive drinking or drug use, gossip, backstabbing, and downright ugliness that people do to each other.

My coworker, who I thought was relatively safe to hang out with, turns out to be a lush. Now I like to toast to the weekend and feel good, but I’m still in control of myself. So, we go out once that’s usually the test drive and she got an O.K. next to her name. A few days later we go out again to a concert I’ve been dying to see since I landed in Chicago. Needless to say I didn’t get to see the headliner. Where there is a drunken girl there’s almost always a guy around trying to buy her more drinks. So, I played sober sister and kept an eye out for her.

An act before the headliner was scheduled I look over and she didn’t look to well. And in my head is get her out now while she can still walk or later when you’ll need someone to carry her out. My mood was already sour because I was mad about how long it was taking for the main performer to come on. But, I hailed a cab hopped out to my train and told her to go straight home.

Another outing where there’s alcohol involved? I think not. As well as the other people I’ve befriended we have yet to see what’s in between the folds. I will give my coworker this, she isn’t hiding how she parties and is pretty upfront. It’s better to find this out now than later. And I still think she’s cool just not when she’s not in control.

You might be wondering if there’s anything going on in the dating arena. Well, I’ve seen gorgeous men left and right mostly at popular events and they’re usually with their girlfriend or fiancée. So, I have yet to be in a meeting point where I’m interested (and not fighting my way through rush hour) and he’s cute…and interested.

But back to friends, well you have to have them before you can date. The moral of this story, there isn’t one. However, I will say this if you are over the age of 10 and someone asks you to be their friend, proceed with caution. Also, sometimes these instances make being young all the more fun and interesting. I’ll wait and watch my friends unfold, including myself.

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