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Do I Want To Make More Friends?

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Do I Want To Make More Friends?
Did you ever play “Friendship, Courtship, Hatred or Love” in your schooldays?
If yes, oh boy, you are old, man!
It’s a well-lettered game to determine if your crush or hero shares your intended feelings. You spell out your name, example, SYLVIA TOY PAID CHU & your heartthrob’s name, ERREL SEE CHENG TOW, and then you cancel all the identical letters your names share, and from the remaining letters, call off “friendship, courtship, hatred, love”. Repeat till none left standing.
And it could result in Sylvia wants to court Errel who simply hates her.
This was how I made friends anyway. Don’t play-play.
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Many if not most of us (I can only speak for Singapore and Penang) have made friends and lasting friendships via two avenues: Schooldays and first jobs.
And by extension, off-tangent, added to our friends’ listing from joining activities through colleagues (sports clubs, church groups, seasonal visits to their homes, etc).
Truth be told, I have no friends, hardly any anyway, since See Cheng Tow rebuffed me back in primary school.
You see, I was summarily kicked out of school, well, if you never study, you fail all exams, and have to leave school. So no friends from schooldays. No school certificate therefore also means no job. So friendless from jobless.
The reality is, it is not easy to make friends, outside of classmates and workmates.
Unless you show and tell me different, people tend to err on the side of conservative.
Picture this: Do I break the ice with a hello, I mean she looks quite stuck-up, how if she responds so effusively I am knocked off my feet, then what will she think, that I am clumsy?
Or, if I say hi first will he think I’m interested in him, not to say he is how attractive also, and then what if he asks me out, only for me to discover he is cheap, or has no money? Aiyah, then want to borrow money from me, how?!
You see my argument for not cultivating more friends, new relationships?
A veritable minefield fraught with potholes. Not least of which, stalker!
If you have not watched Baby Reindeer on Netflix, you must. It is perturbing. See where offering a cuppa can lead you, into the fiendish bowels of hell, with no return tickets.
There is too the question of generation, and its gaps.
Strike up pal ships with the much younger, er, really do you wanna go there? Your son ah?
I was at some pop concert one time and ran into an acquaintance who spotted me with a young person and said, “Came to chaperone your daughter ah?”
Hang out with the much older and save it, nobody’s ever gonna think you’re the trophy partner, but that maybe you’re the pensioner’s carer.
What a quandary. No school friends, no first job colleagues, no generational buddies, ah, mock me will you…
I have made – shock and awe – friends with “benefits”.
Over time I have built a tribe of folk in service, hospitality, daily walk of life.
Supermarket check-out ladies who don’t count the five cents a plastic bag for my groceries, stallholders who wave me off, never mind, pay tomorrow, bakeries who toss in a bag of cranberry buns on the house with my orders.
This is why I never shop online or pay at self-checkout.
Primarily because I want to chitchat with people, and exchange the time of day with sellers and tellers. (I say, come up sometime and look at my outstanding collection of angpows.)
And then again, it reverts to age, at this time (insert your era), do you positively need to know more people, are you so intent on networking to add to your little black book?
Especially if, like me, you can’t read the little notebook without magnifier and torchlight.
My mother often repeated that one needs three friends, to make up a foursome for mahjong. She was not wrong. Have you noticed boardgames tend to be for no more than four players?
Let me let you into my coven of kakis (circle of friends).
I have made a quartet of best friends courtesy of Facebook.
The 2,000+ who follow me I will never block, snooze, nor unfriend, because that is just so rude.
Don’t you prefer to slam the phone down on them, the luxury of which is now denied us all?

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