Looking for friends in all the weird places

I have a discussion question that I think might be kinda fun….

In an online forum I’m active on, people were talking about the fact that making friends online these days is pretty common. You post on a forum, you get to know others, and pretty soon, you start thinking of them as friends. You might even end up meeting them in real life. Yet, there’s probably a large segment of the population that still thinks this is weird.

That got me to thinking: Are there any weird places that you’ve made a friend that you have a difficult time explaining to others? Because I have the perfect example….

Years ago, while I was in grad school at UC San Diego (studying microbiology), I went on a Caribbean cruise with my family. On the cruise, I met a guy who was also there with his family. He was about to graduate from college in Pennsylvania as a bio major, and was thinking of moving to San Diego to go into biotech, seeing as how the city is pretty much a mecha for that industry.

I gave him my contact information, he came out for a few interviews, I showed him around town, and he ended up moving here and we became friends. And that’s when the awkwardness began. Because I’d invite him out to meet my friends, and my friends would ask how he and I knew each other….

All I’m gonna say is, there is absolutely NO way two guys can explain that they met on a cruise without it coming off as anything but GAY.

So, it became something of a running joke for us.

Anyway, do any of you have any friends you met in a non-typical setting that might create some awkward misunderstandings? How do you handle it?

9 thoughts on “Looking for friends in all the weird places

  1. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [I honestly think you’ve set the bar pretty high when it comes to having an awkward non-typical friendship meeting place.

    The best example I can think of isn’t so much a non-typical meeting place but at least an awkward-ish situation.

    I had just moved into a new apartment. To help make rent on this place I needed to find a roommate. Fortunately a good friend of mine had a college friend who was recently accepted for a summer internship in LA and needed a place to crash for that time. Other than some e-mail exchanges and a couple phone conversations, the first time we met face-to-face was when I picked her up from the airport. *That’s not even the story I began wanting to tell…but still a weird situation.*

    Once we were both settled in the one-bedroom unit (I gave her my bed and bedroom while I slept on the couch for 4 months) we decided to through a party. This would give her a chance to get to know some other people at her internship better and meet more people.

    Apparently there was this one guy at her office that she quickly developed a crush on and was very enthusiastic that he was going to be at the party.

    He was the first to arrive that night. He was wearing a Punisher t-shirt. That’s where things began to go terribly wrong (in her eyes).

    I’m a comic book fan. A Marvel comic book fan. So, we began discussing comics. Then movies. He wanted to be a director. I wanted to produce. We both made movies in high school and college. It was geek at first sight.

    Fast-forward. The party was a success. Fun was had. The next day my phone rang. After a short discussion I let my roommate know I was heading out for a little while. When she asked where I was going I hesitated for a moment before saying, “Nick called. I’m going over to his place to watch some of the movies he’s done and talk project ideas.”

    Needless to say, I blocked her summer romance with a bromance. She was slightly bitter for the rest of the summer. However, Nick is still one of my best friends in LA.

  2. Jasmine says:

    [I have a friend who invited me to a work outing (being an actor he thought I would enjoy seeinga play and dinner afterwards!)
    When his coworkers asked how we knew each other, I honestly and bluntly replied, ” he use to date my mom.”
    Although it would have been worse if I had said “we lived together when I was 16”

  3. Metacognition says:

    [Meeting people that you could become friends with is, honestly, incredibly random. I’ve met people from many walks of life that I would’ve never considered as someone I’d want to be friends with except that circumstance brought us together and lo and behold, we found common ground!
    IMO, it’s not the circumstance that makes a friendship (as awkward as the initial meeting might be), it’s how it evolves from there that counts.
    Some of my best friends and I almost sound like old married couples when we try to explain how we met, but that’s because the meeting itself became secondary to the experiences we’ve had.

  4. karlos says:

    [I met my friend Adam after an 18th birthday party. Our mutual friend had gotten a police fine for public urination and was passed out on his sofa. Myself and Adam decided that is was entirely necessary to draw huge dongs on our mutual friends face, following which we played Halo Wars till the morning came and I went home.

    Fast forward 4 months and on literally my first day as a student in my student house I bumped into him in the lobby, by some odd stroke of luck we were living in the same place and doing the same course, I’ve known him 3 years now.

    However, whenever people ask how we met, it always makes me smile to say we met and bonded while drawing dongs all over somebodies face.

  5. Solstice says:

    [This isn’t really an awkward story, but I like it: I was on the train into NYC and it was super crowded. The conductor had to fold down 2 spare seats so that me and this other girl could sit down. The girl and I started talking, and it turned out she was a nanny living in my town, and she was from Norway. When we got off the train I asked her for her number since she didn’t really know anyone in my town and she seemed nice and fun, so I figured she could use a friend close by. I did feel a bit weird asking her for her number but she was happy I asked and we exchanged numbers. We hung out here and there for the rest of that year until she went back to Norway, and I met some of her other nanny friends who also were staying in the area. They were from Switzerland and Finland. We keep in touch occasionally on Facebook.

  6. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [Here’s another one I thought of from my college days.

    It was the beginning of my 3rd year, the one week before classes began but freshman were allowed on campus to help them “adjust” to college life. The official title for this week was Advantage Week, but being as cleaver as upperclassmen can be it was better known as ‘Take Advantage Week’.

    Many organizations would set up tables in various places on campus to try and recruit new blood. I was at one of these tables helping promote a student television show I co-produced with a couple of my buddies. Essentially, we were the organizers behind the university’s film club.

    At the time I was still relatively shy and didn’t like approaching people out-of-the-blue. I had no problem talking with others once the conversation was rolling but I hated initiating it.

    One of my friends wasn’t going to let this fly so did a quick scan of the crowd and saw his target. “See that cute blonde?” he asked pointing at a girl about 40 yards away. “Go get her.”

    Hesitantly I began walking her direction. For some reason I felt like I had just been challenged; and I hated being challenged.

    I approached her and said what is most commonly known as creepy and largely suspect (especially if you live in Los Angeles…in the Valley), “Excuse me, do you have any interest in making movies?”

    Here we are 10 years later and she’s still one of my best friends. We often joke about how we met and she honestly can’t remember why 1.) she wasn’t freaked out by that opening line and 2.) she was actually willing to walk with me to the table and give us her name, phone and e-mail.

    I like to say it’s because I don’t have a creepy bone in my body and just come off as very trustworthy.

  7. AKchic says:

    [I met my best friend when an online friend brought him as her date to my BBQ. At that time, a lot of us from mIRC were having get-togethers (known as GT’s) and a bunch of us who had met before decided to have a BBQ at my house. He came, and we got along (hey, guns and sci-fi are sure ways to make friends in my area) and she left him for another guy, but we stayed friends. He’s my adopted brother now.

  8. lilredbmw says:

    [In college, I made friends with a total hippie guy who was awesome and super-kind. He lived a very alternative lifestyle. I was invited to his house to go in the jacuzzi. Great time, right? When I went to change in to my bathing suit, his mom walked in and gave me a head’s up that most of the people wouldn’t be wearing swimsuits. So, I am down. I went naked too. As I got in to the jacuzzi I noticed something I wasn’t expecting…my professor! My good friend’s dad was also my professor. And, at that moment, my very naked professor drinking a Colt 45 and smoking weed. Trying to pretend everything was normal was challenging.

  9. lovelygirl says:

    [My current best friend was my training instructor’s daughter. She had an internship at the same company and he asked me to talk to her about working for the company. And we exchanged numbers after I gave her a plant tour and we were avoiding a horrible rain storm by hiding out in the ladies room for 45 minutes.

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