I have just one childhood friend, someone who’s known me since I was young enough to think I could make patterned "tights" by dragging a hairbrush over my dry legs. Our dads were best friends. But after they got into a fight over a VCR I broke a few years into our friendship, she and I have gotten together only once, for Mexican food.
Since then, I’ve met all my other pals at school and work. After college graduation, I got hired as a hostess in a Sacramento, CA, steakhouse, where I bonded with the waitresses. When I moved to New York to become a magazine editor, my officemates ended up becoming some of my dearest friends.
Then, a year-and-a-half ago, I moved to Portland and became a freelance writer. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a classroom, workplace, or other intimacy incubator in which forced togetherness could flourish into something more. I had to work hard to convert acquaintances, neighbors, and friends of friends into actual friends. I’m not saying I have a gaggle of ladies who are "MY LYFE/EVERYTHING," but I do have a handful of women in my life who have a copy of my house key, know I go to therapy, have seen me cry while watching The Bachelor, or some combination of the three.
Here’s what finding them taught me about making friends.