Men making new male friends is like flirting – it takes balls
Male friendship is bashful and elusive. How in mid-life do you find a new friend?
Where do adult men make new friends? I assume they do make new friends: even in Cape Town, they can’t all still be hanging around with people they went to school with. But where? At work, I suppose, if you’re unlucky enough to work with other people, but surely then the main thing you’ll have in common is work, and what greater misery than spending your sweet, sweet leisure time with someone talking about their job? But I’ll tell you where I made a friend this week: in the checkout queue at the supermarket.
I like supermarkets. I find them soothing. As I drifted along, solitary as a daffodil, I was pondering a recent article by the writer Richard Ford, in which he pronounces that friendships are overrated and that he himself doesn’t want any more. Coming from a writer of immaculately dull stories whose principal claim to our attention is that he was once friends with Raymond Carver, this was an enigmatic assertion but still, friendship is a slippery quest. Adults seeking love have websites and apps and our culture never stops blathering on about it, but what about people just looking for a pal? Male friendship is bashful and elusive and slips away beneath your scrutiny. How in mid-life do you find a new friend?
I joined the shortest checkout line. It was only one person long, but as I arrived the cashier was frowning and fiddling with the scanner. ..