I had a wonderful day with you today, though I really shouldn’t have eaten so much apple pie. The swans would have liked more.
Again next week? I’d love to.
You want to be friends?
A cloud blocks the sun and the drone of flies competes with the noise of the highway.
Sorry, I already mumble mumble.
I already have too many friends.
At this point I can hear you protesting, but I swear it’s true. I don’t have room in my life for any more friends.
That’s not to say I have friends tumbling out the garden gate.
I have two friends, and that’s one more than the appropriate number.
To understand why you should never have more than one friend, you first need the answer to a question:
What is a friend?
Smarter people than me have debated this question at length (I assume). I don’t feel like reading what they said, so I’m just going to blanketly disagree with it.
A friend is a cat.
Wait, sorry, that came out wrong. Cats are our masters, not our friends, and they will show us affection only so long as we accommodate their every whim.
A friend is a person you’d do anything for. But who wouldn’t ask you to.
Why more than one is too many friends
As soon as you have one friend, there will be times when you sacrifice your own happiness for theirs.
Maybe the last thing you feel like is sitting through a dramatic rendition of all your friend’s recent woes with her ballroom dancing partner, pet tarantulas, or ingrown toenail. But she needs someone to vent to and you’re a good friend, so you put on your sympathetic face and try to avoid giving her splinters while she leans all over you.
And because she’s your friend you don’t resent it even though you’d planned to spend the evening baking cupcakes. You’ll always drop everything to help when she really needs it.
Now consider the situation where you have two friends. Friend one needs a shoulder to cry on because her hamster came out second in an argument with a Roomba, and friend two needs some extra muscle to help her confront her ex to take back her collection of My Little Ponies.
You can’t do both and someone’s going to be upset. You fail one of these lovely people, and all because you have too many friends.
Thus the perfect number of friends is one.
If you have only one friend you’ll never be stuck in the awkward situation where one friend is purring on your lap and another needs you to bring him a cup of coffee. (For the record, the cat always wins.)
I’m really not horrible
Now you probably think I’m a horrible person. I promise I’m not. I do all kinds of things for people who aren’t my friends and I really like some of them. A few even like me.
You do? Really? And I like you too.
Okay, fine, we can be friends. Just don’t expect me to bring you things when the cat is on my knee.
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Sorry, this offer has now closed, but you should still sign up and be my friend.