The check-out lady doesn’t count

Clarification: small talk with people who are

a. serving you coffee

b. handing you change from a purchase

c. only interacting with you because they’re being paid

does not count as an attempt at making friends or truly striking up conversation out of the blue.

I came to this conclusion after I realized that, despite feeling like I had chatted with a few ladies while I was out and about, if those particular ladies hadn’t answered me they wouldn’t have been doing their jobs. Does that make me lame? It’s reminiscent of all of those adolescent movies where someone thinks they have a new friend but the “friend” is really being paid or is only being friendly because of a dare or a bet. Enter “She’s All That” and “Richie Rich.”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that these interactions don’t have any potential for forming friendships, but I feel like it’s harder to gauge the friendship potential when one of the parties is on the clock!  Of course, these conversations can be satisfying, fun, and mutually rewarding – and they are also great practice for starting friendly conversations with others (who can take the time to share their email or phone without getting in trouble!).

I wish I was still in that stage of life where I could join a sorority and buy friends.

In other words: progress on the Friendship Meter is nil.

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