posted by Joe Anaya on February 27th, 2012

When you reach middle-age, it’s a lot tougher to make new friends. In fact, a recent episode of Modern Family depicts Phil getting really excited to finally make friends with the husband of the couple that has lived next door for years. It’s no coincidence that he’s in his son’s tree house at the time, because when you’re young, you make friends easily. You go to school and you’re surrounded by people your own age, living in the same area, and let’s face it, when you’re seven your criteria isn’t particularly high. “Does he like Star Wars?” Yes. “Does he eat his boogers?” No. “Wanna be friends?”

As we get a little older, our criteria for friendship increases slightly and cliques form, but you’re still pretty much in a pool of like‑minded people in the same age range. Once you get to college, you’re still pretty open to new kinds of personalities and interests, except for the kid who always listens to country music and never takes off his cowboy hat. Even going to work at that age usually puts you in a pool of people in a similar phase of life. Young, broke, and delivering pizzas to get money for gas and pay for your half of the rent on that sofa that smells like beer. After work, you meet your friends for drinks, go on dates, meet new friends to find more dating possibilities, go on more dates. You barely weed out people with weird personality quirks or character flaws. And then you get married, and it all changes.

When you’re married, because you’re young and in love, you spend most of your free time with your wife. And let’s face it, she’s not that excited about you hanging with the boys instead of watching Glee with her. So, your friends get winnowed down to the other couples that you both like both partners, creating a quadruple screening process. Then kids come, and you end up making acquaintances with the parents of your kid’s friends. The fact that their kid doesn’t eat his boogers, doesn’t feel like much of a building block for friendship. Work becomes more serious and when you’re done you just want to, or more likely, need to get home and be with your family.

So, between work, listening to how my wife’s day went, helping my kid with homework and the honey-do list; I only have about 60 minutes of free time before I’m ready for bed. That’s where I’ve found my new best friends, House, Tyrion Lannister, and Dexter. Sure, one’s an inappropriate, genius, smart-alec doctor; one’s a conniving dwarf prince; and the other is a serial killer. What can I say, I like smart people with a wicked sense of humor. Okay, so none are real, but we all have our flaws.

File Under Jack of all Trades