Angie and I have decided we need new friends. Not because there is anything at all wrong with our old ones; in fact we love our old friends, absolutely love them. No, it's because it seems all our old friends are having babies. And babies, for the most part, put a real crimp in social functions. Babies are the bane of our social existence. For one thing they're not old enough to drink. For another they're horrible conversationalists. And finally, they go to bed entirely too early.
I have never felt very comfortable in the presence of babies. I think somewhere along the way I lost my 'baby gene.' I tend to see them as short human beings that can't walk very far without aid and this is a mistake. I don't like to hold them or carry them around. Now don't get me wrong, I perfectly understand the practical application of having babies. They come in handy down the road. It's necessary to be patient with them now so that in twenty years or so they can do the normal things that most humans do, up to and including being wildly ungrateful and generally disappointing.
Also, I'm apt to think babies in general are just sort of arrogant. They have a sense of entitlement to them I simply find inexcusable. And I've also noticed they never apologize. This irks me.
And then of course there's all the unnecessary noise. They seem altogether incapable of using their 'inside voice.' And frankly I don't see the logic in that. It's incredibly uncivilized, not to mention out and out rude at times.
They interrupt. Sometimes in the middle of a sentence or an amusing anecdote. They just burst into a wail with no thought of courtesy or decorum whatsoever. And then, as though nothing at all untoward has happened, they just stop and smile innocently. I think this is an indication of a devious mind.
I've searched for a wooden sign or doormat or something saying, "Babies Not Welcome Here" to put next to our front door but I can't find one. I did find one that said, "Actors Not Welcome Here," however. I almost bought it with the idea that I would scratch out 'Actors' and write 'Babies.' Angie stopped me at the last second.
So, long story short, we're in the process of finding new friends. We have a list of criteria, too. In fact, whenever I come across someone that might possibly be eligible for 'new friend' status, I pull it out and start checking things off:
1) Are you a Democrat? (This is a deal breaker most of the time, I'm afraid. If they answer 'no' I'm fairly certain there will be trouble down the line. Also this one question eliminates a bunch of others such as 'Is your IQ over 110?' Or, 'Do you consider yourself empathetic?' Or, 'If we were on a crashing plane with one parachute, would you use it yourself or give it to me?' Now, Angie and I do have a few Republican friends but, in our defense, they're usually Republicans that other Republicans don't really care for.)
2) Do you have a pick up truck or access to one? (This can sometimes be overlooked if the answer is 'no,' but a 'yes' goes a long ways toward friend inclusion.)
3) Do you or your spouse own and wear a lot of sports team apparel? (This is almost 100 percent effective in weeding out idiots.)
4) Do you have a book, any book, on your nightstand? (Nooks and Kindles are acceptable here.)
5) Are you particularly good at something? ('Organizing a room' or 'Taking care of babies' are not acceptable answers.)
6) Do you tend to look at social events as an excuse to dance? (This, too, can quickly sort out the undesirables.)
7) Would you describe the score to 'Summer of '42' as 'haunting and beautiful?' (No brainer here.)
8) If you were on a desert island with one TV that only showed two channels, one a continual loop of 'West Wing' reruns and the other non-stop viewings of 'Dancing with the Stars, ' which would you choose? (Again, this goes right to the heart of things.)
9) Do you listen to other people and then respond or do you wait for them to stop talking and then state your own opinion? (This is very close to #1, actually.)
10) If the ghost of George Gershwin entered your house, sat at the piano and started playing, would you sit and listen appreciatively or call the police? (This is actually more telling than it would appear on the surface.)
So there you have it. The truth is I think people should be flattered to even get so far as to be ASKED the questions on the list. Many don't. Oh, and there is a number 11, but that one is obvious: Do you now or have you any plans in the immediate future to have babies? But that one goes without saying, of course.
In any event, Angie and I have put an ad on Craigslist for these new friends. No response yet, but we're hopeful.
See you tomorrow.