copywriter & writing coach

Books, Wine, Cheese and The Challenge Of Finding New Friends


One of the things they don’t tell you as a child or teenager is to to cherish how easy it is to make friends. As an adult, I’ve found myself more than lucky that I don’t have enough fingers (or even toes) to count the number of friends I have — but that said, some of these friendships are fleeting. After isolating myself for most of last year, I found myself in desperate need of some good friendships – girl friends, especially, that I could connect with over brunch, grab happy hour and IM during the day to catch up over what happened last night.

Thanks to Molly, I set out a bit of a strategic plan early this year and made some very concerted efforts to reach out and turn acquaintances with some girls I knew through the social media / tech scene into Seattle into friendships. Inspired by the book MWF Seeking BFF, I made impromptu dates, scheduled happy hours and in essence, treated finding friendship like finding my next boyfriend. I ended up making fast friends with a few girls, including Alison. Somewhere along the way she mentioned that she had been part of a book club, which was on my to-do list to join to potentially find other like-minded girl friends.

When Alison moved to San Diego this summer, I hijacked an email thread that I had been on with some of her friends and suggested ressurecting that book club, knowing damn well it was really just an excuse to get together, drink wine and eat lots of cheese. Of course, none of us read the first book, but around this time the Great Gatsby was about to debut on the silver screen and I suggested we all re-read one of our favorite books from 9th grade English class, then go see it in theaters.

About a month later, only 2 out of the total of 6 ended up making it to see the movie. I was more than excited to see it; I am quite the fan of Baz Luhrman, and to this day still obsessed with his take of Romeo and Juliet. (It doesn’t hurt that the soundtrack to both are fantastic.) The three of us girls met up at Cinnebarre — which is an experience in an of itself, as you can order food and drink in your own little booth during the move — and then stood outside afterwards to compare the book versus the movie.

As with any book, Baz took some serious liberties with the film. While the base storyline is still the same, I almost feel like comparing the book to the movie was like comparing apples to oranges. The fact that movie was told from an entirely different perspective changed the narrative, which made it almost a different story. The book also left me with a complete sense of hopelessness and depression at the end, and in the movie left me feeling the opposite. The truth is, I liked both.

Unfortunately, the book club completely fizzled after we saw The Great Gatsby. I’m still great friends with one of the girls from the book club, including Krystin, who I actually went to high school with but didn’t know it until 10 years after we graduated. (Oops!) That said, I’ve failed to keep in touch with the others. Sometimes I wonder… How much of a fault is this of mine? Is it really that hard to make new friends (and as the Girl Scouts sing, keep the old….)? If you’re a twenty or thirtysomething female, I’d love to hear how you take on the challenge of making new friends. 

  • aubrey bach

    What a great description of a phenomenon I struggle with too! I hear this complaint from men and women in Seattle all the time. I’m not sure if it’s amplified up here because Seattle is home to so many introverts or because it’s a city of transplants… But finding friendships is definitely something you have to work at, especially once you’re in your thirties.

    • Kelly Clay

      And we are definitely not alone! I should form a FB group or something to organize some brunches and happy hours for us Seattle girls that feel like this :)

      • aubrey bach

        THAT is a genius idea!

  • Berrak

    As strange as it is, I’ve found it easier to make friends now than I did when I was younger. I was always kind of the outcast in middle school (to the point I felt the need to transfer when I got to high school). I did make good friends in high school but my early 20s were rough. As a 20-something adult, I’m more selective about the friends I make, which makes it oddly easier to make friends because we all value our own lives, as well as the people in our lives.