Am I the only one who’s annoyed by people who prematurely think they’re your best friend? Surely I can’t be. You know what I’m talking about: the kind of person you meet maybe once or twice, usually a friend of a friend’s cousin’s girlfriend’s friend or some equally distant connection, who for some reason or another instantly believes you’re their new closest pal? This isn’t really a recent thing: there have always been people like this and it’s always bothered me. Sure, there’s a certain level of “friendliness” and “politeness” that society expects you to exhibit when meeting new people, but taking that too far can be annoying.

I have nothing against making new friends; I’d like to think that I do that quite often*. But if there’s someone you haven’t gotten to know well yet, they shouldn’t act like you’ve known each other for years: that’s going too far, and a severe case of PPFS. Suddenly asking “where’s the party at?” when you’ve never actually done anything with the person without your mutual friend(s) present; calling you (when did you give them your number?) out of the blue and pulling the eternally loathsome “It’s me”; running into you at the store and insisting that you finish your shopping together when all you needed to get was TP – all of these are classic signs of PPFS. And yes I’ve been unfortunate enough to experience them all.

Does this make me sound anti-social? I’m really not. But come on. I’ve known our mutual-friend-separated-by-10-degrees for years, so yes, we hang out. But I only met you at the barbecue last summer and talked to your briefly about how hot the weather was. OK, I suppose we also gave each other the half-head-nod of acknowledgment at another mutual yet distant friend’s Christmas party. But that doesn’t mean we’re good enough friends** for you to call me up this weekend to help you move. Don’t you have any closer acquaintances?

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*maybe even 1 new friend a year!
**we’re not friends