How many categories of friends do you have? Some folks simply say friends are friends while other people have high school friends, college friends, church friends, work friends, Facebook friends etc.
When I suggest friends to someone new on Facebook I think in terms of categories. If this person is someone I know from church I suggest other people from church. If they are friends from the Walk to Emmaus or the Montrose Christian Writers Conference I recommend according to the connection, even though I think my church friend ought to get to know one of my writer friends because they have the same sense of humor.
There are other categories as well. Things like close personal friends, casual friends, old friends, new friends and best friends. There are family friends, and friends I wouldn’t introduce to my mother. There are white friends, black friends and Asian friends. I have friends of all ages, early teens to those in their nineties. There are girl friends and boy friends, friends that are girls and those who are boys, or male or female friends. I even have some friends I’ve never met face to face. I have New York friends, Pennsylvania friends, Virginia friends, Florida friends, Tennessee friends, Connecticut friends, Ohio friends and friends from all over the globe. I have friends I’ve lost track of and those who live across the road. I have friends who bring out the best in me, friends who challenge me, friends who are just plain fun to be with and perhaps one or two I can only handle in small doses.
Why do I categorize people? Does it have anything to do with how close a connection I feel to the person, or is it just a convenient way to think of my connection to them? How do I feel about introducing a friend from one group to a friend from another group? Is there a resemblance between me and my friends or is their great diversity? Just what is it that makes us friends? Is it similar interests, common friends, or do they just look or smell good to me? Perhaps it’s all of these things perhaps it’s none of them. The only thing I know for sure is I’ve connected with all my friends at one level or another, and many of them on multiple levels. It’s sort of like a wild grape-vine. It attaches itself to multiple branches of the same tree as well to the branches of many different trees. The connections are firm but the wild grape remains a wild grape and it never becomes a Maple or an Oak.
Does any of this ring a bell with you or am I just putting too much thought into something that I should just let happen?