For two hours, scores of women paraded in front of me like a Golden Corral buffet. But the truth is there are two events looming in the distance that are going to happen whether I like it or not.
The same scent of desperation and loneliness that characterizes actual speed dating events on TV permeated the air. First, I’m reaching “the decade friends disappear,” an age when sociologists and psychologists say you’re most likely to lose your closest friends.
After that, a bell would ring, and the women sitting on the inside would rotate to their right, while those on the outside stayed still. I may not have had a desire to see anyone naked, but I did discover that, much like dating, friendship is predicated on chemistry, something I did not feel with the majority of women rotating my way.
One woman, in true DC fashion, treated our exchange like a networking opportunity.
But she understood my need for privacy, and she kept coming back.
We stayed in touch when we both left to finish up our undergraduate degrees, and she talked me off ledges and through breakdowns in the post-collegiate quarter-life crises we millennials sometimes go through.
But however clichéd or commonplace it may be, the lack of originality does not diminish its veracity.
“Proximity is what keeps your friendships going,” Bonior said.
“The problem is the busier we get, the less we have proximity to people naturally.” She also referred to “the epidemic of busyness” that seems to hit cities like DC especially hard.
When I moved back more than two years after we first met, she was the one to pick me up from the airport, to welcome me back, welcome me home. We lived on completely opposite sides of the city, to the point that overnight bags were sometimes required to see each other on the weekend.
All we had was the experience and the understanding that it was all worth it, to manufacture our own opportunities for closeness, even if it didn’t come easily.