I have what some people might consider needlessly stringent standards for what I consider 'friendship': we must have had one good conversation, the kind that keeps both parties interested and engaged deep into the sun's rising. (An online conversation will grudgingly qualify - it makes up in penetrative potential what it lacks through abstraction.)

Despite the vagaries of this (many would say extravagant) condition, I am fortunate enough to possess what I consider to be a goodly number of friends.

Many other people have considerably flimsier standards; thus, I can only assume, correspondingly greater numbers of friends at a less-intense level. From time to time I seriously upset people, scandalized that their 'friend' (myself) cannot remember their name. Others I have had significant interactions with (in quantity - the person I sit next to in class every day - but very little of quality - do you have last day's notes?) I would like to be friends with but lack the notarization of the good conversation.

Sure we're mutually agreeable, but we don't know anything -about- each other. Can friends be mutually ignorant? If so, friendship can't be all it's cracked up to be.

Some have gotten seriously offended when I brought this matter up with them - Of course I consider you my friend, Rowan, you've never done anything bad to me - (I haven't done anything bad to a lot of people, but that's a flimsier reason even than most of mine...) and in most cases the exposure of my inner workings in this regard has not resulted in getting to know each other better.

These are the acquaintances in too many acquaintances and too few friends. Some of them would be more derisive of the title of this node as applied to them, but "associates" is ghastly clinical. Most of them proffer to wish to be more to me, but most of them don't do anything about it. Is the onus on me? Should I be reaching out to them? (Do I have anything more important to be doing with my time than entrapping people into objectively irrelevant conversations?)

Come over here, have a seat and let's talk about this like civilized human beings...

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