Beware of the Friend Poacher

I have this friend. She is enthusiastic about life, open to adventures and willing to do anything or go anywhere for another human being — even if she barely knows the person.

She is the exact opposite of me.

While I groan at the thought of showing up for a sick person in the hospital and experience physical and emotional pain cheering on a pal in an athletic event, this friend embraces any and all opportunities to spend time with others and brighten their lives. She has already taken a handful of my friends and I anticipate her leaving my wedding with a dozen more.

She works fast too, so I expect her to have contact information and concrete plans arranged with at least five of my friends by the end of the cocktail hour. It always happens before I can do anything about it.

We recently attended a party together. As I sat on the couch with her and another friend whom she just met, I overheard the two of them talking about an upcoming social event. “Oh, that sounds like a lot of fun,” one said to the other. Within minutes they were discussing dates and times and exchanging contact information. I waited for them to invite me along so I could decline. “No, I will not be able to join you at the loud and fun party Friday night because I will be cleaning out my fridge,” I would respond.

I waited for the invitation. Neither of them said a word. They didn’t even look in my direction. And just like that another friend had gone.

I suspect my friends gravitate towards her because I am too jaded, a lost cause for those who prefer optimism and life in the sunshine. Even so, I’m running out of friends and can’t afford to lose any more.

I will probably just give my friend poacher various chores to do throughout the reception so she has limited contact with anyone else. I’m sure she would love to help the waiters refill water or restock toilet paper in the bathrooms. After all, that’s what friends are for.

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About JadedBride

Amy Kraft is a print and radio journalist based in New York. Her work has appeared in publications including Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, The Week, Psychology Today, and Distillations, a podcast out of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. She is currently working on a book of humor essays. View all posts by JadedBride

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