Submitting to a Shotgun Wedding

Seattle grows on you. The grumpy weather, everyone’s tendency to cocoon, and of course the polite but distant Seattleites with the attitude of "have a nice day, somewhere else". The last one being the most interesting subject for me as it feeds my fussy and choosy tendencies.

Seattleites mostly commune through talking to coworkers or someone random – hoping the conversation will last beyond the third sentence. Women go to brunch or happy hours, with potential friends, being just like "Sex and the City" she’ll be Charlotte, you’ll be Carrie! Guys drink local hoppy beer with bitterness and aroma in the corner bars with wooden stools. "Seattle is like that popular girl in high school. The one who gets your vote for homecoming queen because she always smiles and says hello. But she doesn’t know your name and doesn’t care to".

In such city, if you’re a product of your environment, the concept of friendship tips over to something new that’s reminiscent of submitting to a shotgun wedding, rather than picking your suitor. In Seattle, friends are mostly of fellow transplants. They are very nice in passing situations, but beyond that there’s a wall, and there is mistrust. In other cities or countries, there are people around you constantly. They come over and hang out and then they hang out some more. Those are the times you really get to know people and develop friendship.

Friendship is a byproduct of trust, awareness of feelings of others, and to a lesser extent: frequent interaction no matter how deep or meaningful. You can take the bar for friendship as high/low as you want, you can categorize people to friends, acquaintance, or best friends, and you can play with words as much as you want, but, there is value and a sense of appreciation in a familiar face. That’s just human nature.

It leaves me all baffled about what friendship will look like in a few years in this carefree city. It seems like it’s declining in quality, even though I now have a few hundred online friends who poke me everyday.

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