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Behold the newly-revised Friendship Application (the original one was more than two years old and in serious need of an update).

There have been instances over the past year or so when it seemed as if someone in my life was on the verge of becoming a genuine friend. This is all well and good, but what if the person turned out to be a Jets fan or a militant vegan or lived an hour from my home?

I’m not opposed to making a new friend, but I have standards.

Thus the Friendship Application was born.

If I feel that someone is on the verge of becoming my friend, I will send an email that reads:

Dear _____________,

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve noticed that we may be on the verge of becoming friends.  In order to ensure that you are proper friendship material, please complete the attached application.  A score of 100 or above will indicate that this friendship can proceed.

Less than 100 and I will be forced to terminate this potential friendship.

Good luck!


Some items of note in regards to my criteria:

  • The vegetarian question does not imply that I have a problem per se with vegetarians or vegans (I actually have at least two friends who are vegetarians), but considering my limitations in terms of vegetables, it makes friendship slightly more challenging in terms of finding a place where we can both eat.
  • In asking if an applicant is a teacher, I am seeking to determine if our schedules will closely align. A teacher with the same summer vacation as me is much more valuable than someone who is working 8-10 hours a day throughout the summer months as well.
  • Even though I am a Yankees fan, it should be noted that a Red Sox fan can score points based upon my recognition that this rivalry often produces interesting debates and lively banter. The same does not apply to Mets and especially Jets fans, who are always annoying and downright unpleasant when discussing their teams.
  • In terms of golf, you can score points for being a golfer, but actually playing on a regular basis (and therefore being available to play) is much more valuable to me. Some of my closest friends are golfers, but because they only play a couple times a year (for reasons usually associated with the demands of their job or family), it means little to me in terms of available playing partners. I considered adding a question about whether or not an applicant had to ask his or her spouse for permission to play golf, but I didn’t think that anyone who required permission would answer honestly.
  • In terms of football, flag football scores more points than touch football because flag football implies a greater commitment to the game. You can also easily transition an attempt to strip a player of a flag into a full-blown tackle, often without much complaint or protest.
  • My question regarding an applicant’s weekend wake up time seeks to determine his or her availability. I have friends who profess to love golf, for example, but are unwilling to get out of bed at 5:30 AM on a Sunday in order to play. The earlier you get up on the weekend, the more likely you are available for early morning activities. Some of my closest friends will routinely call or text me at 6:00 AM on any given day, knowing that we are always awake at that hour.
  • The question about the all-nighter seeks to determine a person’s sleep tolerance. I am often in search of friends who are willing to stay up exceptionally late in order to attend a Moth event in NYC, a Monday night football game in Foxboro, MA, or even an all-night activity like the Williams Trivia Contest at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. There are few people willing to sacrifice sleep in exchange for attending one of these memorable events. I am always in search of more.
  • In terms of martial state, unmarried is preferable to married simply because there are fewer demands on a person’s schedule and greater availability.
  • Similarly, a childless person is preferable to one with kids because of his or her increased availability, but having children similar in age to my own children is also helpful and can score you points.