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Behold the newly-revised Friendship Application 3.0.

Friendship Application 1.0 is more than five years old, and Friendship Application 2.0 is three years old, so it was time for an update.

There have been instances in previous years 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 someone who watched five hours of television a day?

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!

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It’s important to note that all current friends are grandfathered in and need not score 100 in order to remain my friends. This is merely an acknowledgement of my limited time and the value that I place on my current friends. A new friend could potentially infringe upon my already limited time with them, so it’s important to determine if the return on investment is reasonable.

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. And I know a lot of vegans who love to talk about being a vegan, which makes me want to stab them with a carrot. 
  • 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.
  • I ask if an applicant is an author and a writer because there is a distinction. An author is published, allowing for discussion and insight into the publishing world. A writer is a person unpublished but still very much appreciated for their knowledge and engagement in the craft.
  • 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  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.
  • The number of hours per day that an applicant watches television is an indication of the probability of the applicant summarizing the plots of TV shows and the dearth of meaningful moments in an applicant’s life.
  • 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.
  • The number of Supreme Court justices that a person can name is shorthand for an applicant’s knowledge of politics and current events, which is crucial in any meaningful conversation.
  • A long distance runner spends insane amounts of time running, so availability is often compromised. Also, I think long distance runners are a tiny bit insane.
  • Living in NYC is an asset, as I love the city, am there often, and am constantly looking for company.
  • An applicant’s skill level with home repairs is an asset to me, who can’t fix a damn thing. But an inability to conduct basic household repairs does not impede your chances at friendship status. Similarly, an applicant skilled in the technological realm is a potential asset, but having no knowledge or understanding of technology is a disadvantage because it is likely that the applicant will be hindered in some regard or constantly asking inane questions.