Friendship is to People as Sunshine is to Flowers

The past month I’ve loved spending time with my high school friends who are back for the summer. I’ve known all of them for at least five years, some more. What’s refreshing for me is that while they’re supportive of my book and business efforts, that’s not what really drives our relationship. Whereas in the business world "friends" can sometimes magically appear when you have a big success and disappear when you take some hits, in the "personal world" your perceived success and status don’t play as much a role.

One of the things the past few months of speaking, book marketing, and interviews have taught me is that I value the interior life. In other words, I value a private life of non-professional relationships. I value personal, emotional connection (this can definitely exist in strictly professional relationships, but it’s harder).

Three specific examples of recent social time stand out.

The first was a dinner I had at a sushi restaurant in Japantown with two friends who are at UCLA and Vassar. Originally the plan was to meet up for dinner at a cheap Chinese place which serves really tasty (read: greasy) food at low prices. I suspect they cook all the food in the morning and then re-heat it during the day. We punted on the quintessential student restaurant and instead went to Japantown and had a sit-down meal at a nice sushi place. It was fun to be in an ethnic neighborhood and do something out of the ordinary. Plus, the food was terrific.

The second was a night at a comedy club in Marin. I had never seen live comedy. It is a great experience that I recommend to anyone. Dana Carvey, one of the top 100 stand-up comedians of all time, showed up, and was hilarious. His dialogue between Bush Sr. and Bush Jr., in particular, shined ("Daddy, daddy, I’m going to spread democracy like peanut butter!" "Well, son, see, the problem is that peanut butter doesn’t really spread all that well."). The junior comedian was equally hilarious, but he had to rely on racism, sexism, and personal insults against people in the audience to make his point. A sign of a rookie! Two of us went to In-n-Out Burger afterwards for a late-night snack — it’s hard to go wrong with a Double-Double and vanilla milkshake.

The third was this past weekend. I had an overnight party for 15 friends and we lounged about in the sun, listened to music, played ping-pong, chatted about the utterly banal as well as the intellectually challenging, and just generally fucked around.

I guess this is a long way of saying that I’m looking forward to college where there supposedly is a great deal of social infrastructure to facilitate all this.

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