Who was your first friend? What did they mean to you as a kid? Do you have a favorite story about them? Are you still in touch?
Uh…. I gather there were kids I played with, but I’d have to say the first friend in my age range that I actually remember would be Chris Casper. He was more like a brother than a friend, because our parents spent a lot of time together, so we were together a lot. I do have a favorite story about him! He told me that when he got his tonsils out, that he didn’t have any germs. He proved it to me by drinking out of my glass and showing the glass to me, and there were no germs I could see. And yes! We are still in touch! Which suddenly makes me feel very, very old because I think the first picture I have of the two of us we were maybe four or five.
Did you find it difficult to form friendships as a child? Why do you think that was?
Yes, and I’m not sure why. We moved around a lot, so I was never in one place very long. I was too embarrassed to have people over to my house, and you can’t go hang out at other kid’s houses without reciprocating (at least, back then), so I didn’t ever invite anyone over. I think I was in middle school before I invited a friend over to my house. But also, a lot of my childhood was spent at science fiction conventions. I grew up around people who were older and much older than me. It’s hard to really have “friendships” (at least, the kind these questions are looking at) with that much of an age difference.
Did you ever have a “short” but strong childhood friendship? For example, if you went to summer camp, or made a friend while on vacation? Tell us about them.
Uhm… not that I remember. I went to summer camp exactly once, and the other girls were monsters.
Do you have a childhood friend you’ve lost contact with that you wish you hadn’t? What do you think they’d be like today?
Hmm. No, I don’t think so. I think I’ve either found, or been found by, anyone I’d like to stay in touch with.
The teenage years can be challenging for many of us. Did you have a friend you were close to during these years? How did they help make life easier?
Not particularly. From the teenage years of thirteen to nineteen I went to … three different high schools and two different colleges, and I moved … if you count by cities, I lived in three different cities (well, four, but one city I lived in twice) and well, if you count moving from apartment to other apartments, I lived in probably … seven different dwellings. I’m not saying that I didn’t have anyone to talk to, but the good, close friends that I still have, from that time, I didn’t meet until I was seventeen or older. Quinn, Rikk (and also Ryk), Trista, Heath…. All people I met when I was between 17-19. So late teens. They have definitely made my life easier since then, that’s for sure! To this day Quinn is about the only person I will willingly talk to on the phone with for more than an hour.
Were you someone who had a few close friends as a kid, or were you someone who tended to have many acquaintances but few intimate friendships? Are you still that way today?
Many acquaintances and few intimate friendships. I think I’m still that way, but the people I hold close are numbered in the double digits. I’ve gotten very, very lucky with friendships, the older I’ve become.