While talking to a coworker the other say, I developed a new scale for describing the sorts of friends that I long for. We were discussing her new boots, and how "badass" they were. I'd been looking for reliquary ingredients online (someday I'll make Art, like the Artists do) and so I mentioned that one could buy a whole crapload of mouse bones on eBay for only $40. Certainly there are few shoes that wouldn't look more badass with the addition of a few tiny skulls?
She gave me a look that said, "I know you well enough that I don't need to back slowly away... yet." Then she said, "Um, I don't really like mice."
Well, fair enough, and such a suggestion is surely not, strictly speaking, normal. On the other hand, it's a perfectly reasonable one. Don't get me wrong, I like my coworker very much--she's perfectly nice. It's just clear that we are different sorts of people.
Which led to me thinking about what sort of people I really miss in my life. So here's a helpful continuum. When I say, "Hey, I can buy mouse bones for only $40":
0-1) At the left end of the spectrum, people reply, "Why would you buy mouse bones online?" Not because they are especially creeped-out or disgusted, but merely because it isn't the sort of thing they'd do in a million years, and they are genuinely curious.
6-7) I'm probably a six or so. I certainly understand, and if I had a lot of extra cash, I might well get some.
9-10) Then people at the other end of the scale say, "Why would you buy mouse bones online?" They reckon that mice are free, so paying for them is simply a waste of money.
I know a couple of 1's, like my friend Jennings, and I find their feedback invaluable. I have other friends on boy sides of me on the scale, but they certainly skew towards the "normal" end. Other friends bounce from one position to the other unpredictably. Like Katya, who might well have sighed and looked askance at the story, but who instead said, "You'd want rat bones, anyway, wouldn't you?"
And, of course, there are folks who were nicely stylish Gap clothes and watch The OC* and rate -5, and there are pretty scary folks over at the 15 side. I avoid these two types, more or less. I like my friends very much. But what I need, is I need more Crazy Artists. Interestingly, it was like this during High School, too. At the time, I thought of it as Popular / Unpopular, or the Cool Kids vs. the Geeks, but I was actually pretty popular at High School, and had a lot of friends and a really fun time. But still, there was a large percentage of the student body that I didn't really feel comfortable with.
*Is The OC what these people watch? I just really don't know them. At all.