The Year Of The Catch

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The Script For Today's Comic!

The Year Of The Catch

Scene:
Izzy is at her apartment, which can be laid to your tastes. Personally, I envision it as kind of neat, a transitional state between college dorm and grownup, with Bauhaus posters on the wall but nice furniture. But it’s up to you. She’s eating a chicken pot pie from Boston Market with a fork, talking really animatedly to someone who’s off-screen to the left, conducting the conversation with the fork.

Somewhere in the panel is the immense pile of books Karla gave her.

IZZY: So what do I think of Karla? She’s nice – a little bossy, sure, but… she said she wants to be friends with me. It’s been years since I’ve heard that.

IZZY (a little wistful about the past, a forkful of chicken pot pie in her hand): I dunno, Carlos… Once you get to a certain age, it just gets harder to find friends. Everyone you used to know moves away or gets married.

IZZY (sighs): Sometimes, I wish I was back in third grade, where you could just go up to someone and say, “WANNA BE FRIENDS?” But most of us are too cool to just ask outright, the way Karla did…

(The camera pulls back. Izzy is now offering the forkful of chicken to her cat, who is the person she has been talking to all along. It accepts it with interest. Izzy is bemused and a little disgusted – life is bad, but she can still see the irony in the situation and chuckle a little at it….)

IZZY: …and then we wind up so lonely that we start talking to our cats.

CARLOS (ignoring Izzy, eating the food): *mrow*

Ferrett Says

Today’s strip falls into the category of “Not a spectacularly funny gag, but true.” This might go right over the head of you folks who are young and in college, but there’s a strange transition that often happens around thirty when suddenly, you stop meeting new people.

Part of that is the change in lifestyle. College is a veritable swarm of people-meeting opportunities; there are seventy zillion people all crammed into a dorm, and you go to different classes daily where there are all sorts of people. But when you start working for a living, suddenly it’s just The Office or The Store, where there’s not only a shallower pool of potential participants, but you don’t interact with people in the same way.

Then there’s the cost of investment. A lot of people have remarked that it’s just harder clicking with people when you get older, but I don’t think that’s true; I think it’s that you get pickier. By the time you hit your mid-twenties, you’ve most likely dealt with any number of marginal a-holes who irritated you, but you tolerated them because they were a part of your social group. You expect a little more of friends than a laugh and showing up for the movie; they don’t have to be bosom buddies, but you don’t have time for the crap that comes with handling irresponsible, brittle idiots.

And lastly, there’s the free time issue. Once you start the forty-hour work week, you have to be good about going to work on time, sober, and ready to actually do stuff. Thus, your all-nighters have to be parceled out – and let’s be honest, and admit that college is pretty fucking easy if you’re not a med student or grinding for the bar. So you have less time to spend on people, and what you do have is spread among “new people” and “maintaining existing friendships.”

Some people luck out and wind up falling in with a big social group that pulls everyone in and mixes them up together, like the SCA or a LARP. The rest of us have to build connections one at a time – which isn’t easy when you move to a new city or watch your old friends get swallowed up in kids and marriages and jobs.

It’s not all bad, of course – the friendships you do have tend to be extremely comfortable, like an old shoe. You feel better about them, and God willing you put up with fewer idiots. But Izzy’s not alone in being alone, and I hope y’all find a Karla to rope you in.

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