It's a weird state to be in.  You get out of college, you have a core set of friends.  Everyone moves to different places, gets different jobs.  You lease, you rent, you own and meet and hate new neighbors.  You join some clubs, go to some bars, meet people that just don't do it for you, but still some filter in to your circle of friends.

But here's where you are.  Not really in the prime of meeting new friends.  Not in the dating scene.  You play poker (or whatever) on weekends so you still have some reason to hang out with the folks you know.  It gives you an in to invite them over to help you move.

But you occasionally get to meet new people, one way or another.  Maybe not people you would encounter otherwise.

Imagine the strained scenarios I've envisioned over the years:  Go to the mall.  Buy a quick lunch at the food court.  Why sit alone?  Why should they sit alone?  Find common interests, write email, become friends.

Or, if you prefer...  Have a kid.  Take her to the park.  Run into another parent and their kid.  Get to talking about daycares.  Note that you don't live too far away.  Schedule a playdate.  Schedule a dinner.  Schedule a babysitter and an outing.

What comes into question for me, though, is what can you tell someone who could be your friend that would get them to become your friend?  And how do you do it with a person that is in a group in which you have interest but no experience?  How does that work out across ranges of age?

Can you tell a person at the park you are a single parent without changing the way they look at you?  How does it work for people who rent out their sibling's kid for a day?  You know, Aunt Elise takes junior over to the park.  She's single.  Maybe she'd be a new single friend if you got to talk to her.

Am I some kind of philanderer if I talk - innocently - to a girl 10 years younger than me while I'm at school?  I sit around them the entire time I'm there.  It's enough that I don't exactly fit into the little cliques that occasionally form in the weak adolescent psyche - I'm certainly not going to work to fit in with that crowd.  But there are others that it might be nice to know.

Curious - Expanding the friend pool by taking dips in other ponds.  Hmm.