Sunday, January 18, 2009

The FriendChart Tutorial III - Chronological Friend Rating

Time improves all friendships, without exception. (With the exception of fallings out over groundless accusations of favoritism and preference for The Richardson)

Those friends that you've known the longest are therefore, unquestionably the best. LongTime Friends bring many benefits to the Friendship Table, including, but not limited to:

  • They have known you longer than most anyone outside of your family, and yet, despite this preternatural knowledge of your obvious shortcomings, they still choose to remain your friend
  • They're more likely than new acquaintances to bury a body or hide a murder weapon.
  • They have taken painstaking steps to eliminate excess friendships in order to make more time available for waiting around in hopes that you'll call....even just to say hi.
  • They are less likely to screw around with your significant other than new acquaintances
  • They have probably forgiven you for that time you repeated what you were told in confidence about their sexual goings-on with that girl they were seeing in college, resulting in his getting promptly dumped.....probably.
  • They have kept secrets about your many dalliances with receptionists at work, while you hid it from your other "Friends"
  • They have spent countless hours developing a FriendChart just to remind you who's been there all these years.
It is because of these benefits, among others, that make LongTime Friends so valuable. This brings us to our next set of rules about ranking friends.

Friends should be determined and ranked mathematically based on the number of Calendar years you've known them. For example if you've known a friend for five years, they are a better friend than someone you've known for, say, three years.

The number of calendar years you've known a friend translates into a set of FriendChart Points. One calendar year equals one FriendChart point. Thus, a friend of 5 years has earned 5 FriendChart Points. This may seem reduntant and overly simplistic. The FriendChart Points system is actually quite complex. It will be discussed further in The FriendChart Tutorial V - Advanced FriendChartography.

So what does all this mean? What are the implications of attaching a point value to your friendships? Its quite simple really. When you are dealing with multiple friends, which often happens with people inexperienced in working with the Five Finger Friend Method, you are likely to run into difficulties deciding which friends to hang out with and when.

Suppose, hypothetically, that two friends call you to hang out. Friend A, whom you've known for 5 years, calls you to get a drink. Not long after, Friend B, whom you've only known for a paltry 1 year, calls you to go to an animation industry party at a swank Manhatten bar. Who do you hang out with?

Friend A of course. Despite the fact that a party at a cool bar is probably much more fulfilling, entertaining, and ultimately valuable to your career, you've only known Friend B for one year. He only has ONE FriendChart Point. Therefore, he ranks lower than Five Point Friend A.

Is it starting to become clear. The higher a friend's point value, the more you HAVE to hang out with them. When choosing between multiple friend opportunities, you MUST always choose the friend who has the highest point value. To do otherwise would to be to spit in the face of all friendships.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, as will be seen in The FriendChart Tutorial IV - Rules, Rankings, and Exceptions. And as points are attributed in more complicated ways (see The FriendChart Tutorial V) it becomes a much more harrowing task to determine who your friends are and which are most important to you.

For now, armed with the knowledge that:

  • You can only have five close friends (and five auxilary or novelty friends)
  • You can only be friends with people who you have known for a substantial amount of time, you hang out with individually, and you have no interest in sexing with
  • Friends are ranked in order of importance based on the number of calendar years you've known them

You should be more than capable of beginning a FriendCleansing, in which you determine your true friends, and stop referring to those people who are merely aquaintances as friends.

Tune in next time for The FriendChart Tutorial IV - Exceptions, Consessions and Extra Points

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