Old Friends

This week’s comic is not about right and wrong. It’s about friends and time. It’s about taking different paths and growing apart. It’s about getting older.

Now, clearly I’m on the family side of this strip. That’s the route I went. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not saying it leads to happiness for everyone. In fact, I think it’s better to be single and happy than to get married and start a family with the wrong person. What does make me sad though, is watching friends who seem stuck in a rut—eternally in college, just without the classes. And it’s not about money. I wouldn’t have double majored in art and philosophy if I cared about that. It’s about direction and meaning. Can you spend your whole life living only for today? And when does the sex and drugs lifestyle go from fun and exciting to routine and empty?

But ultimately, the saddest thing is that even if both sides are completely happy in their lives, there’s still a disconnect once marriage and children enter the picture. As a parent, it’s not just the loss of free time to do fun adult things. It’s about a sudden change in your priorities. Life begins to move in a much more “serious” direction once you have kids. And suddenly you just don’t see certain friends very often. You find yourself spending more time with people you would never have hung out with if you weren’t both parents, while those some of those long-term friends you share every interest with—who you speak to in a language of in-jokes based on years of good times—start to fade away. But what’s hard from the parent point of view is that while you still can appreciate the things your old friends do—the stories they tell, the lives they lead—they are at a loss when it comes to your new life. Not only do they not understand it, most of it doesn’t interest them. And it’s to see why, since parenting can sound awfully mundane to the uninitiated.

Yup, not the funniest comic this week. But a true one.

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11 responses to “Old Friends

  1. What does Stoner Guy have in his right hand in the third panel? Cigarette papers?

  2. Wow, dude you come across as a total asshole!

    It reminds me of the time I was on the LIRR many years ago and a man was also on board with his young daughter. He was a scrawny little fellow with red hair and ill fitting clothing. The family sat down in a row behind four guys in their mid twenties. The train was otherwise empty. Young men talk as they do and Papa Jerkoff scolded them for using grown up language in front of his crotchfruit. Why he sat there in the first place and didn’t move away is beyond me. He ended up getting into a verbal fight with them and the train was held up for about an hour while he demanded the police were called because he didn’t like the way other were speaking.

    You are that red haired man.

    • This is me: “Talking about how you lose touch with friends as you get older.”

      This is you: “One time I was on a train and a stupid dad got on and was stupid derp derp I can’t read.”

  3. Congrats on having a nice family, but who are you to judge anyone? Bring back the funny, or else Netanyahu goes it alone in Iran.

  4. It’s a shame there are those friends that fade away, but there are plenty of single people who are involved with their friends and their families. Have you tried inviting that friend who seems stuck in college out to the park with you and your family?

    I know of single “party” friends that would call up those with kids and ask them to do just that. Maybe that’s a different kind of friendship though. That’s more like family.

    If it’s a friendship you value, try and make the effort. I’m sure they’ve grown as well, have to deal with mortgages, retirement savings, taxes, politics, adult matters. There’s plenty of common ground and perhaps if they are a true friend to you and your wife they’ll want to know your kids too.

    • Here’s my test: If I know someone for 10 years and they can’t take the initiative to meet my son before his first birthday, then they don’t really care that much. Which is fine, life changes and so do people’s priorities. But I have the right to feel sad about it too.

  5. I read the blog. As a stand-alone the comic is unmistakably a self-righteous tract about your moral superiority for having had a kid. But there are people who’s relationships haven’t worked out, or who couldn’t have or didn’t want kids, and those people are slightly more likely to still partake in a bong hit once in a while. Also, are you really going to go meet all your college friends’ kids before their first birthday?! Getthefuckouttahere!

    • You are wrong in just about every way.

      For one, the first person to come over after my son was born was and is still single. He parties every weekend, and, despite being a year older than me, is at the height of his girl-macking days. See, it’s not about lifestyle. It’s about being a good friend and a responsible, caring human being.

      Two, don’t lecture me about bong hits. I just did an entire comic about legalization.

      Three, don’t tell me what is “unmistakable” about my comics. I drew three images. I’m sorry if you or anyone else was offended or felt judged by them. I’m just a guy trying to express himself online. Plenty of people saw this comic and understood what I was going for: It’s a depiction of how close friends can grow apart due to age. I drew it because I feel abandoned by some of my close friends, who seem to think that having kids means you die. “Oh, you’re a dad now? Guess we won’t be hanging out anymore.” That’s where it came from.

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