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I can never quite determine whether or not I make a good chum. This self-doubt is based on a lifetime of not being successful at keeping any. I make a lot, but I don’t keep them; the do not ‘stay’. For example, I’ve lived here in Phoenix since 2005 and I/we have several acquaintances but only one couple we count as ‘chums’.

This issue has always puzzled me. I’ve never been successful at improving the matter.

I suppose I should define my term here. My definition of “chum” for the context of this process goes as follows :

A person who lives nearby 

Who does some of the initiating for a get together, and

Who wants to spend time doing pleasantries like going to a show, or having dinner followed by playing cards for instance.  

Mind! I have plenty of friends by other definitions. They live far away. Many of them I know I could “call in the night” if I needed help. Some of them even reach out to me so I don’t do all the calling.  They are legion, and I am most grateful for everyone of them.

Being my own analyst is not easy. It is very hard, nay impossible, to be objective about a subjective matter. I can think of a myriad of factors which maybe contributing to my difficulty at making and keeping local friends. One prosaic reason is Phoenix is so spread out it takes a lot of time to travel to see anyone. (The mentioned couple lives 35-40 miles away).

But I worry there is something about me. I talk too much; I blurt; I don’t listen; I get on people’s nerves; I am boring.

I hope I don’t sound ungrateful for not wanting one or two of the friendships I am missing.  I wouldn’t change my network of faraway friends for gold. All the same, I would like to have one or two locals, who seem genuinely interested in me enough to call sometimes asking to join them this Friday night for a chummy beer or bite.

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