"I'll go on a date with your friend if I get a pair of shoes out of it," I said.
We all laughed.
"Really though. You both work all the time. You're both near Chicago. And you're both super nice. It would be perfect," he replied.
We were drinking wine around the fire at the resort. I had made fast friends with a couple as the three of us walked towards the live music and dancing. He was in sales and she worked in healthcare. They were perfect for each other and they were supposed to get married this weekend. They moved their wedding to the following year because of the pandemic and chose to celebrate this weekend anyway.
"Okay, I'll think about it. But who's the real salesman here? I'm the one who got free wine, dinner, and now a pair of shoes?"
Sometimes I think of friendships like a puzzle. You run into new people, try to connect and sometimes it doesn't fit. Then sometimes, it does. The personalities match intuitively and it flows. The conversation is natural, unforced. You want to ask them questions. You want to learn about them. They want to do the same. There's an understanding of acceptance and fun.
That was this couple. I wasn't looking to make friends. I was on a trip by myself and had only gone to the campfire with the goal of eating s'mores. I saw this couple flirting in front of me and enjoying their trip together.
It started with a conversation about the resort and escalated to them FaceTiming one of their lifelong friends in hopes of playing matchmaker. It ended with the three of us taking a boat tour the next day, exchanging numbers, and planning our next event to spend time together. It all flowed naturally like it was supposed to happen.
Sometimes, when I don't get along with someone, I wonder if I'm a bad friend. I wonder if I should be doing differently to connect with them. I try to force a friendship out of the pieces it started with. Then I remember Lake Geneva. I remember how natural it is for me to make friends and how it feels to make good friends. Then I look back at those more challenging interactions and think...maybe that's not meant to be. Maybe that's not a piece that fits anymore.