How growing up in my house taught me about friendship

Growing up, my life was nothing short of social.

Some of my first memories are of get togethers at my parents’ house or their friends houses — barbecues, Super Bowls, coffee dates — the list goes on.

New Years Eve '09

New Years Eve ’09

As a teenager, my parents’ house became the central hang out spot for more bodies than probably should have been in one house. On any given night, a handful or more of friends would stroll in, yell “Hey Mr. and Mrs. Matis,” and walk upstairs. They never needed an invite, and they were never turned away.

On weekends, friends from elsewhere would come in from out of town. They’d venture in to my small, northeastern Pennsylvania town from Binghamton or Scranton and crash on the couch. Sometimes they were people I met at events, sometimes they were bands that needed a place to stay after a show, and even sometimes I didn’t know who the hell they were, but someone brought them over anyway.

In fact,  my mom loved one group of out-of-towners so much that she stocked the freezer with their favorite meal – waffles and ice cream – whenever they were on their way.

And sometimes the groups were bigger than a handful.

The house was the site for after-prom parties, a really dramatic Halloween party gone wrong, and the historic “Breakfast Club.” How many

Halloween '07

Halloween ’07

people can say their parents let 20-something high school seniors in to their homes at 6:30 in the morning so that they could trash the place and cook huge amounts of food before school?

Let’s not forget the music.

My parents are saints for sitting through years of musicians coming over, bringing every instrument they owned. And especially for listening to my bandmate and I singing ridiculous love songs we wrote at all hours of the night. I don’t remember them ever asking anyone to be quiet.

Probably singing some emo song

Probably singing some emo song

And now, the same is true. I have great groups of friends that come over for campfires, cookouts, dinner and sometimes just to sit in silence and be in each other’s company.

I enjoy having friends over and love that my house in Indiana is sort of becoming what my home growing up was.

This is what I learned about friendship growing up:

  1. Hang out with anyone and everyone. Just because you’re not best friends with someone doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time doing something with them.
  2. Mix social circles. Just because different groups of friends haven’t met before doesn’t mean they shouldn’t.
  3. Don’t be afraid to walk in to your best friend’s house unannounced, pour yourself a drink and sit down at the kitchen table.  (Only my mom is going to get this one)
  4. Make the plans. Don’t wait for people to make them for you.

PS, Happy Friendsgiving.

Friendsgiving, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015

Friendsgiving, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015

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