The Smithsonian Institution is proud to announce its latest exhibit of rarities, which features an exciting, recently uncovered artifact: “The New Friend You Made as an Adult” (Los Angeles, early twenty-first century).
Although “New Friend” has captured the imagination of scholars for decades, the existence of the artifact was largely dismissed as a myth. The general consensus in the academic community was that production of “New Friend”s had ceased by the end of the Collegiate Era, when the necessary conditions of proximity, forced interactions, and alcohol were replaced with the subsequent era’s much harsher corporate nine-to-five and hangovers from one glass of white wine. Still, the hopeful few spent years in the field searching for “New Friend”—attending meetups, enrolling in cooking classes, and, in one desperate, ill-fated instance, inviting a co-worker out for drinks. These excursions uncovered a few promising potential “New Friend” specimens, but ultimately these finds were debunked as roommates, acquaintances, and your cousin, which shouldn’t really count.
The unexpected discovery of “New Friend,” in a yoga class in Santa Monica six months ago, stunned scholars. In fact, the artifact was passed by several times—with a curt nod and the nearly inaudible “hi” reserved for the much more common “Casual Acquaintance”—before being correctly identified. It wasn’t until the instructor unintentionally released intestinal gas while in Savasana, and “New Friend” was the only other person in class who laughed, that the fortunate archeologist realized that she had stumbled across something priceless.
Owing to the delicate nature of “New Friend,” the excavation process was painstaking and required intense finesse. Too much force could break “New Friend” and appear totally desperate; too little risked the loss of the piece entirely to a much cooler friend group with tasteful little arm tattoos and a propensity to do mushrooms in Joshua Tree. Through calculated maneuvering, the scholar was able to loosen “New Friend” up with a casual invitation to a large gathering, and then slowly extract her with offers of grabbing drinks, going on a hike, and, finally, just hanging on the couch, drinking wine, sharing deep intimacies while a movie you’ve both seen fifteen times plays quietly in the background.
“New Friend” is a treasured addition to the Smithsonian Institution’s storied collection. We highly encourage you to come see “New Friend” soon, before the exhibit moves to Austin at the end of next year.