The Effect Close Friends Have on Your Life (And: How to Choose Your Friends)

There’s a famous quote about how you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. As I get older, I definitely have noticed this, both in good and bad ways. From a simple fashion perspective, if all your friends are buying $1,500 purses, you feel like you’re the thrifty one if your bag is only $500. Meanwhile, if your friends are all using bags they paid $20 for at Target a few years ago, spending more than $100 on a bag feels insane. From a business/career perspective, people whose friends are all coming up with ideas for businesses seem much more inclined to go out and pitch VCs and angel investors and then immediately spend the 5, 6, or 7 figures they get, making tons of hires and leasing office space. On the flip side, if all your friends are choosing to stay home to raise their kids, that choice starts to look much more realistic and doable. This even makes a difference from a health perspective — if your closest friends eat and drink to excess, odds are really high that you will as well. (There was even a study about how your friends and family influence your weight!)the effect close friends have on your life - and how to choose friends wisely

So, while we’ve talked before about how to make friends as an adult, and how to make time for friends when you work a lot, we haven’t really discussed this. If friends = destiny, how do you assess the current people you’re spending time with, and possibly find new people to add to your mix? How do you do all this when you’re not totally sure what you want your destiny to BE? For example, at 27, my answer to “Where I want to be at age 37?” would have been totally different than my answer to that question at age 32 or 37 (or to the question, at a later age, “Where would it have been really great to be at 37?”). (Of course, this is getting into our question from almost 5 years ago now: where do you see yourself in 5 years? I’m still trying to figure out how we should update that one — I’ve opened comments on it again if anyone wants to update their original comment now!)

In terms of choosing friends wisely, I don’t know what the answers are, and I’m curious to hear what you guys think. For my $.02 I think it comes down to recognizing which friends are bad influences, and purposely seeking out friends that are better influences — looking for friends at your gym or workout class if you’re health-focused, pushing yourself to attend Meetups or talks on things you’d like to have in your life in a perfect world. If you’re dating, of course, choosing your partner is a huge factor here — go in with your eyes as open as possible to the effect she or he will have on your future life.

Let’s hear from you guys – what effect do you think close friends have on your life? How do you surround yourself with people who will propel you forward and challenge you in great ways? Do you lurch forward on your own, in activities that sound interesting to you, and then aggressively try to make friends while there? Do you try to sway your friends to come with you? For friends whom you absolutely love but who aren’t necessarily where you want to be (e.g., a SAHM friend, a bad-influence happy-hour friend, etc.), how do you STAY friends while also finding new ones?

Comments

  1. Chicken Salad Sandwich :

    Seriously? Bad enough I have to worry about my water bottle being totes profesh, but now it’s “is my friend group professional enough?” ugh.

    • My massive Nalgene with the massive sticker from my gym goes everywhere with me. I already spend my whole life at the office, I am not getting a dainty bottle to accommodate to “professionalism.”

      Same with my office. I have lots of “girly” colors, prints I love, a million pictures of my dog, football memorabilia, and it is impeccably organized.

      I also do awesome work. None of these are mutually exclusive.

    • Oh, I thought it was an interesting topic about having friends as an adult, not a question about whether one’s friends are professional enough. But I see where you’re coming from.

  2. Can anyone recommend a therapist in NYC for dealing with job loss?

  3. Somewhat frequent poster, going Anon.

    I feel trapped in my life and I don’t know what to do. I recently got married (not the reason why I feel trapped) so I feel like if I say I’ve been sad lately, people will assume its my marriage; it’s not. However, my husband has to work out of town several days a week and often works really late so we are not home together very often. I’m pretty independent and have lots to occupy my time but it is still hard because it feels like we have to maximize time together and there’s a lot of pressure to have fun when we are together, when usually both of us are just exhausted from our demanding jobs.

    I won’t even get into the stressors of his job, but I work in law and I’ve been told I’m on partnership track and I would imagine it would happen in end of 2019/2020. I can handle the workload itself fine, but I feel this immense pressure to work a lot all of the time to prove myself and I’m exhausted. Last year I was seriously contemplating leaving my job because it was just so depressing to me to feel like there was an axe hanging over my head at all times (my industry is pretty ruthless). I can’t pinpoint what it is, it’s just this overwhelming feeling of exhaustion and always worrying if I make a mistake that will be it, no partnership for you, that has slowly worn me down. I feel like the weight of it all is crushing me slowly (i.e., it’s not one big file that’s killing me…it’s death by a thousand cuts). I feel like my quality of life has gone down each year while most people I know are buying houses and saving, etc., even though we do have money to do these thing we can’t because both of our jobs are in limbo (my partnership track, his trying to work closer to home) both with respect to salary prospects and location, which makes buying or stepping up our lifestyle hard knowing these things. We moved recently and the place we picked feels like a massive mistake because it’s’ a marginal upgrade at best and I’m tired of living in places that don’t feel like ‘home’. We did this to further save money, but to what end? I feel like I’m chasing goals and saving and being responsible all while it’s breaking me down. If anyone is familiar with the ‘marshmallow experiment’- I often say to my husband “where is the effing marshmallow” because there’s only so long I can deal with delayed gratification. I just sat down at home and cried and am wondering why am I so miserable?

    I would love, and have wanted, an extended break from my job for quite some time but it doesn’t fit with the story of ‘you want to be a partner’. Again, I think I would enjoy being a partner and I honestly do enjoy my work and don’t find it to be too much, yet I also feel so burned out I just want to escape. It’s hard to balance these two thoughts in my head, and to others. I sometimes wish I could get mildly injured so I don’t have to go to work and no one will judge me and I won’t be seen as ‘weak’. How do I ask for some time off and also say ‘but I want to be a partner”? They seem to be incompatible. I’ve seen so many friends burn out of the lawyer life in the last few years and I guess maybe I’m doing the same, however, I don’t think another job will be all sunshine and roses so looking for something new (which has not been fruitful so far) doesn’t seem to be the solution.

    I have had these thoughts for a long time and I guess I’m wondering what suggestions people have. I really just want to be happy and optimistic again instead of always feeling like I have to get through another hurdle in the struggle of LIFE, and then maybe i’ll be happy. Basically, I want to be happy now, and I don’t know what to do.

    • Anonymous :

      Start with a vacation. Don’t try to address this all at once. When was your last real vacation?

      • Probably should have mentioned that. I just took a long one hoping that would help! I loved the trip! But alas I still feel the same way.

        • Anonymous :

          Then it’s not going to get any better. You think you have to wait for something before your life can begin but this is your life happening right now. It seems like you’re struggling and probably should leave. Partnership is not the answer that you think it is.

      • If you are nearing partnership, then you have been practicing for years. It’s time to enjoy a g.d. marshmallow, my friend!

        In terms of being trapped, you are only trapped to the extent you want partnership at that particular Firm. If you are up for partnership, you must be a superstar and really should think of yourself as having amazing opportunities elsewhere, but you are choosing to stay at your current Firm because you see yourself making partner.

        Note also that as someone who will be elected into partnership in November of this year, if you are still at the point of “I think it might be end of 2019” based on my experience you are definitely in the at least 2020 range. The Firm knows at least a year in advance who will be elected, even if it is not official.

        • Ha you hit the nail on the head!

          I work at a boutique firm so I’m sure decisions are less formal wrt partnership but I take your point it may be longer than I’m thinking. I guess I feel trapped because its too late to go to another firm (not that that would really fix anything, the work would be identical). My area of law is very specialized so I don’t really see many opportunities outside of the law firm context which is why I feel so trapped.

          • I think you should start doing casual coffee to find out about other opportunities. A gvt law office might take a lateral with great general skills for another area of law for example. What about seeing if you could get coffee with someone at a State AG’s office and learn about their work? Do that several times with several different kinds of law jobs and see how you feel. You may decide the grass isn’t greener and stay, or that it is and leave.

          • Anonymous :

            Of course it is not too late to go to another firm.

        • Anonymous :

          I think the timing really depends and varies by firm. At mine, they know who is a true candidate by this point and who has no chance, but not who among the true candidates will actually make it next year.

    • When I was struggling with whether to stay on the partner track, a wise friend said “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” And I realized that trying to make partner became my goal just because I could. I started looking for an in-house role, transitioned out & my happiness shot off the charts after that. I know it’s suggested a lot here, too, but this is where therapy really helped me. You don’t have to have something to find talking to a neutral person effective. It sounds like sorting out your actual life desires would be helpful to you.

    • Sorry that you’re feeling this way. Someone told me once that people build their own jail cells. No one else puts you into this position (whatever it is) except yourself. Since then I’ve tried to take myself out of the jail I built and create a place for me where I feel comfortable and happy.

      If being a partner at this law firm is your ultimate goal then I recommend finding a way to deal with your current feelings. Look into a therapist who may be able to help you sort your feelings. It is completely okay and “normal” to do. You may also consider if being partner really is your goal. You put so much pressure on yourself to make partner but if you were partner, would you be truly happy? I’m pretty successful in my field but now that I am where I am, I look at people who make minimal living, can’t afford too many things in life, can’t vacation beyond their hometown but you know what? They are so so happy. They find happiness in the most simple things and I am so envious. I have money to travel anywhere I want but I can’t because I’m too busy working. I have money to buy anything I want to eat but I can’t because I don’t have time to go buy it or don’t want to not fit into my professional workwear. Sometimes simplifying your life may be the best option.

    • Anonymously :

      A few ideas. You mentioned feeling pressure to have fun in the limited time you and your husband gave together. That sounds like a place you could cut each other a little slack. He’s probably tired from travel and you sound tired from life.

      Try on the idea of not naked ng partner. I’m not in law but it sounds like a real possibility in your field. What would you do? Would it be that bad once you got past pride? And I do get pride. I recently stepped down from a management role. I wanted it, I was grateful for the opportunity, but I was miserable. If I kept trying I probably would have gotten better at it and less miserable, but who really knows. When I was given an out and basically had to decide then and there I closed my eyes and leapt. It was the right thing to do. This wasn’t my goal it was my idea of the right thing to do. So maybe as a thought exercise try on the idea of not being partner and see if this goal that once felt so right is still the right goal for you.

      Good luck

  4. Anon Needing Help :

    Somewhat frequent poster, going Anon.

    I feel trapped in my life and I don’t know what to do. I recently got married (not the reason why I feel trapped) so I feel like if I say I’ve been sad lately, people will assume its my marriage; it’s not. However, my husband has to work out of town several days a week and often works really late so we are not home together very often. I’m pretty independent and have lots to occupy my time but it is still hard because it feels like we have to maximize time together and there’s a lot of pressure to have fun when we are together, when usually both of us are just exhausted from our demanding jobs.

    I won’t even get into the stressors of his job, but I work in law and I’ve been told I’m on partnership track and I would imagine it would happen in end of 2019/2020. I can handle the workload itself fine, but I feel this immense pressure to work a lot all of the time to prove myself and I’m exhausted. Last year I was seriously contemplating leaving my job because it was just so depressing to me to feel like there was an axe hanging over my head at all times (my industry is pretty ruthless). I can’t pinpoint what it is, it’s just this overwhelming feeling of exhaustion and always worrying if I make a mistake that will be it, no partnership for you, that has slowly worn me down. I feel like the weight of it all is crushing me slowly (i.e., it’s not one big file that’s killing me…it’s death by a thousand cuts). I feel like my quality of life has gone down each year while most people I know are buying houses and saving, etc., even though we do have money to do these thing we can’t because both of our jobs are in limbo (my partnership track, his trying to work closer to home) both with respect to salary prospects and location, which makes buying or stepping up our lifestyle hard knowing these things. We moved recently and the place we picked feels like a massive mistake because it’s’ a marginal upgrade at best and I’m tired of living in places that don’t feel like ‘home’. We did this to further save money, but to what end? I feel like I’m chasing goals and saving and being responsible all while it’s breaking me down. If anyone is familiar with the ‘marshmallow experiment’- I often say to my husband “where is the effing marshmallow” because there’s only so long I can deal with delayed gratification. I just sat down at home and cried and am wondering why am I so miserable?

    I would love, and have wanted, an extended break from my job for quite some time but it doesn’t fit with the story of ‘you want to be a partner’. Again, I think I would enjoy being a partner and I honestly do enjoy my work and don’t find it to be too much, yet I also feel so burned out I just want to escape. It’s hard to balance these two thoughts in my head, and to others. I sometimes wish I could get mildly injured so I don’t have to go to work and no one will judge me and I won’t be seen as ‘weak’. How do I ask for some time off and also say ‘but I want to be a partner”? They seem to be incompatible. I’ve seen so many friends burn out of the lawyer life in the last few years and I guess maybe I’m doing the same, however, I don’t think another job will be all sunshine and roses so looking for something new (which has not been fruitful so far) doesn’t seem to be the solution.

    I have had these thoughts for a long time and I guess I’m wondering what suggestions people have. I really just want to be happy and optimistic again instead of always feeling like I have to get through another hurdle in the struggle of LIFE, and then maybe i’ll be happy. Basically, I want to be happy now, and I don’t know what to do.

    • I’m very sorry you’re experiencing this! I’m in a very different field from you (classical music) but empathize with your post a lot. I went through a very similar thing a few years ago. The breaking point came one morning when I called my husband on my commute (interrupting his work but I didn’t care because I was so distraught) sobbing because I couldn’t take the pressure and misery and pointlessness anymore. He booked me an appointment with my primary care doctor and a therapist that day.

      Long story short, I got on medication, spoke with a therapist regularly. I haven’t changed jobs or houses but am 100% more at peace. During my “healing process” I learned it was possible to cut the noise of everyone else’s expectations and figure out what I really wanted. Up until that point, I honestly had no clue. I was following an old script that had been written a long time ago and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working for me anymore. What worked for me was being VERY intentional about saying “NO” and making breathing room for myself in my own life. I even had to say “NO” to myself a couple of times. And I learned to say “YES” to things I wanted that didn’t fit my old script. Girl. Don’t apologize. Live 👏 Your 👏 Life 👏

      I’m not a therapist, but from your post it *seems* to me that you may be depressed and following an old script that isn’t working for you. Throw that $hit out the window! We over-achieving chicks tend to make ourselves happy by making other people happy because, girl, WE CAN. You don’t have to do that! Make room for your feelings, make room for yourself, find what YOU want (and if that includes being partner, AWESOME. Get IT.) But do it from your OWN power, not because other powerful people expect you to.

      Some books that really helped me during my difficult time were “Lovability” by Robert Holden, “The Power is Within You” by Louise Hay, “A Woman’s Worth” by Marianne Williamson, and “Women and Desire” by Polly Young-Eisendrath.

      They may be a bit hippy-dippy for you, and if so, that’s okay. Truly best wishes. You can do it.

  5. Anonymous :

    I am beyond jealous of a working mom that has 5 friends, or really any working woman that has 5 friends. If I am a compilation of the 5 people I spend the most time with, it’s my two kids, my husband, my dog, and my legal assistant.

    • Anonymous :

      I strive to be more like my dog. That’s not even a joke. She’s super happy and loves life.

      • Getting a Dog :

        This was the best thing my dog has taught me. Getting her changed my entire outlook on life.

    • Ha, similar — for me, it is probably my husband, my manager, my best friend, my mom, and the UPS guy…

      • I strive to be the person my cats think I am. :)

        • Very funny! I like Cat’s, but they are a little to alloof for my taste. Therefore, my dad says I can get a small dog when I get a larger apartement. Right now, we are lookeing at other places on the Upper East Side, as Dad has retreived his deposit back on the 3BR 3BA apartement that he was going to buy for me. It is difficult to get a new one with a balcony, so dad is looking at older places with dedicated outdoor space, including some very nice penthouses on 3rd Ave and Park Ave, tho the ones on Park are up above 96th, where the clientele are a little less desireable, and the walk to work would be VERY strenuous. FOOEY! I told Dad I would consider MURRAY HILL, which is very nice, but it is expensive. We will start there if I don’t find something decent on the Upper EAST side (above 63rd). If the HIVE has any idea, I am all ears! YAY!!!!!!!

    • BigLaw 7th year and mom here. To me, there is a meaningful difference between 5 friends and 5 people I spend the most time with. I have probably 5 super close friends that I see or talk to or see in person at least once a month – 2 from high school (now local by about 1 hourish after being all over the country in the ensuing years), 2 from college (across the country) and 1 post-law school (local-10 minutes) who I met through my husband’s friend. I have a wider social group locally of probably 5-10 people (including 3 of the aforementioned close friends) that we make efforts to see in person about once every other month or so.

      In terms of the people I spend the most time with, it’s my kid, my husband the two partners I generally work with and my work bestie (1 year senior to me).

  6. Anonymous :

    The article re obesity being contagious is concerning to me.

    My husband is the only person in his family who isn’t morbidly obese. I can see how it has really limited his family’s life — plane travel isn’t possible (we live 8 hours away) and car trips are also unpleasant. Eating together at a table is difficult and many bathrooms (including 2 in our older house) are too small. Everything hurts, especially joints.

    He is really struggling and is up about 25 pounds since we got married (I’m pretty static but we have two children, who might be affected by any genes / family habits).

    I know some family links like this are genetic. Plus, they all learned to eat in the same house, so their habits are also largely influenced by that. [FWIW, it doesn’t matter what I cook at home. It gives H better choices (and our children their sole food options), which he frequently chooses, but it doesn’t stop things like junk food purchases and bad restaurant eating.]

  7. I have friends in different spheres of my life.

    From my gym, I have my gym friends. We all talk about food, how much weight we are lifting, and new personal records. We also do life together the most because I see them every day and spend a lot of my weekend free time there. There is some intersection between this group and my faith group and my work group. These friends obviously impact my gym goals the most and have encouraged me many times to do things I didn’t think possible.

    From my faith. I am in a small group at my church and I love the encouragement and prayers these women speak over my life. These women are from all walks of life, but I am the only one with an advanced degree. While I share random parts of my job with these ladies, I do not talk to them about details that non-lawyers/partnership-track type people would understand or know how to advise on. However, these friends obviously impact my faith journey and have encouraged me to reach goals in this space.

    From my work. I work in a secondary market, so my firm is very social and people actually hang out outstide the office (willingly). These friends are brilliant and always help me at work, whether teaching me something or giving me the partners’ preferences, they obviously heavily influence my work life and also make work fun.

    I also have friends at the Jr. League and a couple of other places I volunteer.

    I have my five people in each of these spaces. I woke up at [late 20s birthday] and realized that by virtue of moving a lot growing up and after college, I had ZERO friends–people who really knew what was going on in certain spheres of my life. So, I set out to build community this year and it has been fantastic and I realized that the only way to make friends is to do the leg work–though natural community building spaces make it much easier, like gym/faith organization/Jr. League, etc.

    During this time of community building, I also realized that I could build my life to be anything I wanted it to be (I realize this is incredibly privileged, but I did not grow up this way–part of a marginalized group and in poor circumstances, etc., but now I was in a position to do so), so I did that alongside doing the friend thing and it has been fantastic. I learned boundaries that have made me better at work, I set fun goals for myself–like reading for fun again, and I have found (and fallen in love) with a whole new side of me.

    So TL;DR: Your five people can be more than five people. You can change these five people to reflect who you want to be. So look at what you want your life to be and consider what it would take to make it happen and go find those people.

    • Wow. Your social life and connections are impressive. You are doing all the things “my fantasy self” would do but that I end up postponing out of exhaustion and busyness.

      What kind of a gym do you belong to? I’ve never had any other interactions other than small chit chat with random people I never see again at my yoga studios and gyms.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to the second sentence. I work out at two different gyms on a regular basis (4+ times a week at one, 2 times at the other) and I still have only cursory interactions with anyone.

        • OP - Friends :

          I totally agree! That was my experience before I started doing Crossfit. CF as a whole is very community oriented, but certain gyms within cities are even more community oriented. For example, mine has a cookout on holidays, girls’ nights every other month, a workout for charity, and while a lot of your friends come from going to the same class time, the Saturday workouts allow everyone to get together and meet each other.

          This is actually why Crossfitters are always sounding culty and talking about why it changed their lives. While we all appreciate the working out aspect, the community is what makes us want to introduce everyone else to it, because it really can be life changing.

    • WOW! So awesome, could you please tell me more about how you actually did this: “So, I set out to build community this year and it has been fantastic and I realized that the only way to make friends is to do the leg work–though natural community building spaces make it much easier, like gym/faith organization/Jr. League, etc”?? I feel I have tried this avenues, been “friendly” with folks, even invited them over to my house for meals but been very disappointed when they don’t bother to reciprocate after me taking ALL the steps and them seemingly enjoying all the steps I took!

      • OP - Friends :

        I am sorry that happened to you! That is so disappointing and I totally feel those feels of people not reciprocating friendly gestures. It can be so discouraging and it usually lines up with life making you feel like everyone else has the friends and community.

        I think it takes time, but I do think several things helped. The number one thing was finding places that are geared toward community building. I responded to the gym question above with more details on my gym (it’s Crossfit). That is a good example of a place where it is impossible to not build community because that is the point of it, even more than the workout. Same with my church (has lots of small groups). I am an introvert (I know, hard to believe), so these type of places provided a great space for my efforts (reaching out, similar gestures to yours) to truly pay off since everyone was in a similar spot.

        I also think my location has a lot to do with it. I live in a “friendly” place (not a huge city), so I do think people’s general disposition is a little more open and inviting. But it did require work on my part because I could survive and maybe even thrive by working, seeing my dog, sleeping, and repeating. However, I realized that I was becoming really resentful of other people and when I analyzed the root of the issue, it was because they were surrounded with friends and enjoying group activities and I did not even have more than two friends to invite to my birthday celebration. For me, this meant saying yes when I may have preferred staying in or even as simple as staying 20 minutes after a church service to say hello to my new friends (vs. running out because there are a million things to do).

        At places like the League, it has definitely been harder, but I have gained a handful of good friends from it and it’s only my second year. My League is growing very quickly, so I focused on meeting women who were like minded and getting lunch/coffee. I am not close with everyone I went out with, but I feel like every interaction brought me a little closer to the social me I wanted to be and taught me a bit more about the type of friends I was looking for. It also doesn’t hurt to know one more woman in the League.

        I have friends who have found this through book clubs, language clubs, hot yoga studios, etc. It sounds like your attitude is in the right place! I hope you find a good space to grow some wonderful friendships.

        • Would you mind sharing what city you live in? Sounds like a great place that I might be interested in!

  8. There’s also evidence that having divorced friends increases your likelihood of getting divorced.

    Not that anyone wants to toss a friend who is going through an awful life-changing situation, but it’s a reminder to not let one’s friends inadvertently influence one’s own life choices.

  9. Pretty Primadonna :

    I have a group of friends who I’ve been friends with for decades, but we all live in different cities. I have quite a few friends in my current city, but I have been really wanting a “tribe” as of late. DH and I need more couple friends with kids, too.

    It seems everyone is too busy to get together, or are in different life stages that make it hard to relate to one another. My husband is my best friend but I really want a “bestie” to have girls’ night and man/pedis and shopping time with. The last time I had someone in town who fit the bill was more than five years ago. And I don’t know how to even begin to replicate that type of relationship because, as it is oft repeated, it is hard to make friends as an adult.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      And, I do believe that your circle can bring you down or uplift you. I prefer to have people in my life who push/influence me to be a better me and to live my best life.

  10. Anonymous :

    I find this horrifyingly mercenary.

  11. Lurching forward into hiking lead me to new groups of friends.

    A few years ago, I became tired of waiting on people to go hiking with me, so I struck out on my own. As I dug deeper into the hobby I learned about a group called Girls Who Hike and become a chapter ambassador in my state. Finding more women to hike with was great, but that group also helped me meet new friends when I moved cities earlier this year.

    Like most things, I had to put in some effort and make myself available, but it paid off! I’ve had less luck with other groups like Junior League or my sorority, but even though groups did lead me to find a few good friends.

  12. AnonInhouse :

    I realized a few years ago that I was miserable when I surrounded myself with hard-charging lawyers and business people, because while I ended up in those fields, I never wanted to end up where I did and while I’m great at my job, there is nothing I really enjoy about it. It’s OK, it doesn’t make my life worth living (far from it, it made me spend a lot of time wondering if dead would be better than corporate lawyer). I would not do this again. So some of my friends now are lawyers or business owners, but more are people who I share things I really care about with (creative, spiritual or community pursuits that make my life worth living). And if that keeps me from having a successful startup or a $500 purse or whatever, that’s fine. I’m in-house, I don’t want to be a Big Law partner, so if I don’t hang with them, that’s fine. It gave me heartburn for a while until I realized how unhappy I was with the people I “should” be with. If I could do it all over again, I would have spent more time from my 20s until today (late 40s) with the people where I have a real heart and subject mind connection.

    • AnonInhouse :

      Adding – I did intentionally, and somewhat cold-heartedly, ditch a handful of functional alcoholic lawyer friends a few years ago. Enough with the boozehound antics and life revolving around vodka and scotch. No regrets. There is nothing about that milieu that I miss.

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