How Many is Not Many?

You may have read a previous post of mine on nice old ladies. If not, have no fear. All you need to know is that I’ve met a nice old lady in my building and we go for coffee weekly. But today I have a question that has come into my head from my last experience of coffee with her. Last week when we got coffee, we went to our regular spot in the regular fast food chain across the street from our building. After we sat down, Jane (we’ll call the nice old lady Jane) called out to a couple of people she recognized. So they sat down and we chatted for a bit. After they left, Jane saw another person she knows and called her over too. And after that, she called over an employee she is familiar with as well for a chat.

There is nothing wrong with any of this, don’t get me wrong. I’m glad she has friends. She knows more people around here than I do. But she told me when we first started getting coffee together, “Let’s be friends because neither of us knows many people here.” So how many is not many? When do you know a good number of people around here? What’s the number that separates you from not knowing many to knowing a few? I don’t think there’s a single answer, but for Jane at least, that number is greater than five.

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