A goodly ways back, I friended someone I'd never met in real life, simply because I liked the style of his (you know who you are) writing. He dropped me a line asking who I was, what I knew of him, and how I found his rarely updated journal. This is not unreasonable -- I'd added him to a list called "Friends." If I'd written a script to ping me when he updated instead, the F-word would never have been invoked, and he'd have never even known he had a watcher. I answered his queries (a bit self-conciously) and, since, I've conversed with him a few unrelated times. All's well, but for a bit of linguistic awkwardness on my part.
Today I friended another person I've never met, and, in order to avoid the same issue, I dropped her (you know who you are) a brief note explaining that I like her prose (I do!) and that I found her via a mutual friend (I did!).
It was only when I received her reply that I realized that I had probably come off as one of those friend-compilers (you know who you are) who's more interesed in the integer appearing alongside the friend list than in the list itself. "Please friend me! Please? Please?" After all, why else write the note? She'll notice the new entry in her "Friend Of" list sooner or later. Damnation.
Then there's the bit o' brain that says, "Why do you care what anyone thinks?" but I learned to ignore that bit 'o brain long, long ago. It's utterly unrealistic, fantastic, and idealistic. I'm not a rock. I'm not an island.
The powers-that-be at LJ claim they're going to rework the whole "Friends" concept. Huzzah. Drop me a line when you get it in place, peeps.
No, wait, I'll just friend you instead.
Also: This Fountains of Wayne disc just keeps getting better.