My parents never had any friends.  I know you’re saying, come on, don’t exaggerate, but I’m being perfectly serious.  They still don’t.  It’s the two of them, punto final.  They are not particularly anti-social, they just can’t be bothered.

So, having had no example, I’ve always had to make up the adult friend thing as I went along.  And I’ve moved around… a lot.  So whatever friendships I’ve managed to build up have fallen apart.  With Facebook I am able to salvage some, and with blogging I find I can get super attached, because I don’t feel like I ever have to lose any of the great people I meet over the internet, assuming we all continue to choose to inhabit cyberspace, and assuming the continuing existence of cyberspace.  (Now that we have it, can you imagine our reality without it?)

But in real life.  That’s another story.

I joined a local group of homeschoolers.  I met them at the park a couple of months ago.  Instantly, I was home.  I’d known them forever.  Not a moment of tension or awkwardness.

Great, right?

Leave it to me to put a negative spin on it.

First, they’ve known each other for years and are like a real community.  It would take me years to catch up, even though they do make me feel welcome now.  Wah, woe is me, I wish I’d stayed somewhere so I could be an integral part of some great group… blah blah blah.  Pity pot. 

Second, there is no guarantee we will stay in this area for any length of time, and if we leave they just get added to the Facebook list of blasts from the past.  My husband and I have an agreement that we will go where his career leads us.  My life is about my kids, who I can raise anywhere, my writing, which I can generate anywhere, languages, which I can speak anywhere, cooking and crafts… you get the idea.  I am willing to make this sacrifice to be a part of the wonderful partnership we have.  Most of the time it doesn’t feel like any kind of sacrifice at all, especially if I think of my parents’ social norm.

And I really like these folks.  They make sense to me.  We are on the same page.  I don’t want to lose that… again.

There is a get-together, a winter party, tonight.  I haven’t RSVPed, I am using the lice, the fact that today is my husband’s payday and thus I need to run multiple errands, and my own social inertia to blow it off.  But I’ve been told by one of the moms that I can just show up, and I secretly really want to go.  I’m at the point now where I am entering the “Cheers” phase of belonging to the group, where at least one person will instantly know my name and greet me when I walk in the door.

I think it might be a need we have, as social animals, to be recognized by not just the people in our hut but by the village at large.  Some kind of security, some kind of mental and emotional nourishment.  Don’t know how my parents manage without it, but I guess that’s their prob.

I’m so glad I woke up early this morning so I can sit here in the quiet (such a rare treat!) and get my head together.  I’m so glad you were here to listen.


Filed under society

6 responses to “Friends

  1. I agree, I think it’s inborn in us to need other people. I’m not particularly social, but I’d be absolutely LOST without a close family and a group of moms I hang with on the internet. I do have ‘real life’ friends I enjoy, but our get togethers seem few and far between. That’s enough for me, though.

    I hope you go to your party. Sounds like something you’d really enjoy. 🙂

  2. justaddh2o

    I understand how you feel about ‘making friends’ it is particularly hard as we get older and the ‘clique’ factor doesn’t ever go away either. I like a good social gathering every now and then but I find it difficult to hang around nor feel like my husband and I belong in some of the friends/acquaintances we know they still like the ‘party scence’ and I feel like I never have anything to contribute to the table because “I’m never plastered the night before”. My ideals and parenting skills are never on the same page with some of my friends. I rather expose my children to culture rather than materialism. Don’t get me wrong I am not perfect but it’s hard to have that personality fit. Like you I put my children ahead. I wish you a good start this year of 2009 in all your endeavors.

  3. Joy

    I’m not a really big socializer either. I’ve always been so close to my brother and my husbands family that we are all like friends. I think that’s a good thing in one way. I’ve bowled for years. This is the first year in 30 years that I’m not on at least one league. A normal year for me was 2. I have problems with my rotor cuff and just had to give it up but the women there didn’t help my feelings. I’d known them for 8 years or so but whether it was me or not, it could have been, but I got very tired of all the cattiness that had been going on.

    I LOVE to be at home and really like my life the way it is. I have my boys, my daughter in laws, husband and 3 wonderful grandchildren. Who could ask for more than that??? I also have ONE very, very good friend that I can turn to when I need to do venting. I’ve just never really been a social butterfly. I’m really rather shy if you want to know the truth. I know I don’t seem shy to you but in the beginning of a friendship, I’m very held back.

    But this thing sounds to me, forgive me if I’m wrong, but it “sounds” like you do want to go but there is a little part of you that is afraid of being ” left out.” If you want to go, please go. They are your friends and I feel you will be more than welcomed. My oldest son is kind of like this. He acts like he doesn’t care about things you know he’d die for but if he pretends it doesn’t bother him, if it doesn’t pan out he can say “I didn’t care anyway.”

    You are a true friend to me and I feel you should do what YOU want to do and say to hell with everyone else.

  4. K – I ended up not going. I feel so wiped out after this week. Bleh.

    Thanks for stopping by and adding your kind words, justaddh2o.

    You’ve got me pegged, Joy! I have always been one of those “Fine I didn’t want to hang out with you anyway” kinds of people who just hangs back, afraid but wanting to be included.

    Your family sounds ideal… if there were more adults in my immediate family (it’s just me, hubby and the kids right now) then I think I would get all the social interaction I need. But hubby is gone for his job so much and the non-stop kids just leaves me drained and wanting to have a big person’s conversation… just once in a while! 🙂

    I am so glad that we are friends and I appreciate your perspective and advice… you mean a lot to me!

  5. The holidays are really draining. Maybe next time. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Friends « team effort

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