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.
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.