After being on summer break for a few weeks I have started to reflect on an issue that has been on-going: my small group of friends…..or lack thereof. As a woman I know it is hard to find good friends. It’s not hard to find acquaintances or people who are in your bookclub etc. But, I am thinking about friends who you have known for years and the ones you call on a regular basis. Of course, you can have hundreds of friends on FB or Linked In but I am thinking about friends you know face-to-face.
In my search to expand my circle of friends I have reached out to friends of other friends, people at work, spouses of TX Hub’s friends, girls in the book club, and even going so far to strike up a conversation with the other girl who is browsing clothes at the outlet mall etc. Over the years, probably since college, I have searched high and low and yet I still wished I had more friends. I have always had a small circle of girls I could call on but as I have grown older, changed careers, and stayed child-free I have noticed my social group dwindling to almost nothing.
The last good friend I had I met through my alumni book club and we became fast friends. She lived within a few miles, worked close by, had a similar background, and was always up for going out to eat, the movies, etc. We would talk and call a couple of times a week and then she just stopped calling. Since I was so busy trying to keep up with my first year of teaching I knew that I probably let a few weeks go by before I realized that she had stopped texting, calling, e-mailing etc. I called her a few times, texted her a few times and even went so far to e-mail her (at her workplace) asking what was going on and if I had done something to hurt or offend her. To this day….never heard back…..can’t find her online…nothing.
You would figure that living in a large city, like I do, makes it much easier to meet someone. However I have found it very difficult to meet someone who wants to hang out, grab a cup of coffee, or who just calls to shoot the breeze. I have had close friendships but the girls either stops calling, moves in with a new beau, or begins having children.TX Hub is fine spending the rest of his life never having to make another friend since he has a close group of friends from college he stays in touch with and he is a generally quiet guy. Anyways guys don’t have the same kind of friendships that women have. Girls support each other through bad color jobs, bad boyfriends/ husbands, parental issues, you name it…we are there to help out.
The second friend who I wish was still around also came to my book club, lived close by, and was always around for a drink or dinner out. We even got our guys together to double date a few times. But, then she got divorced from her husband and she met a guy who I did not care for. I remember how the guy wanted to friend me on FB and I declined his friend request…then he sent me an e-mail calling me out on the fact that I would not friend him on FB. I just could not add him as a friend and from there….the friendship with my dear friend when downhill fast. The last time I saw her was in 2011 and I drove about 40 miles to go meet her for lunch. She e-mailed me a few months back (as a large group e-mail) telling me how exciting her knew life was traveling all over the county but they were needing $$$ for her boyfriend’s medicine and other various medical procedures. I did not respond and just deleted the e-mail. A few weeks ago I e-mailed her asking if she wanted to meet up for lunch. She quickly responded that she lived and worked on a specific side of town and that I would need to come and see her. I e-mailed her back saying that I had come to her side of town last time and just thought it was fun to go to lunch at one of our old places to eat. Never heard back from her……and shortly after I decided that I needed to let go of the friendship and un-friended her on FB.
People would probably argue that not all friendships start in-person but online these days. I agree and do have some very good friends who are more online friends then in-person friends but it is face-to-face friends I am craving. I have tried to expand my online community of friends by reaching out to authors or bloggers who encourage “friends” to read with them or drop them a note. The last time I took a chance to e-mail a person off-line I got exactly what I expected….a form response. Reflecting on this step in the process I realized that this blogger used the term “friend” very loosely since it is much easier to call a customer a friend then really what it is…someone who builds up the numbers on their blog. It makes me think that some people use the term “friend” when really they meant “number or customer.”
As the summer continues…..I am still going to continue keeping my mind and my heart open to new friend possibilities…..and I know when I am not reflecting on the subject….it will happen.