Wednesday, January 20, 2010

pondering friendships

i had lunch w/ three friends the other day. actually, we all met at some one's house and brown bagged it. i haven't blogged about it because i don't really know how to put it into words. i just know that when i left i didn't feel all the better for having gotten together w/ them.

the one friend, our host, is home on maternity leave. she had her baby the first week of december. this is the first time i've seen him. this is a different tangent altogether, but, i don't understand women who do not want visitors both in the hospital and once they've come home. is it because they're afraid people will care what THEY look like? are they so in love w/ their new-born they don't want others to see it? i just don't get it. the hubs and i were so over the moon with what WE'D done (yes, we had the audacity to think we'd created these miracles) that we wanted everyone and their brother to come to the hospital right away and pay homage to our great gifts.

the second friend got laid off when i got laid off (she was my art director) and she seems to be doing well. the third friend is one that got laid off in jan. and found a job six months later. she's also one i called my bff about a year ago and then we had a falling out, she had a baby and to be honest things have never been the same between us.

anyway, i guess i walked away feeling low because i am slowly realizing that i am not like my friends, most of them anyway, at all. i know i've said this before, but not only am i not on the same page w/ most of my friends, i don't think i'm even reading the same book. and then i started over-analyzing my friendships, like why was i friends w/ these people anyway. all of my friends at this point in life are work friends, from one job or another.

(none of this is coming out like i mean it i fear.) when we had work as our common denominator i didn't see our differences as much. granted, we have many things in common or else we'd have remained co-workers instead of friends. my friends are more social than i am. they go out on week nights, they get together to do girl things on the weekends. i am assuming they talk to each other and text each other on a regular basis. i am submerged in my own world. i have never felt comfortable going out on a weeknight--mostly because they're so busy for us. homework, karate, dinner. i am older than this particular group of friends and most of them have one child and none of their kids are in school yet. they are still social.

the childish part of me (hey, at least i recognize i'm being childish) gets jealous because more often than not when i get together w/ one or more of them there is reference to something they did together or an inside joke or conversation they've had or something they're going to do in the future. i have no right to be mad, sometimes i am invited to the gatherings they reference and sometimes not. and, i have no room, really, to get even the least bit upset because if they ask and i decline it's on me. but, another part of me feels shunned and feels like the outsider, though admittedly i know i put myself out there.

the over analyzing side of me goes back to a question i've asked over and over and over again in my life--do i really know how to be a friend? i don't think so. the hubs is my longest standing permanent relationship outside of my blood relatives and up until the last 10-13 years or so it was questionable if we'd stay together.

but then i look to my relationships w/ other friends and my feelings there are not at all the same. i feel comfortable, even if it's been weeks since we've talked. i don't feel pressured or like i'm letting someone down. when we get together i don't feel like i don't have anything to contribute to the conversation. i know they have other friends and life outside of our relationship and it doesn't bother me a bit. hmmmmm.

and i feel closer to some of my blog friends than i do to the first group of girls mentioned above. how odd is that?

and the thing is---i used to think i was missing out by not joining every one of their things, but i honestly don't think i am. it's not that i don't like them or want to be friends w/ them, it's just that we aren't reading the same book anymore. they're chatting about the book they've all just read and i'm pondering the totally different book i'm reading.


IB said...

Some friends drift through our lives for a short time while others hang on for the long-haul.

I have a few friends I've known most of my life. I see them a few times a year (saw 2 of them last week actually) and it is always so fluid and easy. And then I've got lots of buddies that are short-timers. Good people that are fun to be around but who ultimately are transient. And I'm ok with that. I have no idea why some people fall into the former category and others don't.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed the same thing with some of my friends. I tend to NOT get together with them because I feel like we have nothing in common, but then I feel weird when I know they still get together and see each other. And to be honest, I don't feel like I'm missing out on much. (These are mostly high school friends, btw.) Then there are the ones who I don't see often, but nothing changes. Those are the ones I love because you always know where you stand and can pick right up where you left off.

Sweet T

cheatymoon said...

I understand this post. I have this dynamic with a few people. The outsider or reading-different-books vibe... I think I'm growing out of the feeling excluded thing. (I think)


Surely said...

I have a friend that I have the BEST TIME when I spend time with her but then it's MONTHS before we hear from each other. (her husband works for Kev) She summed it up perfectly:
"I really WANT to be a good friend but I'm just not GOOD at it."

Much to Kevin's dismay/confusion, I am perfectly happy with most of my friends being on an email/FB/Twitter/Blog basis.

justsomethoughts... said...

it takes all kinds
but theres a reason for each one
and the reason doesnt always make sense in hindsight

Penny said...

I was a no visitor parent, but mine was soley based on my own anxieties. I knew I'd be anxious (I'm always anxious) but I knew people being around would make it worse.

I broke up with a friend recently because I realized there was really no reason for us to be friends...he still acted like a college kid and I'm married with a kid. I just realized that I was only friends with him because we had been friends for a long time...

drollgirl said...

hmmm. very interesting post, and i relate to what you are writing here.

i mostly make friends through work. but the friendship does not always "work" outside of work, and we mostly seem to limit activities and talking to the work place.

i have some good friends from past jobs, but i only see them every now and then. maybe once every few months.

most work friends have faded away, and i am ok with that. i lose interest in them, or get busy, or they lose interest in me, or they get busy. it is a weird cycle, but i seem to be ok with it.

humph. life is so strange.

Hotch Potchery said...

I think I like blogging friends because I can catch up with you when I want to, and you can catch up with me when you want to...we don't have to coordinate.

Astarte said...

I completely understand this. When I stopped working seven years ago, I lost just about all of my friends. Their lives went on as usual, and it turned out, all we had in common was work. Once that left, no one bothered to keep up with me, and when I would call them, it was awkward. I still have a few friends that I was close to in high school, and one from college, and though we never see each other I'm comfortable that they're always there when I need someone to talk to, and vice versa. Not to mention, it's hard to make new friends as an adult that aren't connected to a specific place, like work or church or whatever. I think now, I make friends with people based on certain aspects of their and my personalities. Like, I don't discuss politics much with people at church, and I don't talk about church with people I know outside of it. I also find that I feel that someone is my friend pretty quickly, and when I'm someone's friend, that's it. We're friends. I think there are a lot of people out there who don't feel that way, like it's fine to be all cozy and chummy with someone when you run into them, but it's not real. That hurts my feelings, and I have to work on that.

Unknown said...

interesting insight. I don't know you from Adam, as they say. but from what I read, you have just moved on in life and grown as a person in other avenues than your buddies. you are on your own journey! enjoy it.

Not Your Aunt B said...

Sometimes you just grow apart, especially if you no longer have the thing you most had in common (work). It happens. It's hard to find true friends who you are friends with for who they are and can be yourself and can go through whatever life brings. Things may change, they may not, but at least you know where you stand with them and can not waste any energy you don't want to waste on them.