I don’t know why I’m obsessing over this, but I am. I’ve spent far too much time on Facebook lately and when I do, I see the old friends from college and high school posting photos of recent gatherings, chance encounters, and regular parties. They’re still friends. Some live far away and some live near each other, but still they’ve maintained their relationships. I have to admit, it makes me just a little sad seeing that, feeling like there were things I did in the past that prevented me from forming a bond with people that would last some twenty years later. I’ve always been slow to make friends. I’m not shy or anything; I’ll easily strike up a conversation with anyone at a party. The harder part is finding people I can laugh with, get advice from and call up in good or bad situations. I haven’t had that since my first time through grad school. Once I got married, it seems, everyone assumed that Mr. Geeky filled that role. And he did/does, but he can’t do it all.
The sad thing is, I think it’s me. There are ways I’ve structured my life, values that I hold that make it difficult for me to keep friends. For example, we’re not church goers. Being non-religious not only cuts one off from the instant community to be found from going to church services and events, but it often means that people feel distant from you, feel like there’s something off about you because you’re not religious. And, I admit, that I sometimes have issues with people who are religious. Not most people, but some. Some people I’ve met are just “in your face” about their religion. Obviously, that’s not a relationship I’m going to pursue and vice versa. Not working outside the home makes things difficult, too. I formed lots of friendships at work and because of where we worked, we shared many of the same interests and values. That leaves making friends rather randomly. I have met plenty of people through my kids, and I find almost all of them pleasant people that I’d be willing to get to know and spend more time with. But many of them have solid friendships already. There’s no room for another. And how the hell does one go about this. Ugh. I feel like an idiot just writing that, but whatever. In high school, college, even grad school, it was easy enough to call someone up and say, hey let’s grab a drink. At work, that was easy, too. Now, it just feels awkward. At least for the solo outings. Inviting another couple out for dinner or having people over for a party is no problem.
So, to sum it up. I have issues. I have few opportunities to make friends. And I might be a little picky myself. Sigh.