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Finding Friends

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It is really hard to find friends. Maybe that is only my experience and no one else’s. I don’t know. Maybe I expect too much out of a friend. I am a Capricorn. I tend to expect perfection in everyone (including myself) and I am always disappointed. (Hmmm…I wonder why?)

My inspiration for this post is that two people who are really no more than acquaintances are moving away. But I was hoping, someday, my husband and I could consider them friends. It is actually the Pastor. Of my asbestos friend’s church. She often drags me to their events (see River Raisin Festival parade float for her church). We aren’t really members of that church. Although our names somehow ended up in the church directory (I think it has something to do with my asbestos friend being the church secretary). My asbestos friend and her family are very close friends with the Pastor and his family. But then again, they live on the same block. The only two houses on the block, to be more accurate.

OK. I’m babbling. But it seems like this always happens. Especially with a lot of my former co-workers. There are many I thought highly of and would have liked to hang out or go shopping with outside of work. But it never seems to happen. Then they move. Or get laid off. Or the whole company closes. And I will never get the chance to develop a real friendship with them. I will never see them again. Sure, Facebook will give the illusion that we have stayed in touch. But it is just an illusion.

In a few cases, I have actually gotten to hang out with co-workers more meaningfully. But as I had one of the longer commutes to work, distance makes things difficult.

As I said earlier, I expect too much out of my friends. I expect more than just a Christmas card once a year to consider someone a true friend. I expect a friend to be there for major life events. Maybe not all of them, but most of them, with a good excuse for the others. I don’t like to feel like I am the one making the effort all the time. I am a petty person who keeps mental notes in my head. I know life gets in the way. But if I made the effort to see you multiple times with no return, it wears on me. It darkens my friendship aura. And if I haven’t heard from you in five years (and I know you have my phone number and address), don’t expect one message announcing your marriage on Facebook to make me count you as a friend again. I don’t care if you were my maid of honor at my wedding. I hope the best for you out in the world, but we don’t know anything about each other’s lives.

So, Ya. I expect an occasional email or letter or phone call or lunch or visit or major life event participation. Call me a bitch. As I write this, I realize I am not always a very good friend according to my own standards. This goes back to what I said about being disappointed in everyone, including me.

Back to the Pastor. He and his wife always welcomed us to church functions, even though we were just tagging along with my asbestos friend. They welcomed us to their house for food and casual socialization, even though we were just tagging along with my asbestos friend. The Pastor came and visited us at the hospital on day four of our two day stay (of an eventual eleven day stay) at the hospital for my son’s first surgery. I coordinated Halloween costumes with the Pastor’s wife and my asbestos friend (we were girls from the 80’s. Because we are.) The Pastor stayed with us at the hospital for like five hours on the first day of my son’s two day stay (yes, it was only 2 days total) for his second surgery. He was a pleasant distraction. But there is no denying he has seen us at our worst. He saw me break down and cry as they wheeled my son into surgery, and he pretended not to notice. Although he was probably just grateful it wasn’t one of his kids. And I wouldn’t blame him. He is someone I thought if I was really freaking out about life I could go and talk to him. Now I guess I will never know.

So, two more people I will never get a chance to fully be friends with are leaving my life. It is so hard to find truly nice people who are funny and goofy. I need to find a way to hold on to them better.

I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

8 responses

  1. I can completely relate to this. I moved around a lot, so it was hard for me to establish that core group of friends. Now that I’m back, those friends have moved on. It’s just too damn hard to make friends as an adult.

    As for the whole business closing thing – I’m very surprised how quickly most of us drifted away after promises of staying in touch and hanging out. So it goes, I suppose.

  2. I feel the same way about my friendships. Not sure if that makes me a bitch too, but I don’t count someone a friend that I haven’t had any contact with for years, especially when we’re on Facebook. And when being on each other’s Facebook friends (with no interaction) is our only connection and I don’t even know if I would accept an invitation if they asked me to do something or hangout, I delete them from Facebook and that’s usually the end of it. Plus, I’m in a very transitional period in my life when I’m finishing college and moving across the country. I’m finding it hard to find the motivation to even try to make any more friends. Why? I’ll be over a dozen hours away anyways. A lot of people in my generation have a new view on friendships. It’s all about just Facebook-ing each other and texting. Very few know how to have a face-to-face conversation that doesn’t include outside stimulation. But I digress…. 😉

    • Thanks for the comment. Maybe it comes down to how much of a connection you feel with a friend. I had one friend who constantly moved around the country, but I managed to stalk her and stay in touch. And low and behold, 10 years after graduating high school together she moved back to the same state as me, to our hometown.

  3. Jennifer, this is a very thoughtful and touching post. I am humbled and honored to have been a part of your family’s life. I have enjoyed our conversations and look forward to future conversations as well! Maria and I certainly consider you our friends and we hope to continue keeping in contact beyond Facebook. We would consider it a joy to have you, Jason and Masen over to our home anytime. Maybe a Spotted Cow run is in order?

    • We would be happy to visit, although I don’t know your new address (hint, hint). And the Spotted Cow always sounds good.

      Go forth and spread joy to others as you have done with us.

  4. Pingback: A Love Letter to Deviled Eggs « I'm not stalking you.

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