Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Send Your Friends a Thank You Note

Wow, what a trip!  My life ordinarily flies by at speeds that could leave a cheetah in the dust, but when you're only home four days, and you have to attend a wedding, meet a baby, catch up with three friends, two sets of parents, three siblings, four step siblings, and recharge your batteries at the best local music act possibly in history, well, that makes the whole trip start to have the surreal and overly full feel of a dream.

I mean, I'm pretty sure I deserve a cookie for getting it all done, AND publishing two blog posts!

My brother's baby was beautiful of course, and very sweet, though I think we were more amused by their Boston terrier, Oreo ("Tuh duh, Batdog!").

My mother's wedding went off without a hitch, despite one or two minor crises.    She's now  FINALLY happily married, and my little sister can stop obsessing about them living in sin.

My crazy Ohio friends, who have been my partners in crime, and sisters at heart for thirteen years or so now, are doing well getting those sticky issues of relationships and careers sorted out.

Inevitably they're the ones I miss the most when the plane takes off, mostly because I know six months will go by before we can sit on the floor drinking cheap wine and making fun of each other, and then get struck by the inspiration that we MUST go to Adult Mart, IMMEDIATELY.

I've lived in NYC for seven years, but it's only in maybe the last one or two that I've finally made friends that I can put in the same category of awesomeness as my friends back home (that category has nothing to do with the likelihood of a trip to the Target of porn stores) It's hard to explain what it does have to do with, honestly, but I think it has to do with spontaneity.  Making new friends as a grown-up is too much like dating.  It's a huge step forward that is a long time coming when you can finally just call someone and say, "We need to hang out." without any particular plan to suggest, because it doesn't actually matter what you're doing, as long as you're together.  (Alternatively you can say, "I found out you're at that stupid movie.  You're not allowed to hang out with us anymore.  I hope you get shot." and this too will be understood as an invitation and the friend will show up within the hour.  Oh wait, that's just my weird Ohio friends...you guys, what is wrong with us?) 

I always assumed I was the type who made friends easily, since I always had such good ones growing up, but I found out that I'm actually the kind who KEEPS friends easily.  Making them is another matter entirely.  First of all, I have a low threshold for bullshit: I don't put up with baggage, drama, or bad behavior, no matter what the reason for it may be.  You get enough of that from your family.  Apparently this is a development that's very common to people in their thirties and forties, and it contributes to the shrinking number of friends most adults experience as they grow older.  I hit that threshold somewhere around eighteen. 

And more troublesome, when I'm in the process of making a friend, I inevitably revert to myself in Junior High and assume that no one actually wants to be my friend because I'm such a freak, and anyone who acts contrary to that statement is just being nice.  This is a very strange mental block, and since I managed to identify it during this trip home (where in the hell did I find time to do that?), perhaps it won't rear its ugly head anymore.  Or at least if it does, perhaps I can recognize it for what it is, and disregard it.

I think if I have anything to add that's worthwhile via a post about friendship, it's that maybe we all have that hang up to some extent.  Maybe all us grown-ups would make friends faster if we took the time to remember why our friends love us in the first place when we're meeting new people, so we can believe that this new person will love us and want to be our friend, too.

Say, did anyone ever do that exercise in school, where everyone tapes a big piece of paper to their back, and then you walk around the room and write something positive on everyone's paper?  Maybe we should make that a mandatory once-a-week practice for everybody.  I love the idea of everyone walking around NYC with big sheets of paper taped to their suits or summer dresses, and stopping a stranger to write that their confident walk has really inspired you today.

Sigh...we're all special snow flakes, alright?  For realsies!!!

Perhaps at least we can demand one good thing about ourselves a week from a friend or two, and return the favor of course.  That would go a long way toward making the world a better place, don't you think?  Let me know how it goes.

Live Omily,
~em



2 comments:

  1. I love it! You are such an adorable unicorn. Can I be your friend? :D

    ReplyDelete