Monday, August 6, 2007

Friendship is an Art Form I have Yet to Master

Is it just me or was making friends and talking to people easier when you were a kid? I can remember way back when (or "back in the day" as it's called now), every day that wasn't a school day and the sun was shining, all the kids in the neighborhood would get together and just play and talk and laugh and fight and then laugh and talk and play and fight some more. Then, as we get older, we weren't as care free as we were before. The arguments got bigger, the playing got smaller and the laughter maybe just a little bit more refined (there were people out there to impress, after all). And then life takes you to other places, the talks get further and further apart, your interests change maybe and before you know it, you and your dear, dear friend are barely exchanging Christmas cards every year. I look back on all the friends I've had in the past and wonder how could I have let them go? There's my friend, Penny, whom I've only recently been in contact with again. We knew each other in junior high school, for Pete's sake. We were lunch time buddies. I figure I owe her about $6,794.75 in borrowed quarters from time spent at the Kerr Jr. High snack bar. I haven't talked to her in over 2 decades when I found her mom's name somewhere on the Internet and contacted her and she put me in touch with Penny (thank you Miss Charlotte!). How did I let that friendship go in the first place? And then there's my friend, Trish, who is also a distantly related cousin. I don't think I've seen her since 1987, the year my grandma passed away. Her life always seemed so perfect. Until tragedy struck. Her little 11 month old daughter was killed that year by a drunk driver. So, so, so sad. I spoke with her a few months after it had happened (I didn't know of it, until then). I will forever feel like I let her down because I just couldn't find the right words to say. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have just said "I'm sorry and I love you". Over and over and over again. But I felt too awkward and too inadequate and so I ended up just losing contact with her. Shameful, isn't it? Then there's my friend, Bobbie, from Wisconsin. We met in Plattsburgh, New York where our husbands were stationed (this was during my previous marriage). Bobbie was hilarious. She could really make me laugh. So why did I lose touch with her, too? What is it with me? Is it only with me or does this happen to other people, too? I'm 43 years old. Even my kids joke that I have one friend and one friend only and that's Susan. We (Susan and I mainly) laugh about it and say that having friends can be just too high maintenance. But I got to say...there are days that I'm so lonesome I could just...well, cry. I wish I could be in person as I am in Blogland. In Blogland, I'm upbeat with others, I'm straight forward with my ills and concerns and I'm eager to hear how others are doing. In real life, I feel awkward. Yes, that's the word. Awkward. I'm a housewife. I'm boring. I don't measure up to those around me. I don't have anything to offer except an opinion and how learned of an opinion could it be if I never get outside of my own little world? So I end up staying closed off. I tell my children that friendships are important, but I don't live by example with that one. I've...squandered...a great many friendships all because of reasons that don't seem to matter so much anymore. I often hear about people who are friends with people they knew back in 2nd grade. How do you do that? Can you teach me? Is it a gift you have and I don't? Or are you just nicer people? And why am I feeling so darn "retrospective" (or is is "introspective") today? Probably from the bad night last night, huh? Well, I'll be's that wicked menopause thing again, probably. Waking me up with night sweats and making me all blah today. Got to work on these mood swings. Really. Or maybe I should just work on my people skills. Or maybe I should not post on my blog unless I've had at least a good 7 hours of sleep. Or maybe I should just....stop while I'm ahead. This is getting too deep for even me to swim my way out of.



  2. Well Kari-just think you've made lots of friends now!! Maybe we'll all still be blogging on each others blogs in 20 years time and arrange outings and trips and visits...!!!! They do have Blogger conventions!!!

  3. Kari...
    Don't beat yourself up on this one...I think most of us have been in this situation one time or another...we all are quilty of getting caught up in our daily lives...and face it...once we become parents/grandparents/spouses...friendships sometimes have to take a back seat...and now we're of a "certain" age (doncha just love that) that we are becoming more reflective on life in general and all that has occured along the way...and that includes new and old friends. I have a feeling you are a great friend...and I think being a "great" friend to just one or two sometimes is better than being mediocre to a lot of friends. A lot of gals can be a "great" friend to many...and then there are some who make a great friend to a few less...doesn't make any of us better or's just how we are..I just know with the blog world I love the thought of having new friends...I think it gives us an opportunity to "bore" them with what our old friends already know about us!!'s fun and I'm going to keep it up and I hope to make many more friends in blog world, too...and one day I'm going to love meeting all my new friends...wherever that may be...Georgia, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, California...heaven...wherever this opprotunity takes me...I'm game!!

    By the way...your instuctions...that you thought were crazy and lame...WELL they what does that say about me??? LOL....Thanks!! I'm excited it worked...for both of us...

    Blessings your way...

  4., it's not just you. I think we all have that same affliction. I have one or two friends that I could tell ANYTHING and they wouldn't think less of me. Confession is good for the soul. That's why they call them best friends, baby girl. You aren't supposed to have to many or they wouldn't be best anymore. Keeping up with friends on the other hand, that takes work, and life gets in the way. I'm glad you have been able to find friends from your past and bring them up to date on your doings and goings on. That in itself can be cathartic and healing. Don't be to surprised if some of them slip back downstream without a lot of fanfare. That happens,'s expected.
    love ya
    Aunt Sandi
    ps, I am a goober...I apologize to Teresa of the quick typing fingers lol

  5. Kari, l find it much easier to make friends now than when l was little LOL. l was always so painfully shy, and am only now starting to come out of my shell. Age is great (well, maybe not for menopause LOL but you know what l mean!)

  6. No, hey, listen! I know how you feel, only it's reversed, for me! ~
    I feel funny about being friends with SAHM's, like I don't have anything to offer, like they're 'in' and I'm out!
    I wanted to be a happily married SAHM with a part time creative career, but it didn't work out that way.
    So, now, when faced with women who got what I wanted so much, I feel less-than! I actually feel kind of deprived, and like I'm missing out on so much! They have a degree of freedom I don't have...

    After all, if they want to go to that cool new knitting class that meets at the hobby lobby on weekday mornings, they can~ I can't, because I have to go to work!

    In general, I've tried to make friends and reunite with old friends, and have managed that with a few, but a lot of them just don't have the time to be friends with anyone they don't automatically run into a lot.

    I'm tending to think it isn't just you! We all seem to have trouble with that. The friendships that have the potential to end up deep friendships have to be thrown in our laps, or we don't seem to be able to do it.


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