A couple of weeks ago, the ever-lovely Tabitha posted about making real life friends, with real life people, as a real life adult. One of the reasons I love blogging so much is because you guys really ARE friends – we email, text, chat, and apparently now, vlog, and I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m on the Sykpe bandwagon – but let’s face it: I have very few real life friends. As of this weekend, pretty much zero.
I don’t have a standing Friday night cocktail date with a tight group of four à la Sex and the City. I don’t do Sunday pancakes or brunch with anyone other than my lovely Dad. And I had to cancel my St. Patrick’s Day party because I had a grand total of two people confirm, and I refuse to be a total Billy-No-Mates in my own home.
I see people on Facebook, people who’ve grown in cliques or stayed in the same groups they did in high school, and sometimes I long for that feeling. A feeling of closeness, like a mini family you share everything with, fun times, memories, board games nights, trips out of town, and nights out – memories, and a solid network you know you can rely on. It kind of reminds me of that scene in About A Boy, where he’s talking about how two people aren’t enough, because if one person drops off, you’re left on your own. I can’t help but feel this happened this weekend, and other than David and my little cat, I have nobody in my physical real life. I try and go above and beyond to try and make other people’s lives better, easier… and it’s worthless. At work, I’m probably getting laid off, and at home, I’m told people’s lives would be better off without me in them. I’m more than a little heartbroken.
Tabitha’s post got me thinking. In this day and age, when most mid-twenty-somethings have already got their friendships well and truly formed, how do you break in – and not look like a desperate weirdo? Is it even possible at this age, or have we missed our chances? I wish I lived in another city, another place… Illinois, perhaps, where I’m sure Jen and I would hang out all the time, and I could meet up with Brittany for lunch every other day while living in Ashley’s spare room, where we’d share stories and play video games all night. Or Texas, where I know I’d definitely move into the same neighbourhood as Brittney, and we’d spend Friday nights baking cupcakes and watching girly movies while Audrey and Rose chased each other around. In an ideal world, there’d be one big city with all of you living in it, and I could just come and join the party. But I’m stuck here, in a city I don’t particularly like very much, where people hundreds of miles away show more interest and friendship than 95% of my real life “friends” on Facebook. And I can’t help but feel like somewhere along the way, I did something wrong. Or wonder if there’s something wrong with me.
I know life happens. I know people move around the globe like chess pieces and before long, everyone who was once a ten minute drive away is now somewhere else, seen only in photographs, and heard only through words on a screen. I know I’m blessed to have people around the globe that I know, were it possible, would be here in a heartbeat if I needed them. Seriously – those of you who reached out this weekend, you have NO idea how much your words meant to me. Don’t get me wrong, I like my alone time. I like cooking and writing blogs and reading books and watching TV with Sweet. I like karaokeing to Rock Band all by myself. I cherish the lunches I have with my Dad. But I can’t shake the feeling that I should have some sort of… network, shouldn’t I? People to dress up and go dancing with, or take turns hosting dinner parties with, be in a book club with, or go shopping for 8 hours with, laughing and reminiscing the whole time.
I run into people regularly who I’d love to be friends with. The girl who does my nails every 3 weeks, who goes on holiday with all her coworkers. The massage therapist I see once a week who chats about Star Trek and music, and exchanges bad roommate stories with me. The girl at the tanning salon who’s full of tips for my wedding, and the people at work who share so many of the same interests and stories… but wouldn’t hang out regularly with someone 10 or 20 years younger. Asking any of them out for coffee or a movie would either come off as an awkward lesbian pick up line or cross professional boundaries, making future encounters potentially uncomfortable.
There are countless books and websites and services out there to match people up in relationships in this world. Compatibility tests, blind dates and questionnaires to fill out to ensure a perfect fit with someone you hope to spend the rest of your life with. But why must it be so difficult to find companionship? Is it just that I missed my chance? I really count my blessings for having you guys, and for everything Sweet does for me and brings to my life. I felt like the luckiest girl alive when I read so many kind and concerned words this weekend from many of you. But I can’t help but wonder – is it too late in life to find real-world friends?