I was reading Janelle's blog earlier today, and she was talking about friendships and girlfriends and feeling like an accessory.
This prompted me to actually sit down and write the post that's been bouncing around in my head lately kind of on the same topic.
I've always had more friends than I knew what to do with. On the whole, I like to think that I'm pretty considerate and reliable when it counts, so I don't find it hard to maintain a circle of girlfriends. I can be silly and sit around and eat chocolate with you, I will throw you a shower when you get married or have a baby, or I will listen when you want to cry. I don't view any of these things as burdens or challenges. It's just what you do.
As I've gotten older, I've found that my circle has gotten smaller. Some friends have moved, some have drifted, and of course there are the expected numbers of friends that you fall out with.
When Janelle mentioned that she felt like an accessory with some people, it struck a nerve with me. I kind of felt that way with a couple of my friends. I think it's the perfect word to describe my role in the friendship actually. "Accessory." It happens pretty often unfortunately.
I still have my core group of good friends- My Dear Anon, My Person, K, etc. But that list? That's certainly not "more than I know what to do with." And 2 out of the 3 of those people are married with kids. And you know what? They're quite content with their lives. Not to say that they don't enjoy my company, but they are certainly not at leisure for me to call them at any time to go to a movie, or a manicure, or anything else without vast amounts of planning and arranging...
Making friends as adults is a much harder business than I expected. I had the potential for it with a few different girlfriends over the past few years. Things would be moving along, and I would get quite attached to them, but then...something would happen. I'm not sure what, but it never went past the odd lunch or shopping day. It never developed into giggling phone calls, or quiet confidences, or any kind of need to get together. And so, the drifting would occur, and we became little more than facebook friends.
When my person got married, my father said that he expected that we wouldn't be as good friends anymore. Now of course that would never happen with me and her - but I wonder if there isn't some truth to that with some of the other potentials.
Is it like Carrie Bradshaw asked- "Is there a cold war between marrieds and singles?" Sometimes I wonder if that's the case. If you don't even have that basic thing in common (married, with toddler, or something like that) then perhaps you don't have enough to build on?
Now don't get me wrong- I'm not really lonely. If I threw a party, I would have more than enough people there. But these unfulfilled friendships really got me thinking about what it means to connect with people as an adult when you no longer have something like school in common. It was so easy back then when you shared classes and cafeterias and clubs.
Making friends as an adult? It seems like you really have to work at it to make it happen. And more often than not, you end up with something that either just had really good potential, and didn't pan out - or something like an "accessory" relationship that ends up being so shallow that you almost wonder whether staying at home on your couch isn't a better option.
Le sigh. I guess that's one of the differences of being an adult vs a child. Being an adult equals work - in every sense of the word.