Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Relationally Handicapped

So, I've been in G-town for almost a month now. Crazy isn't it. I came with expectations. We have friends here and I came with the idea that it would be like high school. Where summers are spent everyday with your friends, your parents complaining that you are never home, that you never talk to them, that you never clean your room. You stay up until way past your bedtime, and then you rush home so you can call the friend you were just with to continue your conversation which is actually, in all honesty, about nothing.

I think it has finally hit me that I'm a grown up, and grown ups don't do that.

There are two girls here that I would really like to become "best" friends with. The kind of friends where you know if they've been fighting with their husband simply by the shirt they're wearing. Those kind of friends. So it makes sense that I would have spent time with them in the typical "highschool" fashion in order to achieve this. Except, I haven't and more to the point, I can't.

One of them has just purchased her first home with hubby and they are busy tearing out walls and painting and tearing down trees, etc. etc. and in two weeks the two of them will be starting back to work full time as teachers. Oh, not to mention their 10 month old son. The second of these gals is teaching summer drama camp, about 15 weeks pregnant with TWINS and also in two weeks will be back to work full time as a music teacher. Not to mention that she's very dedicated to spending time with her extended families, all three of which live in town.

And it got me to thinking. How does one go about building "best" friendships as an adult? Seriously, since I moved out of the college dorms four years ago my close friendships have all been maintained online. Not to say I don't have friends in person, but they're more of the 'I'll-see-you-in-church-where-we-have-6-minutes-to-catch-up-on-the-last-six-days-while-minding-our-kids-and-husbands' variety. I keep saying it's because it's summer, and once September hits and everyone gets back to their schedule I'll be able to establish these friendships. And I'm sure that's partially true. It may not be with these two women in particular, but once I find a mom's group and begin faithfully attending the women's morning out and whatever other activities I choose, these friendships will begin to develop.

But I'm wondering, all you grown ups out there, how do you maintain your "best" friend highschoolesque friendships in the grown up world? Is it possible? Or is that an idea of friendship that stays in the yearbooks, and just like us, matures into a different version of itself?


Sam said...

"How do you maintain your "best" friend highschoolesque friendships in the grown up world? Is it possible?"

It is possible, but it's SO hard. My best friend and I have been best friends since 7th Grade. We've had some major problems over the years with keeping touch with schedules, sports, jobs, university, etc. Just over a year ago we decided to make Thursday night our night and we always hung out and never ever broke those plans unless it was due to an illness or extenuating family circumstance - and then we'd chat on the phone for at least 1/2 an hour. Now she's leaving me to go to Europe for three months. That'll be weird.
Anyway, if you make time, the ones that you have the most in common with or the strongest bond with can and will stick around. It sounds bad, but it's sort of a weeding out process. At least in my experience it works/worked that way. This leads me to part II...

"Or is that an idea of friendship that stays in the yearbooks, and just like us, matures into a different version of itself? "

HOWEVER you are right here too. A lot of the idea of friendship is just that, an idea. When distance takes away the bonds you had (often the commonality of the same school/classes/team/church/etc) there isn't a lot of glue holding you together besides the memories you had. Friendship and the idea of it seems to evolve... or at least it has in my life. People do come and go, but there are some lifers you just can't get rid of. :)

ps. Sorry this has become borderline epic.

Angella said...

I only keep in touch with one person from my childhood (teen years, actually), and our relationship ebbs and flows. She's 5 hours away.

I have founf that my closest friends in person are those that just happen naturally...we just can't help but be friends :)

T said...

My college friendships are the most lasting, but because of distance we do mostly keep in touch by phone or internet, only seeing each other once every couple years. I don't keep in touch with any of my high school friends anymore.

I think your right about the relationships changing and maturing just like us. The friendships I have now have all been unexpected (as most of my good friendships are!). They are the ones you don't plan on! The best way to meet and start to develop these relationships is through those mommy groups and bible least that's how it's worked for me. I think having the church as an automatic connection really helps!