Thursday, April 27, 2006

Making Friends as an Adult

Is it just me? Or is it way harder to make friends as an adult than it was as a kid? I only have a few really close friends who aren't family. It's not that I'm anti-social, either. I'm quite friendly. But it just seems so much more frickin' complicated when you're an adult. I've been burned several times in the last few years by people I thought were good friends. I feel like I should learn something from that, like I'm picking the wrong people, missing warning signals--maybe I have a sign on my back that says "trip me"? But then every time I meet someone I like, I can't help but get all excited and hopeful again. I'm optimistic, I dream up stuff we can do together, look forward to all the things we can talk about and share. It's not that I want to be more pessimistic about it, I rather like being an's just hard to feel both really excited and also really vulnerable at the same time. Maybe this is the way it was when I was a kid and I'm just not remembering that.

I'm all excited about someone right now. It's a good feeling, it's really almost a physical high. I want to enjoy it, I don't want to worry about what may come. But remember when you were a kid and you made a new friend and then you basically spent 18 hours a day together? And your parents were like "Honey, you shouldn't spend all your time with W., you need to do something else," (W. being your new best friend) and you were like "What the hell is wrong with you people? Why in God's name would I want to tear myself away from this fantastic experience? No, I need to spend as much time as physically possible with W., life is short and you want me to go do something mediocre when I could be with W. and enjoy the hell out of every minute so I'm happily exhausted at the end of the day?" Okay, maybe you didn't say that when you were 11, but if you could have articulated it, you would have.

But here I am now in my thirties and I'm all adult-y, with responsibilities and demands on my time. Not that those are bad things, I like them. It's just that I'm not free (and neither is W.) to drop everything and do the all-friend-all-the-time channel. I guess that might be a good thing...I don't know though, I do miss the freedom to do that. Jeez, this is getting back to my very first blog post, about that idea from Stephen King in Stand By Me, that thing about never having friends again like the friends you had when you were twelve. Maybe this is an April thing, it was April last year I wrote about that. Spring, new beginnings, new friends, it sounds so cheesy.

Old longings. I don't know. I'm trying to figure out some of the ways people interact with each other instead of being friends as adults, because I don't get it. I mean, you have colleagues, and I guess you aren't friends with all of them, some are like the kids in your class at school you didn't talk to much but didn't necessarily dislike. Then there's the whole networking thing, which I hate. That whole concept bugs me, and I have been used by others solely for networking, as a stepping stone to get over to someone else, and I don't like it. I'm really babbling here. But it bugs me. I've had people seem to be my friend just so they can get some work out of me for free and then they disappear as soon as they got what they wanted (the Writer's Union for one), and that feels really icky. It just seems like there's all these other relationships that aren't friendship when you're an adult, and I'm not even talking about sexual relationships. For example, I saw this story on TV the other day about "cuddle parties" that totally threw me for a loop. It's for people who don't know each other to get physical affection from each other without it being sexualized. Um, yeah. Rule #7 is "no dry humping" and sexual activity is not allowed. Um, well, okay, I like the idea of physical affection, but with a bunch of strangers? And cuddling? I don't know, it just sounds so whacked that we would have to set up such an artificial construct to satisfy a desire for physical contact...of course, I'm talking from Minnesota, and I can't see that happening here, it's mostly in California and New York right now.

Holy crackers. I just Googled cuddle party and there's a cuddle facilitator training in Minneapolis in May! I am so freaked out.

I think I need some sleep now.

No comments: