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FRIENDLY MIXED FEELINGS
A couple that we know, and that we are friends with, and that Anders has been friends with since he was a teenager, made the startling comment the other night at a party that they are not in the market for new friends.

In fact, whenever the opportunity arises to get to know someone new or he, for example, says "We ought to invite that new couple over for dinner," she panics and immediately squashes the whole idea...or vice versa.

Considering that this is the first time we've seen them ourselves since February 2003, we can sort of understand where they are coming from.

They both work full-time and have two kids, ages 12 and 10, who are involved with all kinds of extracurricular activities. They just feel that they have a hard enough time keeping in touch with the friends they ALREADY have. It wouldn't be fair to their old and current friends for them to make NEW friends, you see. Plus they already feel like they have so much to do and so many people to do things with that adding anyone else to the mix would make their heads explode.

Isn't that sad?

See, we have a LOT of friends here in Sweden, but most of them aren't people we see very often. The closest of them we see once every couple of months, if we're lucky. Everyone is so busy nowadays. Everyone is working, or having babies, or they're involved with their children's activities, or their own. We're guilty of the same thing ourselves. I've got choir and the AWC. Anders has hockey and hockey-bockey (and his motorcycle). The kids have Mulle (with Anders) and school/dagis events. Karin is interested in starting soccer. Martin has musiklek concerts. We have family to see, too, and we don't want to feel guilty that it's been 3 weeks since farmor and farfar got to see the kids.

I, myself, am always on the lookout for new friends, but I have to admit sometimes, that having ONLINE friends makes things a little simpler. I don't have to juggle calendars or get upset because you keep canceling our lunch date or keep asking me to babysit your kids. In some ways, it's easier to connect over interests and anecdotes and comments. Plus, I get to "see" you every day. We're entwining our lives around each other in ways that aren't available to me so easily in "real" life anymore. My friends don't live down the hallway of the dorm nowadays. They don't live on the same street or even in the same town. My friends are literally scattered all over the globe.

I miss having someone to call up and talk into going to the movies with me tonight, or for a bike ride, and I miss having daily and weekly interaction with friendly faces. I feel a little bit like I'm between best friends at the moment, and the connections I'm making online are helping to fill that void. I'm slowly getting to know several wonderful and interesting people online and it's really great, but you know what? Sometimes I just want to have a slumber party.

So, getting to meet some of my online friends in real life in the very near future and spend time with them is making me very happy.

Anyone wanna go for a bike ride?
 contemplative
mood: contemplative
music: Marshall Crenshaw—Whenever You're On My Mind


Comments

ME, ME, ME! My bike is ready for spring now, brake pads new, chain oiled!

I know what you mean in a way, but only because I'm often a rather social critter, and my husband is purely unsocial. I used to make excuses, but I finally just learned to say, "I'd be happy to come along, but don't expect Anders." He's charming and bright and interesting, and he finds it almost physically painful to have to meet new people. I asked him who his best friend is and he says it's Johan down in Malmö, but they haven't seen each other for three years maybe. God knows, we don't swap Jul cards or make phone calls on a regular basis. Not my style, but then who am I to impose my taste on my husband, as long as he doesn't bitch about ME doing social stuff.

Hey...Carolyn...now that your bike is fired up, how about planning a trip to see Linköping and bike along the Göta Kanal? :)

I'm thinking more and more about it, but first, Stockholm next week with a class of 11 year olds for 3 days, doesn't that sound like fun?

Physically painful? Is it shyness? You sound like you complement each other well, actually.

We do actually complement each other very well, with humor and understanding. I adore my husband, reclusiveness and all, and he says he admires my ability to get out and meet people and such, just as long as he doesn't have to do it as well. Whatever works, ya know?

Most definately! :)

Actually, I swear you're a mind reader. I was just thinking about this the other day and discussing it with the boy. We're so busy with the house renovation and his new business and my new position, that we hardly have time to socialise. It sounds very sad, but in fact, I don't feel very isolated, mainly because most of my RL friends are online now anyway. They KNOW how busy we are. They understand and can keep up with 'current events' without having to go 'out of their way'. They're all busy too, actually.

I do miss having girly friends that I can just BE with. Most of my close friends are men. Not sure why, it's just the way things are. I did have a girly slumber party a year or so ago with alot of LJ girlies. It was good fun. Maybe you should plan something similar. I'd try to come! :) And I'll bring some nail polish! :)

I wonder if I'm too picky about friends. Or is it that there's some people I 'connect' with, and others that I just don't have the time or patience for? Hmmm... Now you've got me thinking, you naughty Zard. :P

However, I do think that people often will drift in and out of your life. It's just the way friendship happens. People move on and grow and change - often their friends change too. I don't try to hold onto friendships that are 'work' (ie if I find they're grating my nerves with every sentence or I don't enjoy their company anymore).

I do wish that certain of my friends lived closer. I think I'd MAKE more time to get to know them better. But as you said, it's interesting to see friendships grow and see the 'intertwining' happen. :) And, I think I communicate more in text than in a crowded room in person on most days anyway. *heh*

Yes, it's true that friendships change over time and the reasons why people are friends may change as well. Sometimes it's only proximity or habit that keeps you friends with someone, I think.

I know what you mean about communicating better in text than in real life, I feel like that most days myself! :)

The LJ girly slumber party sounds like an excellent idea! I'll just check my calendar and see...when...I...have...um...a free...sigh

July 4, 2005? *laughs*

Now we're talking! *snort*

Move it to the 5th of July, and let's PARTY! (My 55th birthday!)

I'd go for a bike ride.
I have the same feelings as you! I long for a real friend but I also cherish my online ones!

I can totally relate to this post, especially this part:

"I, myself, am always on the lookout for new friends, but I have to admit sometimes, that having ONLINE friends makes things a little simpler. I don't have to juggle calendars or get upset because you keep canceling our lunch date or keep asking me to babysit your kids. In some ways, it's easier to connect over interests and anecdotes and comments. Plus, I get to "see" you every day. We're entwining our lives around each other in ways that aren't available to me so easily in "real" life anymore."

I am not, and never have been, a terrifically social person, and it's great for me that having an online life allows me to stay connected to people I don't see in person very often.

I relate to this post. We have been here 4 years and still dn't have any real couple friends to hang out with. I have friends and stuff but DH works so much he really hasn't had a chance to make any. He keeps in cose contact with his friends back home. \

Crazy work hours combined with a toddler makes online friendships easier to maintain sometimes.

(Anonymous)

o...how I can relate! I wanna slumber party too. It seems to me that adulthood pretty much means an end to friendships like the kind you had when you were a kid...simple, fierce, completely absorbing. I could go on and on about this...and someday I will...but being a beastly adult and all that involves, I have to dash off to do all the beastly adult stuff I should have done days and weeks ago but that keeps being interrupted by other beastly adult things like taxes and doctor's appointments and meeting deadlines and such. Ack!

I'm not to fond of riding bikes. But a slumber party...*sigh* Doritos and grape (by which I do not mean grapefruit) soda, the Princess Bride and Monty Python movies, Truth or Dare, getting high on life and nail polish fumes...

Grape FANTA!!! Oh GOD I MISS GRAPE FANTA!!! Amy!!! argh argh :D

Me me me!!! Although I don't have a bike, is that a problem? :) I know what you mean, online friends are 'easy' but I'd also like to meet up with a few of them ;) I wish I could come along with you to see Marie!

Oh, me TOO!! It's still a month away...can't you get tickets and come?! :D You don't have to have a bike!

I'd love to :) That would be so much fun!! How about I bring my surfboard instead of my bike, and paddle around in the water near Nynashamn instead. Assuming it's not -thirtyfuckingdegrees again...

I'd enjoy a slumber party just so we could play euchre.

Oh, me, too! Although you'd probably have to re-teach me how to play, it's been that long!

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