April 14th, 2004



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?
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