My oldest and closest friend sent me this link to a New York Times article about why its hard to makes friends after 30. Its all about the fact that many new people enter our lives but most of them leave it without leaving any lasting impressions. Very few new, close, friendships are formed. Why? Because, "Schedules compress, priorities change, and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends"
Thats definitely the story of my life. At least with Facebook I've managed to stay in touch with some of my old friends but even those interactions are probably twice a year and at a very shallow level - in some cases, "old friends" should probably be redefined here as "somebody I used to know". This is sad. Sometimes I feel that I'm always the one that is trying to get old friends together again and nobody else initiates the get together. Do they all have such fantastic lives now that I am the "somebody they used to know" ?
So do I try to "restock" my friend pool? Yes, but I am picky and have a lot of constraints. Which is exactly what the article is talking about. I can't just ring someone up and say "Hey! Lets meet for lunch.". There are so many permutations now that can derail such a simple encounter. Adrian's nap time. If the other person has a child, that child's nap time. Whether either child is sick, has a sick sibling, has gymnastics or some other activity. If the person is single, then chances are I'd be to stressed taking a child along to such an encounter because I don't want to be judge for either being an indulgent parent or a strict parent, and I also cannot focus on making my conversation interesting for a single person if I have my parenting life along with me. So you see, it really narrows the choices down.
Let me take this further. When I finally find a person that I think I'd like to make the effort in being friends with, scheduling a meeting between the two families can stretch out for months. I'm using a real life example here - we have a family lunch date with another family in the second week of September! That was the earliest available weekend.
On the flipside, I have also started to question whether I am good quality 'friend' material. If I'm this picky about other people, then they must be this picky on me too. Sometimes, after a particularly enjoyable get together with new friends, I'll say to Richard "Do you think they like us?" I feel silly just thinking it! Who cares? I suppose I do....
So as a final note on friends, and how hard it is to have any these days, I am looking forward to meeting up with an old friend this Sunday and also next Wednesday. The Wednesday one is calling for a lot of effort from me (90 minute drive each way in between school drop off and pickup) but I want to do it. This person was a close friend in the past and has recently joined the ranks of parenthood so we should have some things in common.