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Friends

backlit dawn foggy friendship

So, I’m over here drinking my coffee and looking at the local Facebook mommy message board when someone asks all the transplants to the area to list what has been the hardest thing they have had to get used to.  Besides the heat and traffic, the thing came up most was friendships.  I admit that has been the worst for me too.  In the past 20 years, we have lived in 7 different towns in 5 different states. We just made it to the one year anniversary of living in our “new” town.  In that year, I have made exactly zero friends.  I had a tribe in my last town.  I’ve gone back and seen a few of them and a few have come to see me. I talk to most via text and the rare phone call but others not so much.  I’ve been lucky enough to make friends rather quickly in all the other towns we’ve lived in and keep in touch with a fair few of them. But, with each move, there are fewer friends and even fewer still that keep in touch. It’s not anyone’s fault. If anything, we all share a bit of the blame.

I noticed with this last move that living in the South we are all super nice people. We are friendly to a stranger. We are quick to open a door or stop to let someone cross the street. We are what I call surface friendly. We’re super nice but very few genuinely want to get to know anyone for a true friendship. This sentiment was echoed on that message board. Many other ladies commented that they felt much the same way.  Of course, there were those who claimed we weren’t trying hard enough.  Join a church, volunteer, go to a class some people encouraged.  I didn’t justify those people with the response of yeah well I’ve done all that and I still haven’t found my tribe.  I’m starting to think the older you are and the older your children are the harder it is to find a tribe. And, I’m starting to believe that my age group is far too busy with life to make room for something new.   Think about it, the majority of the 35-45 set isn’t trying to drum up playdates anymore.  Gone are the days of diapers, sleep schedules and what should you feed next.  These ladies are focused on their career, older children and all their activities, aging parents and keeping their marriages together. They don’t have time for new relationships.  I’m starting to think that’s why friendships both near and far fall apart as well.  We are so wrapped up in the day to day that if we aren’t in front of each other on a regular basis the friendship just sort of fades away.  I can’t figure out which is worse – the not making new friends or the fading away of the old.

I’ve mentioned all this to my husband. He looks at me like I have grown another head. Men don’t understand that women need other women.  We need a tribe.  Which brings me to social media like Facebook and Instagram. It’s the only place I can see all the friends of my past without hopping in a car and driving all over the Southeast. In other words, don’t delete your accounts and please post a picture of you and your kid every now and then.  I miss your face.

P.S. I was going to write something about the whole illegal immigration and separation of families thing. I decided against it. After commenting on a friend’s comment, I remembered not to wrestle with the pig.  Remember that phrase?  I’ve talked about it before.  It’s just a big ole wad of trouble to talk about that topic. I will not be changing anyone’s mind and it’s right up there with wrestling with a pig.  We both get dirty but only one of us (the pig) likes it. In other words, that’s a fools’ errand.

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