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JESPAH
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For One Heart To Carry On

Monday, November 17, 2008

www.youtube.com/watch?v=
IrTnaPa9BaA


I thought of this song because I've got a little over 96 lbs. to go to hit my big goal. And then I heard that line, the one I put in the title, and thought that would be a good idea for an entry.

I saw my friend on Saturday. For anyone who has not been reading along in the continuing saga of my life, my friend (in this context) is the fishmonger.

Of course I have other friends (and I'm sure he does, too), but he's unfailingly kind, pleasant and patient with me, and also knows his stuff. I have trouble making friends and so it's a delight to me to just know somebody new and different and have them (apparently) like me, too. He does seem to go out of his way for me a lot, whether it's to get me something special or just listen to me gab or make sure that no one else waits on me. He also gabs back and I hear about his dreams, how he really doesn't want to be a fishmonger forever, and how the corporate world of food sales is little different from where I work in terms of the kind of BS you go through every day.

I was thinking about all of that because over the weekend my sorority had their initiation. Now, I was initiated years ago but I am a mentor to a girl who was getting initiated. Well, I missed it. By an entire day! I totally blew it!

I felt terrible about it, and sent her an apology note immediately. That much is not what I'm talking about. What I am talking about is, well, I was supposed to be there, there were records of same, I did not show, and apparently no one either noticed or cared. Certainly not enough to follow up in any way.

We are talking about less than 50 people here.

I recognize that, despite the size of my ego, I am not the center of the universe. So them not trying to at least find out if I'd met my maker on Massachusetts Avenue is, I suppose, par for the course. But it does make me wonder, because sororities and the like are touted as being lifetime friendships.

I made decent sorority friends in college but we have all drifted apart. I know some here on Spark and they are lovely ladies. But ever since I became an alum, I haven't had any real closeness in that area.

That's not the only area without closeness.

Two jobs ago, we all bonded beautifully, and many of us stay in touch. It still feels good and right. I remember saying to my boss, on our last day together as coworkers (the department was split up when the company was bought), "I figured when I started here I'd have a few laughs. I didn't expect to fall in love with everybody." And she understood exactly what I meant, and said she felt the same.

Friends from one job ago? Maybe two or three but not at that level. And at this job, none. Pleasant enough people, but no one to confide in. No one to really spend time with and discuss much of anything other than work. No one I want to see outside of the office. No one who I'd cry to if there was a tragedy in my life. No one I'd really miss if I were laid off tomorrow.

No one here knows that I write. They barely know that I watch my weight. They know I used to be a lawyer, but they don't know that I can cook. They don't know me.

And they won't know me. I can't see making that step and forging that bond.

I guess I don't bond that deeply with a lot of people. I bond in degrees. Deepest to my husband, of course, and my family, but also to some friends (this includes some online folk) and then there are good acquaintances and more removed ones and then after that I suppose we're in the realm of the UPS delivery guy and the people we all see on TV. Remote and isolated. Never, ever allowed into the castle. Even if they ask nicely.

Maybe I'm picky. Maybe I'm snobby. Maybe I'm too reserved. Maybe I'm trying to make up for sometimes seeming to be too needy. Maybe I just don't want them to see my messy house. And, by extension, my messy life.

I don't know.

But I do know that there are not a lot of people outside of my family who I'd want supporting me at a funeral, or visiting me in the hospital if I was very sick.

It's funny. A woman I went to Summer camp with over 30 years ago found me online, and we have talked on the phone and we email a lot and I feel that closeness there, even though, frankly, she and I weren't all that close way back when. But it feels like we are, now.

I know with friendship it is quality and not quantity, and I fully subscribe to that. I also know that, at age 46, bonding is different from what it was when I was 16 or even 36.

There was a book out a few years ago called, "He's Just Not That Into You". It was about dating relationships but it could really be about any kind of relationship, I suppose. It could have also been called "He Doesn't Really Care About You" or "He's Really Interested in Someone or Something Else". Not to pick on men. Women do this, too.

I'm tired of that treatment.

I know that we are all busy people and, like I said, I am not the center of the cosmos. But I don't want to put out my heart for people to simply forget I'm there, or not care one way or the other.

How can you tell when someone's into you?

It's easy.

They communicate without prompting, or without much prompting. They smile at you. They listen to you. They care about what you like and dislike; those things interest them. They give of their time. They don't check their watches or look around for the next great stimulus. You may not be the center of their world but at least for a while you can be the center of their attention.

Perhaps this is all obvious to everyone but me. But one piece of this journey is positivism. To be around people who don't try to drag me down. To listen to uplifting conversations and take part in them. To feel good after spending time with someone, instead of wondering why something else didn't get done.

Not a lot of people fit that bill on the deeper levels, but some are, I suppose, getting there.

Take friendship where you find it, in whatever form and whatever manner it is offered, because it is rare and special and meaningful. Because it is so valuable. Because it one of the greatest things any of us can ever have, and it helps make life worth living.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JESPAH
    Thank you darlin' -- I've missed the swimming shoats!

    It's funny, I saw my friend last weekend for about a half a second and he was kinder to me and happier to see me than a lot of people are. Hmm maybe it's me ...
    4384 days ago
  • SISNAMIL
    oh, honey, i'm sorry i missed this when you posted it. (kinda been out of the loop)

    i have to tell you that i have missed your sense of humor and when i had a few minutes to myself one of the first things i knew i had to do was catch up on your blogs.

    btw for no one to have noticed you weren't at the initiation was just rudeness on their part. just proves that a good education is no guarantee of good manners.
    4384 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/24/2008 12:36:28 PM
  • JESPAH
    Yeah, y'know, it's hard enough to connect in the first place, and then our lives just get in the way. I'm really trying to make an effort to keep up with at least email, and call on occasion. Life intervenes way too much sometimes.
    4389 days ago
  • SQUISSHY1
    I have the same issue with my current job. I only work part time since I am still in school, but my last job was one amazing group of co-workers. We are all still great friends and when we hang out it's like we still see each other everyday, when it's not even every month. My current co-workers and I are not close at all. I have a few people that I talk to a little more than others, but there is no one I feel that is like me at all. The one person I did hang out with outside of work moved this past week to another state. Hmph... i really liked this entry! It makes me think about all of my amazing friends that I should call and meet up with :-)
    4389 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/19/2008 5:18:33 PM
  • JESPAH
    I think that's an interesting way to put it. I guess there are just some onions I don't want to peel, or at least, not just yet.

    They may not want to be peeled, either.
    4389 days ago
  • SUMITH2008
    I'm sometimes shy, to approach people (maybe because you are not sure what to expect) and sometimes i wonder how many opportunities I've lost to meet great people. I used, to do Sales (and was very successful at it) and i never had any problems approaching people and some of my best friends happen to be people i have approached by accident when i was selling. Unless, you take a chance you never know who you will meet. I guess, its like peeling a onion with different levels to connect to. Sometimes we don't go deep enough to get to know someone till we hit that special level of connection.
    4389 days ago
  • TRECECOOKS
    What a beautiful piece, well-written and full of thought-provoking words.
    What broke my heart is this paragraph:
    "They communicate without prompting, or without much prompting. They smile at you. They listen to you. They care about what you like and dislike; those things interest them. They give of their time. They don't check their watches or look around for the next great stimulus. You may not be the center of their world but at least for a while you can be the center of their attention".
    It does not describe my husband's way with me, and I feel so sad. I know that part of my being stuck with my weight-loss is because I am stuck in my life. . .

    4390 days ago
  • JESPAH
    What's amazing is, I called my Summer camp friend on Saturday, and after saying about three words to establish that I'd gotten her on the phone and not her daughter, we were laughing and joking around as if 30 minutes had gone by since we'd seen one another, not 30 years.
    4390 days ago
  • TELERIE
    This could have been written about me...
    I cherish the friendship with two close friends I have had since high school. We see each other randomly, sometimes only 3-4 times/year, but we still have the same connection that we used to have. I also have some "online" friends I have met several times who are closer to me than the people I work with...
    My dearest has more friends than I have, and I get a "share" in his friends, but I haven't made many really close friends of my own since becoming an adult. People who were close at university or from past jobs have drifted away.
    emoticon
    4391 days ago
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