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?
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.