Sunday, September 9, 2012

Why it IS so hard to make friends after a certain age. (For certain people.)

Recently, a friend from high school (Kokoa, I hope I can call you that) wrote a blog about her difficulty making friends now that she is at the hmmm... how shall I put it?... "other" end of her twenties, closing in on her thirties. And, in short: I concur. But it made me ponder: Why IS it so difficult for ME (and other women I happen to know) to make (and keep?) friends after a certain age?

Full Disclosure: I am a self-described introvert. I (tend to) dislike "hanging out" with strangers... and generally just people that I haven't known for decades... and even then I just need my space.

So, I'm basically terming myself a closeted misanthrope, it's just that at this particular juncture, I'm beginning to think I'm not so closeted after all.

I noticed my inability to make new friends when I was about twenty-five. The husband and I had been hanging out with a particular group of his co-workers for awhile (solely in a party-capacity) and one of their girlfriends asked me about what I do in my free time. I know that's not quite how the question was crafted, but that was the essence of it. I told her I was close to finishing up a master's degree in English Lit. I kid you not-- she looked at me, so "Oh." and then quite literally shut her mouth and turned the other way... towards no one and nothing... and away from my company. It was disconcerting to say the least.

After that, and many attempts at understanding /decoding that particular interaction: Was I too noticeably dorky? Was I too obnoxiously educated? Was I not dumb enough? I eventually realized I probably scared the bejeezus out of her by coming off as too academic... I admit I love books, but I never thought that sort of degree could scare someone away in that manner-- it's not like I was working on a doctorate at a top rated school-- or even a master's at a top-rated school. Or, even a master's in a well-respected discipline... but any way... I scared her off and I think it was because she thought I was too stuck up (in an academic? way).

Fast forward to current times and I am just as befuddled now by some interactions, as I used to be by that one I had at twenty-five.

Specifically: When did I become the odd-man-out with my close-ish circle of friends?

I am supposing it was somewhere between pregnancies (not only my own, but other's as well), but I can't tell you for sure. I can tell you I got the hint after the hubby and I weren't invited to the annual celebration we had previously been invited to.

Or, maybe it was when I didn't go to work for a year. All of the sudden, I was into what turned out to be very much my own little schedule-- an extension of my own little world.

Could it have even been my lack of patience with certain others, or my willingness to be upfront? I suppose it was probably a tad bit of all of those things. I guess.

It might have been the last time I saw a friendly acquaintance (I say that now, though I would've just said "friend" before) in the store and bitched about my life's ongoings.

I'm beginning to think I'm just not a person who makes friends... but my Facebook page would attest otherwise.

Never the less, I am without a close group of friends nearby, and with my little sister soon leaving, I'll be without the person who has been my best female friend for the last twenty-three years. Ridiculously, I sometimes even mix-up my sister's name with my daughter's name, if that tells you anything about our relationship!

So... now I've got to figure out this ish! I'm going to embrace the few (girl)friends I've got-- those amazing girls I work with, that friend or two from middle/high school I still speak to, post-collegiate girlfriends that are super cool, and a neighbor or two that shares some common interests, and I'm going to find a new activity for myself. (Even if that means dragging some of my current friends through something that might make us refer to one another as Dr. & Dr.)

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like me and my new adventure with the military wives... Oh shoot I am one now.. I really do not want to be defined like that. Maybe we can work on that...

    But I think I am going to have a hard time making female friends.. That is where I was going with this. Thanks for sharing. I will really miss you too. I can't believe it is so soon..