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September 2011

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Comments

magpie

Sometimes I think my best friends are in the computer. It's hard having friends in real life. There's no time.

ozma

But it's interesting to know that, however much you like the person on the computer, you would not be friends with them in real life.

I like the illusion that I would be friends with you in real life-and it is just geography and my weirdness that separates us.

You know, I'll bet we could be. If you lived downstairs or next door. That's the thing. If someone exceptionally cool--like you-- could just move within 100 feet of my house, I really think we could make it work.

schmutzie

Man, this sounds like a difficult time. I'm a lot like you and either back off or give in, so it's really hard to let my boundaries be known, but if I remember to think of it as setting boundaries and not aggression, it is a bit easier to maintain my footing.

I also find that making friends in adulthood is far more difficult than when I was younger. Thank god I drink.

Juli Ryan

Well, I could have written a similar post on this topic. I usually blame my current difficulties in making friends on "cultural differences". Which is my convenient excuse for not making an effort. My grandmother used to tell me to, you know, ring people on the phone. Invite people to do things. My grandmother was a very social woman. At her funeral, she was described as someone who always liked to have a "good time". This is not what people will say about me.

In my life, there have been times when it has been easy to make friends. Like at college, or sometimes at work. But I am prickly and introverted. Also, I often find social encounters drain me of energy, like other people are vampires who suck the life blood out of me. I talk to someone, and then I need to recharge my batteries for two days at home alone. I am probably not superficial enough.

Not long ago, I read an article in the NYT. It was about an aging study, and it suggested that talking to people IRL is important for your brain's health and wellbeing. Like, you will become senile if you don't make friends and talk to people IRL. (sigh)

minervaK

Friends are overrated.

DoctorMama

"Certain mistakes between people that have nothing to do with sex can shatter things that are not so easy to repair." Indeed.

That aside, here's what I did for friends: found blogs of people I liked who lived nearby and then stalked them. (Fortunately not everyone keeps their location a secret, and even when they do you can sometimes figure it out.) And then once we met up, we already knew some deep dark secrets about each other and already knew we liked each other. It's almost Victorian, the epistolary friendship.

So Google "[name of town or region you're in] blog" and see if there's any good prospects. (I know you'll never advertise your location, so they won't come to you.)

I also tracked down an old friend of my sister's who had had a falling out with her, as had I, and now WE'RE good friends. Evil? Maybe. Wonderful? Yes.

roo

I have no idea how people make friends.

Well, I sometimes talk to inanimate objects, so I suppose making that kind of friend is possible. But, while they're good at keeping secrets and not giving ass-vice, there's not much give-and take in the conversation. Plus, talking to inanimate objects won't do much to lessen the fears of seeming like a homeless crazy woman.

Can you confront Friend #1?

Ajinnashville

Wow. Just wow.

This sounds so painfully familiar. I had so many wonderful friends in high school and college; then after my wife and I married, we augmented those with some great 'couples friends.'

Then we moved 2000 miles away. We now have one of those couples within 300 miles' distance that we see about a dozen times per year. I hop on a plane and travel back to L.A. to see my Dad and a handful of those same strong friends of my youth, maybe once every other year, however those times go a long way toward sustaining me.

And they need to, because all of the time in-between, the ONLY friends I seem to have anymore are on the Internet: my blogs, Twitter, et al. Apart from the few who have wandered in and out, I've gone the better part of the last 15 years without a non-preexisting IRL friendship being a significant part of my life.

Can't explain it, except to say that perhaps we've just become so conditioned to being self-centered through the media, social media, economics and all the rest, that we just don't have the time, energy, or options we once seemed to have.

I will say, though, like DoctorMama, blogs are indeed a great way to meet friends, but it has to be a 2-way street. I've (tastefully) stalked a few folks in my time, and now have several wonderful friendships to show for it. Just like in any relationship, somebody usually have to go out on a limb to get the fruit. I'm shameless enough not to have a problem being that person. Someone has to be.

Oh, and regarding Friend #1. Dood just needs to back off. Only YOU can make that happen. Just sayin.'

I absolutely love your honesty and the word-pictures you paint. I know you said you were taking a break from the Internet, but I hope it was a fib.

:)

sarah

I like to think that you and I could be friends IRL.

I HATE friendship triangles. Or in this case, I guess, a friendship square?

So I have no useful advice.

But I can (and do) commiserate.

Jo

The last time I had a friendship triangle did NOT end well. I ended up having to set boundaries (read: break up with) both of them. In the end that was the right thing; this was in the midst of my infertility grief and while I had an awesome husband, I did get into some Bad Relationships with friends.

Most of my friends now are from forever ago; sometimes we've lost touch for years at a time. But it's hard. You don't have the time you used to, all that untrammeled time together.

I bet we could hang if we lived close. Also, most of my newer friends (almost all) have been through the internet. It really does save on time, spilling your most gruesome secrets before ever getting together for coffee. DoctorMama is right on.

chicu

oh, ozma. Everything you wrote rings so true.
It IS hard to make new friends.
my old friends, our lives have gone down such different paths that all that's left now is remembered love that inspires the phone call, the 'i miss you'.
I often wonder how to walk up to someone and say,' you look interesting. i would like to know you better. care for coffee?' without seeming loony.
ah well.

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