Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Roughly a Dozen

Ah, 2:30 a.m., the best time to be on the Internet instead of bed. No, not really. But here we are. Well, here I am. I'm going to assume anyone who reads this gets into bed at a reasonable hour, unlike myself.

I went to my very first concert this weekend, Lady Gaga. The lady knows how to put on a show. Unfortunately for the four of us who went, we were in the nosebleed section. And that's with $100 tickets. I really wouldn't have spent any more than that, not being a concert person to begin with. But this was different. And it was great to be out with women. Lately I've been realizing I socialize a lot more with men.

And it's nice. Men are fun, good times and good companions in life. But I ache for female friendships. It's just that my male friends live here and my female friends keep moving away, or moving farther away, or have been far away to begin with.

I don't make new friends very easily. I never have. I don't know why. I can't see myself nearly as objectively as I'd need to in order to figure that one out. But it always hits me that I have a harder time than most.

Like in belly dance I overhear women I've been dancing with for 6-12 months talk to each other. We're on a friendly class-type acquaintance basis, but the women I overheard are in contact outside of class and have each other's cell numbers. The same sort of thing happened in my drop-in improv class a few years ago. I really learned to come out of my shell, but it was other people who connected and made plans outside of class, not me. No one ever wants my contact information to hang out. I never see the openings to ask for theirs.

I don't think I'm bad company. I actually get pretty good feedback from my friends, who tell me what their friends have said about me after meeting. Usually good things, someone's taken a shine to me, or loves the way I express myself, or that I'm really cute. But it's almost as if I'm a walking standup act or a living performance exhibit. Not that I myself am being inauthentic, but more that people enjoy me in the present but don't wish to connect with me beyond that.

And I don't really know why. I do know that there are roughly about a dozen people I've met in my entire life that I've really sparked with, not counting those I've always known because they're in a class of their own. I never forget them or how they made me feel, which is pretty much feeling like a person.

I have the knack of making an impression. I'm rarely forgotten. I can make people laugh. I'm good at that. I can turn a phrase, tell a story and mingle. I just can't make friends. It's always like some force I have nothing to do with when a new friend enters my life. I let people go very rarely because they're so rare.

I wish that was different about me. I'm 27 years old and I don't know this fundamental aspect of being a fully realized person. It makes me feel lonely.


Alek said...

I dunno... I tend to get along better with and have more respect for people who maintain a smaller group of friends. It generally means that they value the friendships that they do have, and that they dedicate more time to those people. The larger a person's group of friends, the more shallow those friendships tend to be, and the more shallow the person themselves, I always find.

Maybe I'm just cynical. I admit that I love meeting new people, and I'm pretty social; I find it very easy to make new friends. But the core group of people who really matter to me stays pretty small, even if the membership changes a little bit from time to time -- it's otherwise pretty consistent.

If you're lonely, maybe you just need to add a few more names to your dozen -- make it a baker's dozen plus. ;) But having that dozen doesn't make you any less than a fully realized person.

Jendra Berri said...

It's not so much a desire for more and more friends, but the realization making those friendships is very difficult for me in the first place. I am happy having a small core group of people in my life, and the roughly dozen or so aren't necessarily all active friendships.

It's just a sense that I feel lacking in a social function that makes me feel lonely sometimes, like a sense of apartness from others.

Of course it also makes me feel pretty appreciative of the friends I do have. I don't really have high turnover rates, so to speak :)

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