Two and a halfish years ago my family up and moved from the midwest to the pacific northwest. I love it here! It never gets too cold or too hot. There are lots of things to do and see with in walking distance of where we live and even more within a short drive. Most people are liberal, educated and mindful of their community. The one thing I miss though is friends. Real friends the kind you aren’t ashamed to call when you’re needy. The kind with whom you aren’t conscious of each word because you know they will let you know you are being offensive with out being offended. The kind whose lives easily intertwine with your own without tons of preparation.
When we got here there were already a few people we knew who had moved here before us. So we weren’t completely adrift in terms of people to hang out with but for the most part they are people whose lives and ours don’t crisscross in the way the allows for a deeper level of friendship. I’ve met a few people who are nice and slow steps are being made toward that deeper level but lets face it grown up lives are so full of crap it sometimes seems to take forever to get there with a new person.
Feeling particularly out here on my own one afternoon in the midst of my husband working a 5 or 6 day stretch of 12 hour days I took a pathetic little trip through the googleverse trying to figure out how to make new friends. So of course I realize that I know the answers before they start popping up. First thing you have to do is go where the people are. But I don’t want to go where the people are….I want the people to come to me. That is to say my life is busy (so is everyone else’s). I have very little room in my days to add activities so this extraordinary person I am looking to be friends with needs to go the places I already go. Of course I will always make the extra effort for someone special but you have to get to be special first. One thing did pop up that I hadn’t thought of…did you know there are web sites dedicated to people looking to meet platonic friends? Like a dating site but for friends. I was fascinated and appalled at the same time. Unfortunately (or maybe not), much like a dating site you have to pay to get in so….not gonna happen. But the idea of a matching site for friends got me thinking about what kinds of things I might come up with if I was going to explain the kind of person I might be friends with. Remember those high school lists about what the love of your life should be like? Why not a friend for life list? So here is a list…incomplete, somewhat redundant and in no particular order.(some credit must go to my sister for her input)
- Listen to my bossy BS… then do whatever you want and/or argue with me about it
- Know how to laugh at mean jokes privately but not be mean
- Know how to be ready to go in 5 minutes
- Have some personal creativity and be interested in the creativity of others
- Call me out when I’m wrong
- Tell me to shut up when you don’t want to hear it
- Have some self confidence but be willing to admit when you lack it
- Know that if you don’t hear from me or contact me for a week or a month or a year or 10 years that our friendship is still right where we left it
- Discipline your kids and mine as needed and know I will do the same
- Fluent in sarcasm
- Like learning
- Know how and when to have tact (and when not to.)
- Be prepared for me to reciprocate all of the above.