There’s this quote from Season Six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that kind of sums it up for me. It’s from Giles, who is Buffy’s Watcher – meaning he is the adult/father figure in the show. He’s back in California after being away for a while and Buffy asks how he’s been/what he’s been doing:
I keep a flat in Bath. I met with a few old friends. Almost made a new one, which I think is statistically impossible for a man of my age.
I remember thinking the quote was funny when I first heard it in my mid-20s.
Because I’ve never found it very easy to make friends.
Which is why I’m pretty relieved to have a good cadre of friends that I’ve built up over the years.
I’ve known my best girlfriends since I was four. And most of my other close friends? I’ve known them for at least a decade.
So, among other things, I pray I never have to move.
Because if I think back to my experiences with trying to make friends?
They are sort of like this:
I remain forever in awe of those who befriend others with a sort of natural grace, ease, and skill that I just don’t possess.
And, like the Watcher says? It gets harder as you get older.
I watch my 4-year-old make friends. At her age it basically consists of, “Hi! I like Barbie. Wanna play house?” And done. Suddenly Brielle is her best friend in the WHOLE WORLD. They go to each others’ birthday parties and bond over a shared love of cupcakes.
OMG! You like cupcakes? I like cupcakes!
Yes. Kindred spirits.
For my 20-month-old, it doesn’t even require speech. She just get plopped down beside another toddler; and they parallel play individually to their heart’s content. Possibly while trying to figure out why their mothers keep “play-dating” them together.
The answer to that query is that I’m probably trying to make a mom-friend.
Now, I have friends who are moms. And there were moms I met and spent time with during both my maternity leaves.
But, it’s been years since I’ve managed to make a really good new friend.
Perhaps I’m just rusty.
I do know, to a certain extent, it’s about bonding over shared interests:
But it’s more than that too. At this stage of life, I also think there is a limit to the number of friendships I can reasonably nurture and maintain. It’s not that I’m not accepting applications for friendship, if you will. It’s just that between work, marriage, kids and my “I want to be alone” introvert downtime, there’s less time than there once was to spend with friends and to invest in turning new acquaintances into friends.
That said? Currently my best friends are the ones with whom I can go out, have a little fun, great conversation, possibly a few too many drinks, and NOT have to be responsible mom for a little while.
What? That sounds like your kind of fun too? OMG! Let’s be best friends!!!