No New Friends

13 May

A long time ago, when I worked as a reporter for People magazine I had a co-worker, Leah, who used to say that her Rolodex was full. For those of you who don’t remember life before Smart Phones, a Rolodex is where we used to keep our contacts. What Leah meant was that she was at her maximum friend capacity and wasn’t interested in expansion. I took her comment as a joke, but she wasn’t joking.

It’s taken my a while, but I’m there now. There are my intimates–real friends and then there are lots of other people who I just like: my dog friends, mommy friends, couple friends, writer friends. There isn’t enough time to attend to all of these relationships, much less new friendships.

A few of the old ones friends, the too needy, too angry and too clueless about their issues, have had to be cleared from the hard drive. I hate feeling like I’m cutting people off, but it becomes about being a friend to me. Another former colleague, Jill, used to say that she wouldn’t be friends with any one who hadn’t been in therapy. Amen.

We’re all crazy in our own way. I just need you to deal with your crazy because I deal with mine. For those who don’t and just want to drop all their crazy on me makes me feel like I have a neighbor who continues to throw his dog poop on my lawn. You gotta deal with your own poop. If you poop on my lawn it’s fine, but after a while it’s too much.

Last week I ran into a woman with whom I’d been friendly with for the last five or six years. A dog group friend. I like her and we’ve had good conversations over the years, as have all of us in the group. I hadn’t seen her since her surgery and had been meaning to drop her a note, stop by, call, something, but I just didn’t get around to it. Each time it ran across my mind, the thought would get caught between 10,000 other shoulds, ought tos or gottas. When I ran into her the other day, she was a little chilly. I felt a little bad, but I had to acknowledge, I just can’t give to everybody who I like.

Another woman, whom I am sister-mother friends with, said the other day that we all have lots of balls in the air.

“Some are rubber balls and some are glass. We just can’t drop the glass ones, the rubber ones we can let fall.”

My glass balls are my husband, two children, my elderly father and two friends; several other intimate girlfriends are plexiglass, sometimes they  hit the floor but the thing about the intimates is that they don’t complain if a phone call doesn’t get returned asap or a dinner gets cancelled. Real friends understand each others heart and treat it gently.  Cliff used to  always tell Baldwin, real friends make you feel good.

I’m genuinely interested in different kinds of people. I like to know what makes folk go–especially people who follow their own path, but even the ones who seem tight and traditional, I often find that they are not what they appear to be.  I love making that discovery.

My husband, daughter and my friend Eleanore, an introvert, love teasing me about how I will ask someone I’ve just met a hundred questions. I like to think that people simply feel comfortable opening up to me.

What I don’t do anymore is pursue or allow myself to be pursued by a new interesting person for coffee, lunch or a drink. If they suggest it, I nicely, sometimes, awkwardly, decline;  there’s always something else I’m committed to even if it’s just puttering in the house, staring or indulging in my favorite sweet idle time.

But I am having lunch on Wednesday with a French woman I recently met a luncheon. Sometimes, I guess, you can squeeze in one new person. It is just lunch and I have a feeling her Rolodex is also full.

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4 Responses to “No New Friends”

  1. cbloving May 14, 2013 at 4:47 am #

    I enjoyed this as I was feeling a bit guilty about some balls that I have dropped or allowed to slip or perhaps even thrown. As a woman of Spirit, many assume I am always available to them. My teachings are always available through my writings but not me in the flesh. I was born with this uncanny sense of preserving enough me space to fulfill the inward yearnings, hear the prophetic callings, enjoy the quiet mornings. Anyone who attempts to deprive me of listening to God will be amazed how quickly She blesses me with the wherewithal to disappear.

  2. Lorraine T.Rowe May 14, 2013 at 4:51 am #

    lol……..the next time you’re on one of my flights……remind me to load you up on a few bottles of the wine with the screw off caps and the oh so delicious snack boxes………hopefully that will get me in the Rolodex………

  3. Stephanie Littles May 21, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Sounds like you “Just want to be”. Its about one’s expectations, and living up to it. It hard enough living up to your own, let alone anyone elses. I will be first in line when your book is hot off the press. May Allah guide and suffice you in your affairs.

    Orange and Brown Forever

  4. Raymond September 17, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this amazing site needs
    a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the info!

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