How many people in your life do you need? I mean actual people that you can touch, or swat mosquitoes off of their arms, or squeeze gently if the situation warrants it. Recently, I have been wondering about the amount of my real, touchable friends.
Years ago, I scoffed at my teenage stepdaughter whose time was encompassed by checking Facebook statuses. I was astonished at how irate she would become at somebody’s post. I even remember her getting into an arguement with someone – fingers furiously typing, impatiently waiting for a reply and then, finally, throwing her phone to the side in disgust. I thought it was ridiculous. “Why don’t you go out and meet some real people.” I said. “People that you can make eye contact with.” It never ceases to amaze me how life has a way of throwing things you say back into your face. Because now I find myself in the same boat. I get it now.
I have a few good girlfriends and some family that will stop by for a visit. These are tangible, touchable people. And I can count them on one hand without using my thumb. I also have a number of texting friends. These are other women whom I communicate with almost daily. Every few months we say we should get together but we never do. I think we just say it to be ‘old school.’ Add Facebook to that list and my socializing list is complete.
Is this sad or normal or what? Should I be branching out and trying to meet new people? And how does one go about making friends when you are in your mid thirties? I don’t drink so becoming inebriated and laughing about the consequences won’t work. And I think “Hi I like your hair.Do you want to be my friend?” is just socially awkward.
Anyway, back to the picture…I saw somebody post it on Facebook and I immediately filed it into my excuses folder (the one I keep around in case I need a quick cop out). I remember thinking ‘Yeah that’s it. That’s the real reason I don’t have a pile of friends.’
But that’s not it.
The truth is I haven’t put myself out there or anywhere in a long time. I have surrounded myself with docile, real, undramatic people. I love them, but let’s face it, they are boring. We are boring. We are all busy being wives and mothers and caretakers and fixers of our own little worlds. We work and eat and sleep and pay our bills. Where is the crazy one that drags you into some unknown bar only to find out that it was S&M night? Where is the one to push you into frigid lake water in the beginning of June? I gotta find me some of those people because they are fun and unpredictable and have an infectious zest for life. And, although I was never that woman, I was always game for whatever a night with them would entail.