Thursday, August 24, 2006


Still thinking about this whole friendship thing...........I've always been a a deep thinker, but not always a good talker or writer b/c I can never adequately express my thought stream into words. I think a lot; too much, Ell says. I dissect and analyze everything.........every action and reaction, every word whether spoken or written, and above all, every intention. I try to figure out the true reason, conscious or subconscious, why people do what they do. Most of the time all it gets me is more confused.

Friendship and the art of being a friend are two things I have thought a lot about in the past 9 years. Why 9 years? Ell and I got married 9 years ago. The summer we were married we were one of thirteen weddings in 6 months; eleven of them from the end of June to the end of September. We literally had only 3 weekends in those 3 months when we didn't have a wedding to be in or be apart of, or attend. It was crazy but really awesome. With the exception of one couple, all of the people getting married were very close friends of ours. So we got to experience all the joys and pains of learning to be married right along with our friends. But as marriage tends to do, we also came to realize who we did and didn't get along with as couples. Being friends with one person is easy if you both have similar likes and dislikes. But when you throw four or six or eight personalities into a mix the results are not always as pleasant. Ell and I learned that and adapted to the friends with the least amount of friction. The blend has changed many times over the past 9 years, and that is usually where the analyzing and over-thinking came in.

Ell and I have had a big Jamaican Party every February since we've been married. The original concept was to let everyone escape the cabin-fever of Winter, leave the kids at home, and reunite with old friends. The first year our entire group of married friends and a big contingent of our unmarried friends attended. Over the years new friends were added to the invite list as some people dropped off it due to the friction I just talked about. Through all those changes, we still averaged thirty to forty people at the party every year. The past couple years Ell and I came to the realization that the party had become the only time each year that the entire group of old friends got together. And for some reason that started to bother me.

I couldn't help asking myself, "Why didn't anyone else have something to get the group together? Were we the only ones who cared? Was it fair that we were the glue that held the group together? And since this was the only time each year to see old friends, why didn't everyone always come?" The more I thought about it the more often an answer came up I didn't want to admit........Maybe those other couples didn't want or need to be our friends; or anyone else's for that matter! Ouch! And as bad, or sad, as that sounds that may be the most truthful answer there is.

When children turn a couple into a family, priorities obviously change. Ell and I have chosen to not have children. And even though we have had the pleasure of being a part of that change in many of our friend's lives, we can never fully know everything that it does to a couple. The need or want to have friends can get pushed to the back burner with everything that raising a family requires. All extra energy is sapped with dirty diapers, sports games, college planning, and so much more. Having forty people over for a party is probably the last thing on their minds. And going anywhere without the kids just doesn't seem right. In other words, "old" friends are set aside for "new" family. And no, I'm not saying that's wrong. I'm merely saying that it leaves a hole in the relationship with those old friends. And that hole isn't always clean or healthy.

So even though I may have figured out some answers, it doesn't make me feel any better. All it does is make me think more. Too bad that's what got me here in the first place!


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