A theory on being social

by Lorin Michel Saturday, August 13, 2016 7:37 PM

“Look at you being social!” That was the text I got from my sister a couple of weeks ago. She had asked me what we were doing for the weekend and we had plans to meet another couple for dinner on that Saturday night. A week later, we did it again, meeting some other friends. Then last weekend. And now this weekend. To which my sister can only text: “Again? Wow!” 

I am not a social creature by nature. I like my people-time limited, or at least I used to. I was perfectly content in California to have Roy and Bobbi come on Friday nights for Fritini. Sometimes Diane would join us; occasionally, when he was in town, Gene would, too. On rare occasions, we had another join us as well. We would sit on the patio, drink martinis and eventually uncork a bottle of wine and then another as we had dinner. Knowing that we had Fritini and knowing that Roy and Bobbi would be there nearly every Friday was all the social I needed. It became the punctuation at the end of the week. No matter what had transpired, good, bad or otherwise, Friday we could relax and talk and share and bitch and moan. We could all be together. 

Then we moved. And my people-time became nearly non-existent. I didn’t realize how much those Fridays truly meant until we didn’t have them anymore. I knew I would miss them; I just didn’t know how much. Suddenly, here we were, in a town that we love but where we didn’t know anyone. It became very important for me to find a way to meet people; to make friends. 

Diane always says you can’t make old friends and she’s absolutely right. It’s impossible to have new people in your life who know all of the history that the ones who have been around longest know. And still want to be in your life.

I do believe, though, that you can make new friends and begin a new journey. You still have the friends you’ve had forever; you still talk to them; still consider them family; the best friends. New friends are the new friends that might someday also become old friends.  

I realized after we’d been here a year or so that much like dating, making new friends has to be an organic experience. It just has to happen. It can’t be planned. It can only be a lovely surprise. Once I came to that realization, we started making more friends. We have new friends who are moving here from Chicago. I have several girlfriends that I meet for lunch or a glass of wine every once in a while, one I knew back in high school, another that I met when I took a pottery class, another who is in the dog rescue group that brought us Riley. We have become friends with the woman who was our real estate agent a long time ago. She and her husband are wonderful and we have so much fun with them. And we’ve become social with several of the couples who live here in our neighborhood. One of them is coming for dinner tonight.

So here’s my theory. When you have friends that you see regularly, you take that for granted. Because it’s easy and always fun. Because they’re there. And when they’re not, you realize how much having people to share an evening with, to share a meal with, a bottle or two of wine with, means. I think that’s why we’ve suddenly become social. Because people are better than no people. 

I’m enjoying our newfound social status, tremendously. I’m enjoying our new friends, and look forward to them becoming old friends. Roy and Bobbi and Diane and Gene remain our dearest friends, always, but I now know that, like jello, there is always room for more.

“Look at you being social again!” my sister tested yesterday. I am and we are. And we’re loving every minute of it.

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