I don’t get out much. Yeah, I shuttle the kids back and forth to camp, do the food shopping, go to the synagogue, etc. But that’s not getting out, not really.
This week I was able to hang with friends. A few of us met up for beers and shared what was going on in our lives, talked about the screwy political season, discussed the latest terror attack, and more.
It was a good time.
After I get home from a night like that, I always promise myself I’ll make more effort to get together with friends. The majority of the time, the only people I see are those individuals who I come across in my daily life. I’m happy to see them and glad for their presence in my life.
So, I try to convince myself that’s just the way it is. And it’s fine. After all, life is busy. Between work and the children and oh yeah, a marriage – who has time to hang out with friends? We all understand that – right. It’s not a question of want to but able to. So, we do our best to keep in touch and that’s cool. Isn’t it?
When I was growing up, my mom would get together with other neighborhood moms and played mahjong. They would take turns hosting the weekly game. When it came time for my mother to host, she would be particularly careful about cleaning the house and buy good snacks (she also wouldn’t allow my brothers and I to have any of the snacks unless there were leftovers the next morning). She also kept in touch and got together with childhood friends who felt like part of the family.
Then, there was my father. I don’t ever remember meeting a friend of his. There were stories about a friend, who also happened to be the best man at his wedding, who moved to California. There were stories about other friends as well. But my father did not get out with friends. He worked long hours, loved to watch the Phillies, enjoyed being in a bowling league and was social when he saw people. I wonder how not maintaining friendships impacted him.
There are all kinds of studies on male friendships. There are people in my dad bloggers group who talk about the challenges of keeping and making friends. While it might be easier to simply stay home, it’s not better.
These days it’s easy to rely on Facebook and other social media as a means of keeping in touch. But it’s just not the same. Social media is a filler, a quick line, a fun picture. All those things are nice and can be meaningful too. Yet, there’s nothing like being in the presence of others. The dynamic, the laughs, the empathy – that comes from being among friends.
I need to hang with friends more often.
Very true! And the other thing about social media is this– it doesn’t really require us to put up with other’s oddities and quirks (because we can close down the app or silence their posts), so social relationships are built entirely on our convenience. And we all know that real relationships have a lot of inconvenience built in. For example, parenting.
I love the idea of a weekly game for friends! That reminds me of I Love Lucy! 🙂
I guess maybe those type of gatherings are more old school but why? Lack of time I guess.
Good point about social media. It’s an interesting dynamic – no doubt.
Yup. Social media is limited though it certainly has its pluses. Yet, when it is seen as the primary way of getting together – well, I don’t think it works.
I Love Lucy – I like the comparison.
Being busy is an excuse, I have found you have to make it a priority if you want to spend time with your friends, as it does take work to maintain those friendships. In today’s world, we are more spread out, so weekly meetings of the ladies in the neighborhood aren’t as common, but my friends and I do a monthly meeting, in addition to any other events we may have going on. Once a month we meet for something (dinner, movie, painting class) and that is just the girls. The there are several weekends where we have the pool parties, etc. and that is everyone included. 🙂 I’m glad you made time for your friends and took the time to nourish those friendships!
That’s great that you find the time and make it a priority. I got the sense from your posts that you find time to nourish those friendships.
I try really hard to make time to hang out with some of my male friends. It is really important.
Good for you for making it a priority. I have to try harder.
Having friends, real friends, definitely helps improve a person’s overall happiness. I had to laugh, though, when you mentioned the things you were talking about with your friends–sort of depressing things, and then said it was a good time. Ha! I get it, of course, but it was still funny.
I hear you about the topics – definitely not fun things. But there were other topics that I did not mention – maybe, I should have.
Glad the post made you laugh.