Friday, March 23, 2012

How to make friends, as a grown up.

I've had this conversation with a few different people. Do people really make new friends, as adults? Thinking back, I don't think I've ever managed to make friends, great sit-around-and-do-nothing-having-a-great-time frends outside of school. Do these kinds of friends even exists, in the grown-up world? Or are we too old, spread too thin, too tired?
I'm still very close with the friends I made in school. My High School friends all just saw each other a couple of weeks ago in California. We fell right into things, as if nothing had changed. As if we had just seen each other a couple of weeks ago (albeit with more enthusiasm), rather than over a year ago. There were five of us. We called ourselves "the Group" (technically, the Group included more than just us 5, but those other satelites fell off). We passed around "the Book" on school days, where we wrote to each other. Not mean-girls style, but more of a group note-writing book. We were a pretty tame group of high school girls. No drinking, no drugs, no boys. We just... went over to each other's houses every weekend, ate junk food, watched movies and talked. We never lost touch. During college, we came back with our separate experiences every summer, and fell right back into our old, comfortable, safe interactions with each other. We shook things up a bit during those summers, bringing a bit of alcohol into the mix.
In college, I was really lucky to find something very similar. Within the first day, I met the girl who ended up being the Maid of Honor at my wedding. I love thinking back on our first interaction, when we were sitting in a pretty big group and L initiating an ice-breaker of "So, what's the most embarassing thing that has ever happened to you? Mine was definitely sleeping with Johnny." To say this shocked my (see above) virgin ears is an understatement, but she was funny. Somehow, I fell into this big group of girls. There were 6 girls, all living on the same floor of the dorm next door to mine, and I somehow became part of ther circle. The 6 girls quickly divided into two groups: the group that liked beer, and the group that didn't. I was part of the group that didn't. We brought in a 4th - a girl down the hall who we had often seen talking in the stairwell about how she hadn't managed to make any friends yet. J was also part of my wedding. The four of us roomed next to each other the following year, breaking off completely from the rest of the intial group. The four of us decided that we would go through Sorority Recruitment, and join whichever houses we wanted. That it wouldn't matter, we'd all stay friends. As things turned out, only one joined a different house, and of course, we grew apart as we all got more and more involved.

From Sophomore to Senior year, my little group evolved, some came in, some left. By the time senior year rolled around, we were set. The original three from Freshman year, plus a forth, awesome addition. We shared an apartment, threw parties, got v-cards punched, and basically had the best year, ever. When we graduated, we saw each other yearly. The three others all stayed in New York State, and I was jealous, but it was fine. Just like my high school friends, everything would fall right back into place when we saw each other again. A couple of years ago, we were spoiled. Two of us were getting married, and we saw each other so many times for the various events, it was awesome. One got engaged over Christmas, and hopefully C will follow soon. We'll have those excuses again!
That post title is misleading. This was never going to be a "how to" on making friends. It's more of a question. How DO you make friends, as an adult? I think I may have had the wrong expectations for adulthood. After having groups of friends in my earlier stages of life, I pictured that I would have another group as an adult. Like in Friends, or How I Met Your Mother. We'd hang out at each other's apartments after work, we'd always have dinner together, like we did in college. But maybe those groups don't happen in real life. What's real is your husband, your daughter, your job. Life is already full with those three things, what else can I possibly expect to pack in?

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