I always wanted to be the new kid in class. Probably because I wasn’t. I lived in the same house my whole life, went to many of the same schools my parents and grandparents did, and it seemed that many of the families where I grew up were intermingled in some way. Our grandparents knew each other and played bridge and poker with each other, our parents were best friends since before kindergarten, we – the third or fourth generation – knew each other pretty well or hung out together.
It wasn’t until I was married to my first husband that I became the new kid in class. We moved from one side of the state to the other which meant meeting new people and finding where we belonged. I loved it. Several of my best friendships were formed during that time and I wouldn’t trade it – even though my husband was a horse’s ass and I later divorced him – for anything.
After I divorced the horse’s ass, I was in my element: great friends, good job, loved my vintage house. I dated a bit, got into romantic relationships, but even after 7 years had no intention to get married again. Note the word intention.
One evening I had dinner with a lovely man who was in the midst of a divorce and had custody of this three kids. I told him I had no intention of being caught in somebody’s threshing machine as he sowed his wild oats. We started as friends and have now been married for almost 15 years. In the last six years, we have moved from the state in which we both grew up, to the east coast, to the south where we’re now living, and now we’re gearing up to move to the west.
The background on my marriages is to illustrate several things. When I became the new kid in class while married to my first husband, and my work and office was in public, it was much easier to meet people and form friendships. I have been in business for myself for more than a decade. My office is in our home, and the vast majority of contact with clients is via phone and email.
When my husband and I moved to the east coast, and I became the new kid in class for the second time, I found that many people were not looking to add to their social circles. No room, no interest…who knows. I’ve explained to people since living there that the women in that area seemed to have had their funny bone bred right out of them. No humor. Really. And I can be quite funny dammit.
During this time I met one – count her – one person that I clicked with. (She was not from the area either!) And while currently living in the south there is again one – count her – one person who is a kindred spirit. Those two fabulous women are part of the small circle of extended family that I know, trust and love. My extended family and I (I just can’t use the term sisterhood because to me it conjures nekkid dancing around a maypole, fire, or something stupid) communicate through facetime, email, text, phone calls and visits. We make time for each other and are thankful for the relationships. They are perfectly seasoned, comfortable, and constant.
Being the new kid in class while in elementary, middle or high school is vastly different than being the new kid in class after the age of 40. How are you developing friendships at this point in your life? ARE you developing new friendships in your life? I’m looking forward to hearing from you…..