I don't have a lot of friends. I don't mean that in a "boo-hoo, woe is me" kind of way; I mean it in an "I'm super picky and y'all aren't all going to make the cut" kind of way*. I know that sounds awful, but I suspect that there are a lot of people out there who feel that way. I'm just not an acquaintance kind of girl. I'd rather have one close friend than 60 people to chat up about the weather every day**.
The people I call friends are, in a word, fantastic. We may be scattered to the four winds, but the physical distance doesn't affect how close we are in our hearts. We keep in touch in fits and spurts online and by phone, but when we get together? It's as though we just had lunch the day before. These people are more family to me than anything and I cherish them with every ounce of my being. I couldn't be more thankful for their presence in my life if I tried. (Of course, that does not keep me from trying!)
As I've gotten older it has become increasingly more rare to find people to stick into that "friend file". It used to bother me but I think it is normal, honestly. It's easy to make friends when it is just you and the other person; it's when you start adding in other personalities (in the form of spouses and children) that things start to go south. (I have a theory that it becomes easier to make friends again once the kids are out of the house. I'll get back to you in 20 years and let you know how that goes.)
This is something that has been on my mind quite a bit for the past few weeks. We're in a new place and I'm at that point where I've been here long enough to feel a little settled in but not so long as to have gotten close to anyone--I'm a little lonely some days. I really can't wait to meet some new people. The thing is, I think I may be completely ruined in terms of expectations. In the last two years that we were in Germany, something so freakishly awesome and unexpected happened. I'm pretty sure it's a rare occurrence and I doubt it will ever happen again: We found a family that was a perfect fit for our own.
We could cook together, play cards, travel, watch the most craptacular movies in the world (Jason has a gift!), or play FB games together while in the same room. It didn't matter what we did, everything was a blast; yes, even when it resulted in me being stranded at a train station with four children while everyone else (and all the keys and money!) sped away on the train track.
Melanie and Will: You guys reminded me that friends can simply be there with no strings or expectations, that sometimes the best plans are no plans at all, and that it's okay to just walk away after your child potentially causes an international incident. (After taking a few pictures of course!) We miss you guys!
*This does not mean anything in terms of how I feel about people in general. I really like most people and will happily chat about the weather with just about anyone; however, the criteria for someone being my "friend" is usually that the person in question has to enjoy being around me and all my idiosyncrasies. In other words, someone who loves me because of my quirks, not despite them. If this statement is still rubbing you the wrong way then we probably don't use the same definition of the word friend.
**Not that there is anything wrong with talking about the weather. I will happily talk with anyone about the weather. It's my go-to for small talk, honestly. My badly made point was that if you offer me one close friend or 60 acquaintances--I'll choose the one. Doesn't everyone feel that way, though?
This post was written in response to a Reverb10 prompt about a friend who has changed me or my perspective on the world. Yeah, I haven't been doing a great job keeping up with that, but this one was half-written anyway!