In all friendship, there is room for failure…

So just in the nick of time, I reconnected with an old friend with whom I had been out of touch for quite a while.  I was looking forward to speaking with her again, anticipating sharing our life changes and stories since the last time we’d talked.

And then I remembered why I have been so remiss in staying in touch.

Our friendship has a fatal – or at least potentially fatal – flaw.  It is unbalanced, and with each passing year it is less based on shared understanding and mutual appreciation, and more on a unilateral need to dominate the conversation at all times.

Let’s just say I’m not the one dominating the conversation, or the friendship in general.  I suppose this failing in our friendship is as much my fault as hers, but I’m not sure she even realizes the state I believe our relationship has entered.  To her, I think, things are much as they ever were.  I could be taking a big leap, here (but no one’s reading this anyway!), but I imagine to her I appear the same semi-flaky, interested but busy friend.  She is even busier, I think, but she finds the time to call and talk at least.  The problem is, she is the only one talking.

If I felt more comfortable, or closer to her, I might try to fix this uneven tendency in our relationship, but I think it has almost always been there – I just didn’t notice it as much when our time together lasted long enough for me to get a word or two in edgewise.  I should have acknowledged it and addressed it when she dampened my wedding day, but hindsight is twenty-twenty, after all…

So I feel that I may end this first month of the Friends Forever Friendship Endeavor on a sour note – a note of failure.  A sad recognition of the fact that maybe not all friendships are worth saving, rekindling, nurturing.  Maybe sometimes there are unhealthy relationships, friendships that don’t promote the growth, happiness, or well-being of either party, and these relationships are better left to fade away.  Perhaps this could be a lesson that not all friendships are intended for the “forever” status; it might be best for both of us to let it confine itself to Christmas cards and school reunions.

Despite my attempt to reconnect with this friend, I can’t help feeling like this particular experience was a bit of a failure.  At best it was a difficult lesson learned in friendship.  No progress on that measure of the Friendship Meter, it seems, but at least I have one day left…


Who Doesn’t Love a Wedding?

So in many ways, Friday’s wedding was a success. First and foremost, the couple is now married. 🙂

My friend, who I first met in 1st grade, is now a wife!  We have both changed in many ways, and our friendship with it. Over many years of going to different schools, my traveling abroad, our interests diverging, and my sister taking my place as BFF of my old neighbor, we have perhaps grown (quite) apart.  I still think we share a cherished history, though, and I feel some friendliness and familiarity with her that I can’t imagine ever changing.

Despite our differences, I am happy for her and the future that is ahead of her. I am pretty positive we won’t return to the closeness we once shared, but I can accept that. She will remain a treasured, if distant, friend.

The party was awesome, and it was a truly convenient way to reconnect with old neighbors and even friends from grade school who I haven’t seen for ten (plus!) years…An open bar may have facilitated my conversational skills, but I found on the whole that I was successfully making conversation with plenty of true potential friends in the broadest sense.

In a more particular sense, the wedding was a success in that I reconnected with a single potential forever friend and hit it off tremendously. We chatted for quite a while at the wedding, and promptly set up a reunion the next evening. We grew up around the corner from each other, but since she more often played with my sister I always assumed she was quite a bit younger.  We are only a year or two apart in age and I feel like now there is no difference.

Even though we live in different cities, I feel that I have someone I want to hang out with every time I am in Pittsburgh. Progress, surely, on the Friendship Meter.

Here’s to the bride and groom, and here’s to a rediscovered potential forever friend! (Photos to come soon!)

Even Hannah Montana has Forever Friends!

Maybe this is a new level of cheesiness for this blog, but hey – the girl knows what she considers essential for a true friend.  I think that must be a step in the right direction!

If I knew more about the show, I might be able to talk a bit about whether her “true self” (without the blond hair?) is able to have true friends, because of the facade she maintains in terms of the wig…but that might be a bit too in-depth for today, and I wouldn’t be doing anyone a favor because I don’t know much about what actually goes on in that series.  At all.

So, I’ll shelve that topic – whether a deceiving appearance or outward presentation can inhibit the formation of deep friendships.  I just suppose I wouldn’t want my BFF to be one person with me and someone totally different (down to the hair color!) with everyone else.

Progress on the Friendship Meter, Looking Ahead

So, I suppose I benefited quite a bit from having the opportunity to start my newest round of classes this month, with orientation, mandatory introductions, and a slew of people all trying to make new friends.

I’ve discovered that getting up the nerve to talk to people is half the battle in finding a potential friend.  There are lots of ladies I can imagine being better friends with (and of course, some with whom I have discovered I have little in common).

I’m considering the step of talking to five new people to be complete. Good news for the Friendship Meter!

Now I just have to reconnect with a few old (childhood, grade school, high school, college…) friends.  One called me a week or two ago, and for a variety of reasons, I did not pick up…It’s time to make up for hitting the “silence” button on my cell phone, even if this old friend isn’t always the keeper I wish she was.  After all, it’s not like anyone else is “blowin’ up my phone,” as they say!

Bonus: I childhood friend is getting married tomorrow.  Even though she is now much more friendly with my sister (who’s the M.O.H.), I can still see some friendship potential!  There’s also a friend I’ve been meaning to invite to my new house for a visit…  Plenty to keep me busy for more progress on the Friendship Meter – lucky me!


An Article with 50 Suggestions for Making Friends

I was looking for some extra tips on making friends, and I found this article on meeting people pretty useful!

It goes over some basic but interesting stuff, like bringing up things previously mentioned by them in conversation to ask them more about it, etc.  It’s got some good pointers, so I’m going to try a few!

Sweet Success!

So perhaps it’s cheating, but today I went to a few orientation events for the grad program I’m starting at OSU.  And, surprise surprise, I probably struck up a conversation with at least 1/2 a dozen other grad women.

I’m divided as to whether this counts or not – after all, they were all there to meet people and get to know the program, too, so we weren’t wholly disinterested parties with no need or motivation to meet each other besides being friendly.

Regardless, I met a ton of new people and started some promising relationships, so I’m counting it on the Friendship Meter!

I can definitely sense who I may like to keep getting to know (some more  so than others!) and I’m looking forward to a few opportunities to do so.

All in all, a successful day of friendly chats and promising starts.  Now for rekindling some old friendships (which can be even more awkward than starting new relationships out of the blue)!

Meeting Neighbors, Making Friends

So it’s time for success story #1!

Yesterday, my husband and I decided to accept a casual invitation to attend a neighbor’s BBQ.  We got there about the time everyone else was leaving, which was a bit awkward, since we had really only met one of the family members a few times over the fence.

We stuck around anyway, since they were so friendly and – POOF! – before we knew it we were laughing and talking like old friends.

I found I had a ton in common with the lady I had never seen or spoken to – we are both heading back to school this week.  She works in a laboratory setting, and I used to as well.  Plus, she loves Adele about as much as I do and we have promised to exchange some CDs for our mutual benefit…

Bonus: she laughs a ton and we had a blast.

Our “quick” neighborly visit turned into five hours of chatting, laughing, and hanging out.

Put up some points on the Friendship Meter, cuz this friendly chat thing may just work after all!


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