Whatever Happened To My Friends?

28 June 2011
The very clever folk over at Cracked recently published a piece on the upsides of turning 30. It's true, there are several. For me, apart from my personal circumstances improving immesurably, there's also that pretty much no one in customer service intimidates me anymore and I can tell just by looking at bras if they're my size. But Cracked may be a little off. You no longer have to do many of the things you were once obliged to, like go mountain climbing or attend foreign film festivals, because the people who made you do them are gone. Or to put it another way; you lose nearly all your friends. I'm not entirely sure that it is a good thing.

One thing that got me through my horrid twenties was the support of a close knit group of supportive friends. Where the hell are these people now? Sometimes there have been falling-outs, in other cases driftings away. Lifestyles have diverged, people have grown up and moved on. Sure, I no longer have to sit through six-hour long karaoke competitions to "show support". But there's also little point in planning a real birthday party. Who'd come?

That's life though, and it's important to try to make new friends. That's not going so well either. Well, I can be friendly with people. But trying to make social arrangements, forget it. We have one of two scenarios: I ask someone if they want to do something. Great, they say, I'll let you know a good time. Then you never hear from them until you next run into them and make more tentative plans to try out that new Japanese place, that never come to fruition.

Even worse is when someone does commit to doing something, then cancels an hour or two before. They didn't realise they were double booked, so sorry. Or they're not in the mood. I wouldn't mind but why am I always the one that gets shafted if things have to be cancelled? Surely an event pre-booked two months ago when I've already paid your deposit is of more import than a hair appointment?

The funny thing is, if you mention this phenomenon to a group, everyone smiles and nods and agrees the exact same thing happens to them. This gives me hope that it's not just me, and I needn't splash out on the extra-strength deodorant just yet. But if you suggest catching up with any of these people who understand all about what it's like, the same thing happens...

It's actually the people with kids who I'm finding a bit more socially reliable at the moment. But I'm still feeling a bit hurt and wary, so DH and I are not making any more social arrangements for some time to come. We have each other, and an even better solution; we make our own people now. I told my unborn child last night, "You! You'll be my friend. I'm never going to let you go." I'm sure the frantic kicking and squirming was the baby showing its excitement...


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