I feel like a third grader, all giddy and excited about my new friend. She’s a guitarist and she takes lessons from the same guy I take mandolin lessons from. Our teacher is all about bringing people together to play, so I’ve been hearing about L. since my second lesson. She and I have the same taste in music (we both like to play this obscure Medieval and Renaissance stuff) and we’re both “book people” who place a great deal of emphasis on education, so our teacher has been trying to get the two of us together for a while.

I met L. at an informal play-along a couple weeks ago. And then she invited me over to her house to play (See? I AM just like a third grader!) this week. I thought I’d stay an hour; I was there for almost three hours! There wasn’t a single awkward what-should-I-say-or-do-now moment between us. It was like we’d known each other for years. And her house! It was my kind of my place! Her living room is filled with books and music (floor to ceiling bookshelves on two walls). Oh, yeah. I felt right at home! Plus the cookbook collection in her dining room is almost as large as mine…and her assortment of teas is almost as large as mine. But I think the real moment of truth (the moment I KNEW this was the beginning of what is likely to be a long friendship) came when she showed me this sheet music she’d just bought for mandolin and guitar. I couldn’t believe it! It was the sheet music to Cantabile, which is a CD that almost nobody has heard of, but it’s one of my all-time favorite CDs! I’ve even asked for the sheet music this Christmas myself. How in the world did this stranger even know it existed???

When I left, she said, “I’d really like to do this regularly.” (So would I!!!!) So clearly the feeling was mutual. Which makes me think of this other friend I have…though I’m not really sure if I should call this other person a “friend.” We’ve known each other quite a few years and we have a lot in common. I enjoy her company, but I’m not sure she really enjoys mine. She’s nice enough to my face, but she doesn’t suggest we get together. Ever. I’ve sort of bent over backwards trying to be friends with her, but it’s never really gone anywhere. Probably because she just doesn’t WANT to be my friend. (Why wouldn’t she want to be my friend???)

Which makes me think of yet another person. This is a person who has sort of bent over backwards trying to be MY friend…and *I* really don’t want to hang out with her. I feel bad because she is a nice person (there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for you!)…and I know she’s trying really hard to be my friend, but I don’t understand why she’s trying so hard. We really DON’T have a lot in common (surely, she must see that!!!). We don’t look at life the same way. And her husband is downright scary. It’s just not “easy” being with her. It’s not comfortable. I probably feel the same way about her as the person in the previous paragraph feels about me (even though the person in the previous paragraph and I actually DO have a lot in common…and I swear I don’t have a scary husband!).

I like to surround myself with a wide range of people…people of all ages, from all walks of life…but the truth is some people are easier to be with than others. There are some people I just naturally “click” with (like my new friend L.!) and there are others who no matter how hard either of us tries, we’re just never going to have more than a superficial relationship. I need to get that through my head…I don’t HAVE to be best friends with everybody I come in contact with.


6 thoughts on “Friendship

  • December 7, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    Friendship is such an interesting topic. They put a temp in my office for two weeks. At first I was in heaven. She is smart and funny and really interesting. She was completely different than me – a gay first gen Chinese American. She liked to talk about race and sexual identity and other things no one really talks about. She brought me juk (think that’s the spelling – the savory rice pudding some Chinese eat for breakfast).

    By yesterday, though, it was taking so much energy. I didn’t want to talk so intensely about everything. I just wanted to chill.

    I’m glad for your new friend. Sometimes I feel like i don’t have room in my life for a new friend, what with work, kid, new books, and FBI classes – but I’m hoping that will change soon!

    • December 7, 2007 at 8:00 pm

      Your temporary co-worker sounds like somebody I would likely choose for a friend…but I’m not sure I’d enjoy having those kinds of conversations in a work environment. We all choose different kinds of friends for different situations…

      I think women’s friendships are especially interesting. And it’s only recently that I’ve come to appreciate the importance of female friends in my life. When I was a new mom, I didn’t feel like I had room for many friends in my life. I had my writing friends, but that was about it. I didn’t have time to chat on the phone during naptime like all the other moms did…naptime was my writing time! But now I wonder if I missed something during that period?

      • December 8, 2007 at 12:48 am

        I bonded with a new mom in my birthing group. We were very close friends for many years, but as our kids got older and were clearly a lot different, we spent less time together. Again, I’m hoping that will change soon because I’ll have more free time.

  • December 10, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    not so random commenter

    that is so nice, it is always exciting to make a new friend.

  • December 12, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Thanks for friending me. šŸ™‚

    Medieval and Renaissance music–awesome. I love listening to period instruments, especially live. I’ve heard a couple awesome groups in Europe.

    I’m learning the celtic folk harp. I’m sure I could figure out how to play Medieval music on it. Maybe someday I’ll live in the right place to connect with other musicians.

    • December 13, 2007 at 8:19 pm

      Are you really??? That’s another instrument I’d love to learn!!! (Along with a lute, dulcimer and cittern.) But I’m sticking with the mandolin for now.

      I was in a store in Seattle last summer called Lark in the Morning. I could’ve stayed for hours. They had all kinds of period instruments, music and sheet music. They’ve got a website, too.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *