Weekend, my weekend. To quote that bard from Hobbiton, Josh Groban, you lift me up. Or, shall I say yoo leeft me aaaaaaaahp. Yes, yes I shall.
This weekend, I saw a bunch of my pals. And I was thinking about the diversity of my pal group. Not just ethnic diversity, but just that I have close friends of many ages, stages in life, and life experiences. It got me thinking about what I base my friendships on. Common interests? Not really. Age demographic? Nope. Profession? That’s not it either. I mean, sometimes there is something to all of those things, but that’s not really what brings my crew together. What is it then?
I have this one friend who throws parties sometimes, and whenever I go to those parties, I always notice that everyone at the party seems sort of the same. All really nice people, but they are all in the 30-35 age group, white, all married, all with little kids. I am not much different than these people, except for the kids thing, and the white thing, and even that is enough to make me feel like an oddball. In a situation like that I guess it’s normal that I feel the differences highlighted, right? Not really that surprising.
And I think we all have those people in our lives who only seem to associate with people they know from work or who are of a particular profession. So if you show up to a party, it’s 100% librarians, or 100% computer programmers, or whatever. Granted, I have a lot of librarian friends, so I see how this can happen. But at or near 100%? How do you get yourself into a space where that’s all you’ve got? I don’t know how that happens.
There is this other person that I knew, who seemed, on the surface, to sort of be my doppleganger in terms of common interests. Same (sort of) career, same age group, same family structure (hetero couple, no kids), same artistic sensibilities, same interest in dance, same interest in design and art, partner who (sort of) works in a Nordic Boy-related field, blogger, all around nice, kind person, vegetarian, pop culture interest, and on and on and on. She even had a parent that was really ill and had to find ways to deal with that. Um, yeah, ME TOO. Really, it was even down to things like the fact that she and I only wear skirts and are not much for pants. Come on, right? It seemed like we SHOULD be friends. And to be honest, I was sort of into the idea of us being friends and gave it a few earnest shots. But for whatever reason, she never was into me for friendship. I don’t know why, but my friendship overtures never were reciprocated much and we seem destined to remain friendly acquaintances. I still think about her (we are still friendly acquaintances) and I wonder why, with so many things in common, we didn’t click. It was my one attempt at connecting with someone on the basis of OMG SO MANY THINGS IN COMMON. And it was a total failure. I guess I just don’t do well with those standards. I don’t know. I am still sort of confused about it.
Anyway, I was just thinking about this whole idea about how we choose our friends because I saw so many of my most favorite peeps this weekend, and I am so thankful for the fact that we have different lives and different things going on. I love that it’s all mixed up and that we all love and include each other no matter what our lives look like and that the common denominator is just that they are all kick ass, kind, lovely people. Do I miss out on having friends that have more things in common with me? Maybe I do, and I just don’t know. Maybe I could be getting all sorts of support from pals who are just like me, or at least are more like me. I can totally see how that’s true. My friend Alli and I have the most things in common out of all my friends, and I really do value that and see how awesome in-common-ness can be. But that’s not the way things happen for my friendships on the whole. For whatever reason.
So rather than give you the rundown of my weekend, I shall just say this:
This weekend, I saw some of my closest peeps. Among them were single people, married people, coupled but not married people, people with babies, people with teenaged children, people with grown children, people without children. There were gay people and straight people, and people of different ethnicities. There were people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Artists and librarians and service workers and retired people and moms and dads and techies and musicians and people without jobs.
When I think of my best friends, I don’t think about them in terms of what I have in common with them. I don’t care if they have kids and I don’t. I don’t care if they are 65 and retired. I don’t care that they love mountain climbing and you wouldn’t catch me doing that in a million billion years. I am just on the lookout for awesomeness. And if you’re awesome, I want to be friends with you. That’s all.
What is the top thing that you share in common with most of your best friends? Just curious. I don’t mean this post as a way to dismiss friendships based on stuff y’all have in common. I just want to know what’s happening out there. Do tell.