Chris drove away earlier than usual this morning with Oldest Boy, Middle Boy and my friend T who had been visiting from New York. We promised the boys an Egg McMuffin, a hot lunch at school [as opposed to the routine packed lunch] AND they could forego the Cotillion Theme Party tonight - IF they got up a little earlier to get Mr. T to the airport before school. They agreed.
So off they went. T just called me from the airport because he'd spotted an actor on his flight - the Sundance Film Festival is in progress so lots of celebrities are floating around Utah. I saw his name on caller ID, picked up the phone and said, "You miss me already?"
I miss having good friends who live closer. I miss having a friend to grab a cup of coffee with or get together for some conversation and laughter. We've lived in our home for over six years and I'm disappointed that I've not developed a relationship like that "in my own backyard". I've attributed it to the fact that nearly 100% of our neighborhood are members of the Mormon church and we are not. It's not that the members shun or dislike us, I believe there are very few free moments to cultivate self and relationships outside of the ward.
Most women are stay-at-home mothers in our neighborhood, but their days are full [like everyone's] with housework, kid stuff, and for some a job outside of the home. In addition, their dance cards are full with church responsibilities and obligations. It seems when women get together it's because it's a ward organized activity or club. I've been invited and everyone's nice, but it's different than having a friend who accepts you regardless of your flaws and genuinely connects with you - not because it's the right or nice thing to do, but because it's a true thing between two people. Friendship.
I have a couple of friends in the neighborhood, but there are pieces of me that I filter, out of respect. I know we all do this with the variety of relationships in our life. We have many faces for different reasons and it seems appropriate and not false. The few people who are privileged to see all of our faces are just that... few. I know this.
Chris and I have discussed the social dynamics we observe ad nauseam. It began seriously bothering me about six months ago, ironically about the time I started this blog. The reality of living somewhere "neighborhoody" for SO long, and not having a few people to share some casual life experiences, seems... unnatural.
T's visit was refreshing, calming, energizing and fun. Satiating. I'm okay for awhile.
I spoke with T about my feelings and experiences. He sympathized and shared examples of his own feelings of isolation, oppression, and loneliness at various times and places in his life. We came to the conclusion that there are women in my own neighborhood who probably feel the way I do. There are people in T's apartment building in Manhattan who likely know lonely.
I don't know what Chris and I will do. We might move closer to Salt Lake City, which would enable us to more easily connect with people from the kids' school, people Chris works with and experience more diversity in general. Or we might stay here gambling that the social grasses might not be greener. I don't know.
I do know I'm thankful for the true friends in my life, of which Chris is the best one and I even get to live with him. Lucky me.
I also know I had a kick-ass time with T, skiing, eating, drinking, laughing, watching the inauguration, and Bolt in 3D.