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Tag Archives: friends

Reunions, planned and otherwise

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Given that I live fewer than ten miles away from my high school (actually closer than I lived when I was in high school), it is entirely reasonable to expect that I might have a run-in or three with an old classmate on any given weekend. Many of my old haunts are still favorites– the mall, that boba place, and bowling alley where I earned a year’s worth of PE credit in a single semester during my senior year.

Like any other semi-successful survivor of high school and college (and, if we’re going to brag, grad school), I look back on my high school years with a certain amount of chagrin. It’s not that I was horribly awkward (just a regular amount), or terribly bullied, or even a part of some fringe clique in high school. I don’t remember there being “popular” people, and who knows whether there were or not– but I certainly wasn’t one of them, either. (True story: I went to a homecoming float-building meeting senior year and was asked whether I went to our school. I was too flabbergasted to respond.) I don’t think that my distaste for so many things high school-related has to do with the people, per se (although I see enough idiocy on Facebook to scare me off), nor does it have to do with any particular misery that I was undergoing during those four years. I had friends, I got along well with most of my teachers (read: nerdy, teacher’s pet type), and got out of high school pretty much what I put into it. I have no actual reason to be all head-ducking around the mall, but there it is.

There have been mercifully few encounters with people that I know or recognize from high school, however, when I’m out and about. Really, the only unplanned meetup in recent memory was when I was in Oakland, of all places, for work. A friend that I’d known since about seventh grade had spotted me eating with a coworker in a pizza place close to the school we were visiting, and it was the perfect greeting-but-not-a-conversation: we hugged hello, asked what each other was up to, and went back to our meals. Job done, no awkwardness.

And yet. I was recently added to a Facebook group that has been created for the purpose of planning our reunion. I have no plans to attend this reunion (I can drink much more cheaply at home with high school friends on my own, thankyouverymuch), but I can’t bring myself to leave the group. Is this what social media does to us? It allows us to hold at arms length both what we are slightly uncomfortable with (hello, reunion), while at the same time creating a distance between us and something we may feel we’re missing (those friends we’ve lost touch with and remember fondly). It’s tricky, isn’t it, that a single medium pushes both ways.

How about you, friends? Where are you with regard to reunions? Doesn’t a nice brunch with the handful of friends you’ve managed to keep in touch with and still very much enjoy sound so much better? (Or am I just a closet introvert? Hm.)

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My friends are your friends, and your friends are my friends…

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Yes, today’s #reverb10 prompt reminds me of that “circle time” song. Want to fight about it?

Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

This year presented several opportunities to further enmesh my various groups of friends. I am generally a one-or-two-at-a-time friend, preferring to hang out in smallish groups or pairs (I’m worried that my rambling gets out of hand and sort of annoying in a big groupand this might be made up– but it is enough to subdue me and make me a little anxious), but I do love to entertain. I love to have people over, I love to have an excuse to hole up in the kitchen for an entire day, making appetizers and bite-size desserts, and I love to introduce friends from various parts of my life to each other. GP and I joke that our friends get along well because they have the same degree of trauma from being friends with a-holes like us, so they bond over that, but really I like to think that we have reached the point where we are each comfortable enough with ourselves and familiar enough with what we want and need in friendships to choose relatively consistent “types” of people as our friends. This is wonderful, because we’ve been able to create a little community (in a less creepy, non-planned sort of way) among our various work, school, and older (college, whatever) friends, and trust that there will be relatively little awkward pausing at our parties throughout the year. (We have a cocktail party in about a week and a half, so I have high hopes!)

Now, for the community that I want to create, or at least take a more active part in. For 2011, I am hoping to become a more consistent part of this online community that I am alternately part of and completely envious of. Over almost ten years of blogging, do you know how many bloggers I’ve met in real life? Zero. Yes, I do have friendships online, send regular emails, and have carried on old-fashioned snail mail correspondence with a few. More than building something from nothing, I am hoping to strengthen my existing online friendships (no pressure, I promise, online buddies) and establish some new ones. With BlogHer in San Diego and school finished up, there is a fairly good chance that I’ll make it down in 2011; the associated goal with that, though? Don’t be completely crippled and intimidated by the fact that the blogs of others are somehow more worthy-of-something than my own. (We’ll see how this goes.)

Before the food coma sets in

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This year I am thankful for…

…a house that has no shared walls with neighbors, a garden that offers more fruit that we can ever hope to eat, and a kitchen big enough to contain all my cooking tools and ambitions.

…a family that, no matter how crazy they drive me, acts always out of love.

…a husband who has “had my number” for more than five years (only one-plus of them married, but you know what I mean). I’m glad he’s on my team.

…a cat who provides both entertainment and warmth.

…a group of friends who, no matter the time or distance, are always there.

…DVR. Tivo more so than the crummy DirecTV ones, but really anything that lets me watch the shows I love and skip the commercials.

…the internets– the source of much of my news, entertainment, communication, and procrastination.

…Amazon Prime, for allowing me to skip the worries of shipping costs and delays, particularly for my Christmas shopping.

…the fact that I have the time and money to cook and experiment to my heart’s content.

…butter. Sugar. Olive oil. Flour. Cheese. Garlic, tomatoes, beans, tortillas, avocados, maple syrup, and all the other ingredients that make the sticky fingers, accidentally Microplaned knuckles, and smoke alarms worth it.

…travel, and the fact that it is possible to wake up one morning and, by the next, find yourself on the other side of the planet.

 

Here’s to a happy, healthy Thanksgiving that is filled with love, laughter, and more food than anyone should reasonably eat in one sitting.

The Friend Funk…and a fix or two

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It happens, I would say, about four or five times a year– regularly enough for me to recognize when I’m in the middle of it, but apparently not enough to try and head it off, if there’s even a way to do that. Does this happen to you? I call it the Friend Funk: where you get into this rut of “I’m the friend that has to initiate things! Every time!” coupled with friends whose schedules are brimming with activities…that don’t include you. And of course, rather than being an adult about it or letting your rational mind control things, you spiral into this mood that peaks with you commenting to your husband that you have absolutely no friends and that no one else has ever had or will ever had this problem. Life, you know, can be simply intolerable.

No, just me? That’s cool. I sort of knew I was crazy already. At any rate (and to make this post much cheerier than if I had written it while I was actually in the middle of The Funk), it has passed. This is likely due in large part to a friend-tervention, if you will (and I hope you will, because I do love a portmanteau), that took place over a pizza and some gelato after another taxing week of the Journey Through Perpetual Internship. Such a simple fix for a made-up problem, and it’s always a bonus to have more gelato in my life.

Also bringing a smile to my face? Two hand-me-down bikes, which enabled me and GP to tool around the neighborhood this weekend, culminating in a ride down to a local farmers’ market and a much-needed adjustment to my seat (sits bones, anyone?). So far, I’m liking a little recreational biking much more than I’ve ever enjoyed running– it seems more functional, more mode-of-transport-y. We’ll see if it sticks. (Also, I look ravishing in a helmet. Doesn’t everyone?) Other reasons to grin this week: dinner with friends tomorrow (including the Funk-buster herself!), minor league baseball with parents on Wednesday, and a downtown concert this weekend.

Yeah, Monday is lame, but it’s behind us now. What’s getting you through this week, friends?

In which I feel like a narcissist

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(Which is sort of moot, this being a blog and all.)

Anyway. Last month, my mom and Grandma threw me a gorgeous shower at a local mansion, and asked everyone to wear hats. It was an adorable theme, and I got some sweet gifts. I hadn’t blogged about it yet because I was waiting on the pictures from my photographer, who came to shoot us for about an hour. Much to my great delight, he had the pictures ready yesterday– and here are some of my favorites:

Um, ok. I make this face a lot. I am, probably thanks to (and much to the great chagrin of) my mother, a terrible eye-roller. Like, to the point where she would say, “Don’t roll your eyes at me!” When my back was to her. Moms are magic, aren’t they? Anyway, now it is something I do to convey strong emotion of any kind. In this case, joy. Or maybe anticipation, who knows.

Between my mom and GP’s mom, who made the trip across the country to come to the shower. Bet you can guess who is who!

Seriously, how cute is my Grandma? If you answered, “Quite,” then you are correct.

Here, two thirds of my bridal party are seeking shelter under my enormous hat. (Notice that they both wimped out and are wearing fancy headbands.)

The only bouquet I will ever throw, because I think that it’s sort of a mean tradition. At the wedding, we’ll be giving the “toss” bouquet to the couple in attendance that’s been married the longest (might be my aunt and uncle, or maybe even GP’s parents!).

Finally, all the ladies together! I am usually sort of “meh” about group photos, because invariably someone is blinking or making a weird face…but this one ended up very nicely, I think.