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An Invitation?

January 21, 2010

A couple of weekends ago I met with a dear friend whom I haven’t seen in awhile. We had lunch and toured a museum and it was great seeing her. Even though we don’t get together very often – maybe once or twice a year- whenever we are together it is like picking up right where we left off. At the end of our date one of us said, “We’ll have to do this again soon.” Then she said, “But we always say that.” I said, “But we do see each other, just not always ‘soon’.”

My friend and I keep in touch by e-mail and I feel like I sort of know what is going on in her life, but I certainly don’t know the day to day details like I used to. I can’t remember the last time we spoke on the telephone. So why don’t we get together more often? It isn’t as though she lives in another state – she lives about 30 minutes away from me. Part of it is life. We used to hang out together all the time (she was my partner in crime the night we met Prince!) in our 20’s. We met our freshman year in college and lived together for a couple of years. Even after she was married ten years ago we still would get together quite frequently. Eventually she had a baby, which naturally took up most of her time. I was still single and our lives were different. It is expected that as we grow and take on more responsibilities, friendships change and you don’t get to see each other as much as you once had. But the main part, I think, is that I suck at staying in touch. I am terrible at scheduling time with my friends. I have always been this way, even as a child. I was always the one accepting invitations, rarely the one extending them. I was always the one staying overnight at someone else’s house or hanging out there after school. I have no single memory of having anyone over to play at my own house. My mother was the same: we were forever visiting her friends at their homes and hardly ever did they visit us at ours.

Even now, I hardly ever call my friends or suggest that we get together. We rarely have anyone over to our house (although the main reason for that is my psycho dog), and almost anytime I see my friends outside of work it is at their invitation. Why am I like this? Is it arrogance on my part? Or laziness? Am I afraid of rejection?

Part of it is I am a solitary person by nature. It simply doesn’t occur to me to ask people if they’d like to spend time with me because I am so protective of my alone time. Part of it is habit and a manifestation of how I grew up. I think I end up taking my friendships for granted to some degree and believe that since we used to hang out the connection will remain even if I don’t work at keeping that connection.

I wish I wasn’t that way but as I get older, the less time I want to spend painting the town red and yakking on the telephone. I am grateful that my friends pick up the slack and still want to spend time with me, but I recognize I need to be better at holding up my end of the bargain if I want them to remain friends.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. carrieb permalink
    January 21, 2010 10:53 pm

    We, too, have a psycho dog (three actually) which does put a damper on the home parties. My husband and I have been invited to so many parties that I feel guilty that we haven’t had a cookout or something at our place. We’ve decided to have all of our friends over first part of April. This way we have a goal! Psycho dogs will just have to suck it up!

    • mjjaaska permalink*
      January 22, 2010 5:24 pm

      THREE psycho dogs?! Egads! I wish we had a house instead of a condo – then at least we could put the dog in a basement or far off room. I don’t so much as worry about my dog’s stress level as my guests’ with her constant barking. I think it is great that you have set this goal for yourselves! I hope you and your friends and even your doggehs have a great time in April!

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