Thursday, August 23, 2007

Does growing older lead to growing apart?



Hanging out with my girlfriends has become such a rare instance, but is a reality that I've sadly grown accustomed to. I met most of my closest girlfriends back in Binghamton University where cheap beer at Tony's and fight inducing scorpion bowls at The Rat were nightly indulgences. Even the trips to the local GIANTS supermarket were entertaining - the 100% non-meat frozen chicken fingers, Lynda's famous hummus pots and Zandra's staple Spaghetti ingredients. There's was just something comforting about living, drinking, eating, dancing, flirting and even studying with girlfriends.

I wish I could say that we've kept it up and are an intertwined social unit like the women from Sex in the City or even Friends, but the truth is, we're all knee-deep in our own lives and we hardly get to see each other. For instance, the last time I was actually in Zandra's apartment (who lives in the upper east side) was 2 years ago on New Year's Eve. Time just seems to zip by and before you know it, a whole month has passed by. What's worse is the less you hang out, the less you have to talk about. I know it seems backwards, but it's true. I have this theory that the less time you spend together, the less things you experience together and therefore the time that you actually do spend together is spent catching up - how's work? how are the kids? what have you been up to? You lose the little inside jokes or the ability to finish each other's sentences.

So does growing older necessarily mean growing apart? I don't think so. After all, what's more valuable - seeing somebody 5 times a week over endless rounds of cheap booze, or seeing somebody once a month during life defining moments such as child birth, marriage and divorce. Just because a bond gets older, doesn't mean it gets weaker. It may seem slightly rough around the edges to the undiscerning eye, but underneath it's solid as a rock and capable of standing the test of time.We may not see each other everyday or have dinner parties on a weekly basis like Carrie and Samantha, but I can have a rotten day and all I have to do is pick up the phone and everything will be better.

5 comments:

AW said...

What a heart felt posting. I, too, find that "catching up" is just not the same as "hanging out". I would love to bring that kind of bonding back but I guess life happens; we grow together, grow apart and sometimes we grow out of each other. We meet new people and hopefully rekindle old friendships. Life ebbs and flows. Sometimes I just have to accept that. But that never stops me from longing for the days before IMing and txting when people actually had conversations over a cup of coffee at a the local bookstore.

Z said...

Thanks for broaching the topic on your blog. I know I've had this discussion with you in the past. I just think as we get older the difference is that it takes a little bit more effort. It was so much easier when we were a room away from each other. It's making a point to stop being so into ourselves and reclaiming what is also important in life .....FRIENDSHIPS....
We don't have to always do dinners, maybe get together to try new classes. Like you said, at least I know no matter how much time passes we always have the ability to pick up where we left off. I guess I should get my act together and finally have a soiree at my apartment...evite to come!!!

Marichelle said...

Great comments. I think you're right about the it doesn't always have to be a well planned-out dinner part...
Running mundane errands together can sometimes feel more like "hanging out" than "catching up".

Tom said...

Dear Editor,

Another refreshing point of view. I feel the same way as you do - growing distant is a sometimes undeniable aspect of friendship.

Picking up the phone is not the issue I don't think. At least for us men. IMAO women often feel slighted when they're doing all the calling for instance. So if this is the case, how are they going to make the effort to update each other on a regular basis about what is going on in their lives. As we grow older, we realize true friends are more difficult to come by because we become so guarded and so the sense of belonging from taking the time and effort to call up each of the members of your clique in turn will certainly be rewarding.

But I think accepting the fact of life that friends drift apart all the time is a good thing. So forget about worrying who made that last call and so what if your friend never calls. Maybe they're busy reading lifeflix perhaps and just don't have time to push those digits.

Tommy

mj said...

hey sis, these are called stages of life. You are definetely undergoing some developmental stages. It is imperative to know that the one you pick to live for the rest of your life is the friend you want to have for the rest of your life. You may not have the time to rekindle old friendships to the same level but there's always emailor texing for quick updates. Above all, there's only ONE and only ONE who makes everything PERFECT!! Keep searching....MJ