I am lonely.
I’m not alone, of course.
When I was in school, making friends was easy. Elementary school, high school, university. You spend the majority of your days with others and you just naturally find your people. You find the friends to commiserate with, to work on projects with, to ogle over cute boys with, to go Doc Martens shopping with, to spend your free periods with, to spend hours on the phone while studying and watching Friends with.
When I worked in an office, making friends was easy. You spend the majority of your days with other editors and you find the friends who take you for special potatoes, want to talk about scotch and board games, the ones to eat lunch in the cafeteria with, the ones who’ll convince you to start playing softball.
In fact, I still have such good memories of friends I made when I was five and friends I made when I was twenty-five. I still keep in touch with many, and I often think about the ones I have lost touch with.
When you are 35 years old, you work from home, you don’t play an organized sport, have a best friend who broke up with you, don’t have time to volunteer or even regularly make it to synagogue, and spend almost 95% of your non-work time taking your children to various extra-curricular activities and working on a very exciting photography adventure, making friends is just not easy.
So I’m lonely.
Not alone. I have a lot of good people in my life—people I really enjoy.
There are lots of natural friendship factors working against me, I realize. My family doesn’t live near me—they don’t even live in the same country. Many of my people are scattered all over the world. I work too hard. My kids are no longer babies. Lots of my friends have jobs and kids and are just as busy as I am. We have moved a few times. We have switched schools a few times. We have couple friends who are no longer couples. We made some significant changes to our religious practices.
I don’t drink wine.
And, well, I am not a phone person.
So, how does one go about making friends at 35? Is it even possible? I mean, I like to shop, to eat, to drink coffee, to see movies. I like to watch sports and go bowling—I am from Wisconsin, you know. I’m a good listener and a fairly decent advice-giver. I’m honest when you want me to be and less honest when I know you want me to tell you how good your bum looks in those jeans. I have a built-in almost-13-year-old babysitter. I like to drink, but would totally be your designated driver so you could drink—and I probably need botox more than you do.
And I would even become a phone person.