Tag Archives: friends

Met with the girlfriends today –

Oh how I love them. Didn’t want to leave even though we all needed to get on with our day. I have very few friends – I’ve either chosen them or lucked out on friends of friends – and they are amazing.

We are all older – and have very different lives. And yet – that makes it more fun. We come from things from different backgrounds and different direction.

Anyway – I’m very very grateful for them.

One of the things I like the most about us is that we let each of us be who we are. Our lives are busy – and if fact one of the four of us, who met this morning, we only see a couple of times of year – but of the four of us she is the most type A (forgive me T). Between running a department, getting MBA, owning a small business, having two kids, and a darling but type A husband. Getting time on her calendar is a challenge.

The rest of us are more laid back.

I’m the single girl. The rest have been with their men the ten years I’ve spent single. I used to like my single life and make myself feel better about the compromises married couples have to make. Funny, but I don’t feel that way anymore.

The best thing about my friends… is they let me be me.

I don’t always feel social. Most days I’m happy living in my own world, writing my stories, researching, reading, and keeping my interactions with the outside world to a minimum. My friends never make me feel guilty for being away. In fact T, D & I were celebrating the fact that we’ve gotten together 3 times this year. Sometimes we go years without seeing each other and email is sporadic at best. Yet we can still sit down and talk, catch up, and enjoy every moment of it.

I remember when I was young, how eventually I didn’t like seeing my Father’s family much. The conversation was always peppered with “We should do this more often” or “We wish we could see more of you” and on and on and on… once they got in that vein it was sometimes 20 minutes before you could get them to change the subject. It was agonizing.

We are all busy – our lives intersect and diverge and intersect again. The people that stick with me are those who I can call on a whim and reconnect with – without bemoaning the time that has passed.

But I need to be careful… apparently even a hermit like me needs social interaction and my “wellbeing” would be greater if I spent at least 6 hours a day socializing. That seems like so much. Yesterday I got up, wrote a note to my boyfriend (such an odd word at our age but lets go with it for now), then worked. Finally sometime round 4 pm I decided I needed to get out of the house and to talk someone – so called a friend on the east coast that I often miss and caught up with him for an hour. That was it – oh, wrote another email to the boyfriend. I don’t think that was anywhere near the 6 hours.

I often need to go away – I guess it is okay for a writer to live her life inside her head.

When I was younger I think it hindered me in my dating because I tended to rely on my “date” more than I should. As I’ve developed close relationships with both men and women that have survived the years it’s decreased my need to hold so tightly to one person… I also, the value of age, feel no need to apply external standards to my relationships – friendships or otherwise. One of the hardest things in our extroverted society is to be an introvert that does extrovert well. Assumptions are made… both by others and by yourself. Age is a great thing – eventually you live with yourself long enough you start to figure things out.

But I started this out talking about coffee with the girlfriends… I know this is strange to say – but it is the most amazing feeling I have when I look up from my internal life and realize I have friends. And friends who will let me back in after I’ve hibernated.

A toast to them, for putting up with me! Cheers!

~ Tess

 

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Here we go again…

Why is it that I have so much baggage about not being asked?

I was musing on this topic as I walked the Fanno Creek Path by my home. Once again I was called and told when and where to be for a family event. Once aging there was the spoken… yes, spoken not even implied… statement that I wouldn’t be busy so I would be there… wherever “there” happened to be.

I know I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life single…

I also know that I am not a social butterfly and do not have a packed schedule. I have more in common with a hermit crab than a social animal. But really… I’m tired of the assumption. Why don’t I rate the common courtesy of being asked?

So, being me I started to wonder if I was overreacting. I’ve been known to do that on occasion.

Because I’m not social, and because I don’t want to be involved in the “arranging” of these events does that preclude the question? “We’ve decided to have Father’s Day on Thursday after work – can you be there?” Have I abdicated my role it all this?

I’ve decided it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) work that way. My family’s assumption that I am always free, always available, is annoying as hell and I deserve to be asked not told.

But it isn’t just my family.

There’s 10 years of dating that got me into similar situations. I have a very flexible life. I’m not one of those people with hundreds of ‘friends’ on Facebook. In fact I make a point of keeping my social circle small because I find maintaining close friendships difficult. The friends I keep are the ones that don’t mind being ignored for days, weeks, or even on occasion months. We meet, have drinks or dinner, and catch up. No harm no foul… but I’ve gotten off topic.

In 10 years of dating I’ve found that my lack of commitments translates into “lame”.

Yep, for lack of a better word I have been found lacking because I don’t surround myself with people, events, and activities. Also I have been found “easy” because I’m usually available. But then if I’m dating you I want to spend time with you – at least that is my assumption. But that is often read as too available or needy… it took me years to decide it was their problem not mine.

When you aren’t social – but are very good at playing one when required – people make all sorts of assumptions about you. Who you are, what your life is like, and that the person they see is the person you are all the time. If one more person who looks at me like I’m crazy when I say I don’t go out much I think I’ll scream.

Oh, and one of the most stressful questions I’ve been asked over the last five years is “What do you do for fun?”

I babble – mostly because I don’t want to discuss it and secondly because the people who ask are most often those people with the lives filled with people, events, and activities.

They are really sweet – often the question is asked to find points of contact and to fold you into their life of activities and events.

There are times in my life when I was more like them… old friends have come back into my life and find it bizarre how much my life has slowed down. But it is only an external slowing… what I do, what consumes me, is writing, thinking about the worlds I’m creating, distracting myself when I don’t feel capable of putting words to the page, and reading. My brain is always racing… my schedule is internal and can’t be calendared or mapped.

So, I have things to do… an internal schedule that has nothing to do with external events. There are times when every event, phone call, email, or dinner is a chunk of time away from the work that needs to be accomplished. Even though I don’t have children, a husband, or a sparking social life, I still deserved to be asked.

Odds are I can probably make it… but ask. I’ll be a lot happier when I show up.  

~ Tess

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Friends and other Enemies

Relationships are complicated.

My feelings about relationships are complicated.

I’m having a difficult time with several of my “friends” these days. One of them is used to this. We’ve existed in a strangely functional dysfunctional friendship for quite some time. I’m never really sure what he is getting out of it but for some reason it works for him. Lately he’s decided he needs to get out more. A desire he has transferred to me.

Transference is a beautiful thing.

It’s one of the reasons models have limited personality – so we can imagine they are anything. On a person to person level it is an aspect of how we relate. We see things in others that we see in ourselves. It is when people see things in you that don’t exist that become creepy.

Can you tell I’ve been dating?

We want to date people who are like us. Who have similar views, ideas, and values. Usually as you get to know someone you start to see not only the similarities but also the differences. That is usually. Sometimes the desire to see someone not as you are but as you want them to be, assuming passions, knowledge and aspirations that they simply don’t have, is so powerful it overrides even logic.

Kind of like our political views. We pay attention to what supports our view and ignore or discount those pieces of information that doesn’t. Belief is a powerful and dangerous thing. Personally I don’t like to mess with it although it comes so naturally to us it is difficult to turn off.

There is a fine line between seeing someone as who they can be verses seeing them for who you wish them to be.

So, I’m complaining about my friendly enemies but the truth is that a lot of the problem lies with me.

(1)   I’m not good with expectations.

Every time I’ve been hired to “fix” something I’ve ended up on the street rather quickly. Granted I “fixed” the thing, but no one like the person who causes change thus the back on the street ending to my story. We have a build in negative reaction to change that is very difficult to overcome. I’ve become averse to being anyone’s solution to anything – professionally or romantically – it never goes the way they think it will. Now I choose to simply not get involved.   

(2)   Too much of how I view myself is wrapped up in being unique.

In the immortal words of Louisa in the Fantastics, “Please God, Please… Don’t let me be normal.” I shy away from those people who like to see themselves reflected in other. I believe in the uniqueness of each person. No one lives their life the same, views the world the same, thinks in exactly the same way. That individuality is something I treasure. The act of transference takes it away. I am no longer me but a ‘me’ you filter through your wants and desires. A ‘me’ that is only real for the viewer and has limited relation to the original.  

And just to be clear:

I’m not good at being the entertainment and just once would like to be the one in transition rather than the innumerable midlife crisis I’ve suffered through. I’ve decided it is my turn!  

I wonder what online dating would be like if we posted these types of things rather than pictures and interests? Probably not any different but it was an interesting thought. Most of us do a very poor job of seeing ourselves for who we really are besides the fact that we are very poor judges of what will make us happy.

It is rare to find people who see you for yourself – be those friends or lovers. People who don’t assume or if they do are willing to change their view. I treasure them. But I have to I’ve found so few.

Enough with the soul searching – I have fiction to write.

~ Tess

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Tis the Season…

Riedel Sommeliers Single Malt Scotch Glass

The holidays are now nipping at our heels and I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone happiness over the next few days.  

In our Christian centric country it seems that everyone has found a way to adapt to the patterns no matter what their faith – including Christmas. Although I know at least one person will sulk through tomorrow – many of us will take the holiday and make it our own.

So, here is a toast to you – my lovely loyal readers – from one of no faith to people of many. May the next few days be filled with friends and family, good food, good conversation… and lots of scotch!!!!

Cheers!

~ Tess Anderson

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