Do you ever stand in a crowded room, looking around at people talking and laughing and wonder, "What the heck am I doing here?" Well that was me last night. I stayed late after work (because I live 45 minutes away) so that I could go to a retirement/farewell for a woman that works at my work. I don't work with her directly, but we say "hello" to each other in passing. I could probably take up half a page with information I know about her, but I doubt she could do the same about me. I was glad to be going, Andy was suppose to come and it's always fun for her to see, meet and interact with people I work with, but because we have Colby and he can't be left at home alone, she stayed home with the dogs.
The party was nice, held on an outside terrace overlooking the canal and golf course. The night was perfect, with a cool breeze softly blowing through the table umbrellas. Mostly a mingling party with a cash bar and a small line of hot hors d'œuvres. I knew mostly everyone there, but that's the thing, there is a big difference between knowing people and actually knowing people. Of the sixty or so people there, I would say maybe five actually know me and me them. These aren't best friends by any means, but people that generally know some things going on in my life, know Andy and Henry and Colby, and I know their significant others, or at least about them, their favorite places to hang out, stuff like that. Unfortunately after the initial small talk with people you only casually know, or don't really know at all, they find someone else they casually know. Needless to say I talked to a lot of people for a couple minutes and then I would just stand there, sipping my wine, watching other people interact. I even took the obligatory trip to the bathroom where I stood, wasting time until I had to go back out to the party.
Please don't read into this behavior too much. You see, as an Army Brat I've had to learn how to make acquaintances very quickly, but I've also gotten use to being alone, not being someone's best friend and generally having to keep myself entertained. The downside is that I sometimes really question if I even have the capacity to become more than acquaintances with people. Is the difference between a friend and an acquaintance a mixture of time and shared experiences (which in turn take time)? If so, will I ever allow myself to reach that point?
I had fun at the party, it's good to be visible at these types of functions. I am the youngest person by about 5 years. I also am the only lesbian that I know of. Most of my co-workers know; hell, knowing the gossip mill, all of them maybe know. People are accepting, or at least not outwardly hostile, which I appreciate. Sometimes it just sucks knowing that it doesn't matter. In a month and a half, I'll be on my way to Colorado to start the next year of my life. Start over, make new acquaintances, new memories. I guess having this blog is something I can keep as my constant.
revelations: If friendships take time and shared experiences, what do you think is the shortest amount of time one would need before they consider someone a friend and that person considers them a friend? What are the basic foundations of a friendship versus an acquaintance? Do you distinguish between these different levels of relationships in your own life? By keeping people in the acquaintance file in my head am I the one limiting my own experiences, limiting my own capacity at friendships?