Bill and I don’t have any real friends. Lots of acquaintances, some old friends we keep in touch with, but no close friends we confide in or hang out with. I think it became that way after we had to move so many times in a short span of time. We just kept to ourselves. Our family members depended mostly on each other. It has its disadvantages, but our best friends are really our kids and each other.
We don’t even socialize with our neighbors. They are mostly of a different generation, and they all have lots of money. Most of them are retired. And since we don’t hang out with them, when we attend a block party we are usually informed that someone is sick or dying.
Today, we found out that one neighbor (who lost quite a bit of weight) is on the mend after a long stay in the ICU for kidney failure and sepsis. Another says to me, “Didn’t you hear my news? I’m taking oral chemo. They found another spot on my liver.” And it was announced that another neighbor is now home from the hospital (at his summer home), and “has five catheters and two drains, but is doing better.” A couple of weeks ago, a nice neighbor man confided in me that he felt he might have alzheimer’s.
Maybe that’s why we have a hard time building close ties with these people. They are so nice and helpful and sweet to us, but they’re going to die. And every time we meet up, we find out who is going to be next.
We feel guilty about not attending bunco, or large men’s group, or Friday night drinks or ladies’ lunches. Today was the first time Bill ever helped tear down all the chairs and tables after the block party, and we’ve been here eleven years now. I left the party soon after my kids did, because it was starting to sound like the republican convention.
I guess we just don’t have a lot in common with them. And friendship requires work. I feel bad I’m so lazy about it. Maybe I’ll attend the ladies’ lunch next week. At least then I can catch up on the neighborhood gossip. And everyone’s bowel habits.