This sounds sort of ridiculous when I have nowhere near enough time to keep up with the friends I have. But my friends fall into four categories:
- best friends for aeons who live far away: Roshani, Kirsten, Karina, Alex, Lisette, Jed, etc. -- these are all great and tremendously important to me, but mostly we only have phone contact, and I'm having trouble chatting on the phone these days, because it's hard for me not to feel like I ought to be working then. Yes, I have issues.
- good friends who live in the city and are Very Busy People, so I see them once every other month if I'm lucky: Lori, Venu, Simone, etc.
- friends who make an effort to come to my parties even though it's a hike for them now and I really appreciate it but still, I only see them 3-4 times a year now, and only when I throw a party or manage somehow to make it to an arts / SAPAC event in the city which are usually in the evening when I'm exhausted or on the weekend when I have kid-duty: Devi, Manish, Heather, Aaron, David, Beth, etc.
- colleagues -- whom I like a lot, but I think a work/life separation is maybe a good thing, and at the very least, I feel I should limit my most embarrassing behavior around them
I don't care whether my new friends are parents or not, although it might make getting together a little easier if they have small kids. It'd be ideal if they have time on weekdays, but weeknights and weekends are okay, as long as they're in Oak Park or the environs -- no more than a ten minute drive away. I'm looking mostly for smart, interesting people I can have good conversations with, because there's a dearth of that in my life these days, especially during the summer when I'm not teaching. (Kevin is great, but all we ever talk about these days is logistics and house and kids and how it'll be nice when we actually have time together again....) It'd be great if they shared one of my favorite activities: knitting/crocheting, board games, writing in cafes. But it'd also be good to have someone to work out with, or just someone to meet for tea and half an hour of chat.
And I miss my big college crowd, and my big Bay Area crowd -- not the specific people so much, but just having so many friends that there was always a fun event or two on the weekend, and you'd see most of the same people there, and it was casual and relaxed and there were always a few people up for a board game or a movie or just hanging around in someone's apartment cooking and eating and eventually drinking and maybe fooling around some. (Okay, that last was mostly the bi group at Chicago, and I'm really not expecting to find that again given that most people I know are married and monogamous, but still.)
I'm not expecting to move to Oak Park and suddenly have a ton of new best friends. But I'm lonely. I find myself constantly trying to persuade my friends to move to Oak Park. And when I meet interesting new people (like our neighbors Ron and Liz), I have to be careful not to come on so strong I terrify them. (Please be my bestest friend!!! I will love you forever!!!)
I think this will get better when the kids are older and in school and I'm meeting other parents and am not so overwhelmed by life on a daily basis. I do. But WisCon reminded me that there really is a dearth of great adults in my day-to-day life. I want David M. and Ben and Jessie and Haddayr to move to Oak Park. And oh, about a hundred other WisCon-ites. As Kavi says when she's asking for candy, that would make me SO happy.