Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

6 Week Friend September 17, 2013

Filed under: Friends and Relatives,Missing NM,Totally Me — leighj @ 9:59 am

Recently Seamus made a friend at camp, and I gave him a note to give to the little girl to give to her mom. I wasn’t sure if they’d contact us for getting the kids together, but she did. We met at a park, and I quickly realized that she and I have read all the same books for fun in the last two years. We had a great conversation, and then she said they’re moving to Houston in six weeks. I impulsively invited them over for dinner the next weekend. When I told Patrick, he said, “What’s the point?” I thought about it, and I tried to articulate that it would be fun to get to know them, hear their stories, and just enjoy them without the rough parts of making friends in months 6-12 or so. And we wouldn’t have to break up with them as friends if things didn’t work out. He wasn’t impressed with my logic.

Later, I tried to explain what I meant to my two best friends from middle and high school. Needless to say, they weren’t impressed with my enumerating the benefits of a six-week-friendship when we’d all been friends for 20 or more years. In fact, they might have been offended a little by my elation that you get a lot of the fun stories without having to deal with the neuroses.

When we lived in New Mexico, we spent all our time before we left trying to cram in time with friends, time at our favorite places, and time packing. The best part was when our friends cooked our favorite foods and invited us over; an exceptional kindness when our kitchen was packed up. This just reminds me a little of that–she’s getting ready to move, with two small children, and a husband who’s still working. A meal, a place to play, and someone to talk with is the least I can do–and honestly, while it bring back a little of my own stress from moving (which I hate with a blazing passion)–it still if fin to get to know someone I definitely could have been really good friends with.

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4 Responses to “6 Week Friend”

  1. Linda St Clair Says:

    I do not see anything wrong with your logic. And you were not ruling out keeping up with these people if you did click, despite their move. I am a firm believer of saying “yes” to life — don’t pass up opportunities. I have had many wonderful things come into my life when I was dragged kicking and screaming into a situation(a class, a meeting, an organization) where the easier thing would have been just to sit at home and veg out. I also find that new people come into my life when I’m ready to learn something from them or maybe they are ready to learn something from me. I know it sound pretty “woo, woo” but I really don’t think things are completely random. So I applaud your impulse to get together with this woman and her family. You don’t expect a fine wine to last beyond the bottle and you don’t expect a sunset to last more than a few minutes but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some wonderful moments enjoying the sunset or the wine.

  2. George Hardy Says:

    I agree with your position. Life is long, with luck. It is better to have spent only a few weeks getting to know people than to never know them.

    GFH


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