This isn’t a resolution, really, but I want to do a better job of reaching out to the people I know, and also bringing new people into my life. I’m not shy, but I’m pretty good at being alone and all that introspection feeds on itself until finally I find myself less able to reach out. Working at home, living alone—it makes me a little strange, a bit wild and unapproachable. I need taming, to need and be needed.
I know I’ve read trend pieces about how we’re living increasingly separate lives now, how there are more single people living solo these days, and it doesn’t really feel better to be part of some great wave of Eleanor Rigbys. Maybe I just like to feel special. I like having my own place, but I have a real desire to share space with someone I love. Maybe I’m just waiting for it to feel right.
I need to model myself on my mother, who has a zillion friends—dear friends, essential friends—that she’s kept over the years. She was always that mom, the ones my friends relied on. Back in school, when kids I knew were dealing with heavy shit, but couldn’t turn to their parents, they talked to my mom instead. In fact, an old high school friend just moved back to town and when we met for coffee last weekend, I told him my mom was excited to see him. He said he’d always felt like she’d been his friend, too.
I’m going to look to my friend Jill, as well, who’s one of the connectors Gladwell wrote about. She’s fun to go out with because she not only knows everybody, she also gets a genuine bang out of all of them. She’s the kind of companion who’ll duck into an unlikely doorway and come out with a lifelong pal. My ex was like that, too—game for exploring, always up for a merry encounter with anyone. In my best moments, I can be the same way. I’d like more of those moments, though, and I’m going to try to make this my new habit.
I meet all sorts of interesting characters—and anyone can be interesting if you have the right attitude, the right approach—but I lack the essential follow-though that moves you from a great conversation at a party to an enduring friendship. I get stuck in the outreach, my expectations are too high. Not of the other person, but for myself, which is why I owe one friend a letter and another an email, and it eats me up, the way I’ve blown them off, but I want my answer to be perfect. Better to be done than perfect, I tell myself, then another day goes by, and another. Is it just me, or do other people do this? Could I write a trend piece for the Style Section that references all this overdue outreach? Because that might make a pretty good mea culpa.
For now, I’m sorry, H & E. You’re in my thoughts, always, and I’m hoping to wrestle those thoughts onto paper and get them out to you. Soon, soon. xx.
PS: Sure enough, I’ve addressed this mess before–> right here. Bonus points for 2010 usage of “special snowflake,” which is e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e these days.
PPS: Alternator’s fine. Battery’s gorked. 300 bucks, including the cross-town tow. The mechanic offered to dig deeper, but I cannot bear to know.