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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Lucky in many ways

I do consider myself to be a fairly lucky person. One of the luckiest things to happen to me starting in my young adult life was that I had the capability of making and keeping good friends. I'm not pretending that every friendship stayed in tact, no. Sometimes people outgrow each other or simply have other needs and move on. Sometimes you just get pissed off and move away from someone too.

But I have attracted the most loyal and giving friends anyone could hope for. I don't know how I managed to do that, but I did. I know sometimes I have a tendency to be overprotective of friends (as if they can't take care of themselves) but I believe there are worse traits to have.

Ever since I was a kid, I had friends who were significanly older than myself. The reason for this is that I enjoyed talking about politics and world things (even if I didn't know what I was talking about) and that appealed to adults more so than to my peers. I have a vivid memory of watching the 1968 Republican convention, being so sad that Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed and all the political turmoil during the late 1960s that I can recall.

I ran home from school to watch the Watergate hearings as a teenager. Yeah, I was definitely in some other place than my peers.

Which is why I have had friends twice my age all of my life. Since I am interested in just about everything that goes on I also have friends half my age. The age range of my friends goes from 25 to 81. I enjoy their company and through some tough times they have been there for me as I have tried to be there for them.

I'm lucky to have had such good friends for all of my adult life thus far. I pray the trend continues!


John P said...

I can certainly relate to the idea of forming friendships with people older than one's self. I was the same way growing up, prefering adult friends to other kids my age, starting about age 10. The problem is that when you get older, your older friends are now *very* old if even still alive!

I think that some people are drawn to experiences outside of their peer group. It can make growing up a bit difficult when suddenly circumstance requires one to relate to their own age group - and you find that you don't know how.

I'm not sure "luck" has anything to do with it - it's just the way some people are, being drawn to people outside their peer group. It certainly makes life more interesting. But as for luck, I think that friendships come naturally when people have common interests and sensibilities.

Woody Allen believes that "luck" plays a large role in successful relationiships - he rejects ideas of "having to work at a relationships." For him, they either work or they don't.

But relationships are more complicated than friendships, so my feeling is that he may be right about "luck" playing some role in relationships, but as for friendships, I'm not sure if I would agree that luck plays any role whatsoever.

You may have been lucky in the way you were raised, you may have been lucky in terms of who your parents were, but I think that your ability to form friendships was your own doing - and not the work of luck. In a round-about way, this is meant to be... a compliment!

Annie Ruth said...

Bette Midler said it best: "you got to have friends!"

and it's so true. Your post got me thinking about the little group of people who share my own lifeboat.

Two of my closest friends have been in my life for the past 34 years, and I still remember the moment we each met. The friend who I see every week, and talk to just about every day, is one of these folks. I generally think the whole concept of "soul mate" is so much crap, but on the other hand, my closest friend is, in reality, pretty much a part of me at this who knows....

In terms of friends who are either much older or much younger, I think I fall a bit short in that department, which is probably my loss.....I mean, I certainly know people who are much older or much younger, but I don't seem to bond with them in the same way as my peers....something about the shared cultural experience of being a baby boomer, or something....I'm just guessing....

: )