A dilemma: Making friends later in life.


A “good” friend of mine called me last night to let me know that him and his wife had a baby. In his voicemail message he left for me, he indicated that they had the baby and he wanted to call to “catch up”. I wondered, seeing as they had a boy, if there was a bris (Jewish ritual circumcision ceremony) and asked him about it when I called him back. He was very casual about it and said something to the effect of, “sure, come to it. It’s Friday morning at 8am”. I really didn’t get that warm, fuzzy feeling that I was invited, but rather that I had invited myself, wife and son, and he wasn’t going to say no.

Granted, they did just have a baby 5 days ago. I remember those days. No sleep, mass confusion, denial, etc. Am I reading too much into it?

A little background. I met this guy and his wife in our marriage class back in 2001. There were 5 couple and we all made plans to go out and keep in touch. This couple in particular seemed to be the most interesting as his wife had an interest in hockey (I play), and he loves Chemistry and Physics and all that stuff that the UrbanMummy teaches so well. Added to that, was the fact that they lived in the townhouses right behind the condo complex we lived in.

From what I understood of this group dynamic, there were 3 couples who all moved up north from the city, and were all quite younger than the other couples, and they all REALLY wanted to get working on those kiddies. It just didn’t seem like we had a whole lot to talk about. Our neighbour and his wife also found the dynamic to be off, and came to the conclusion that hanging out with us would be preferable since we live right near them, share interests, and are of the same age.

The marriage group continued to meet, but we no longer got invited (I think we backed out of a few of them and something was said) but our neighbours kept going.

Then, the bunch of them joined my hockey team, and gave it a whirl, only my neighbour plays on it to this day because he’s a natural and he’s a great team player. It was (until I got injured) the only time we’d see each other, at the rink.

But I always found the relationship a little uneasy. It’s hard making friends when you are older because most people have lifelong friends from school, their neighbourhood, or from camp, and I don’t.

I used to pick him up on my way to the rink, and sometimes he’d be playing poker with his “buddies” or having a BBQ, or something like that, and never included me, nor was I probably friendly enough to ask to be included, or to get to know his friends. I always felt like an intruder. He would sit in my car on his cell phone making plans with his buddies, and I think I was jealous as it was the only time we hung out – to and from the rink – and I liked him and wanted to get to know him more so maybe our families could become better friends.
Crazy, eh?.
He would even look for a 5th for their poker game, wondering out loud where they could find someone to play, but never asked me. I started asking him to not coordinate his life in the few minutes we got to chat before games and he graciously agreed. Before the game, during and after it we hung out, chatted, and had fun. He’s a cool guy. We have stuff in common.

When we moved from the condo 3 blocks east to a house we invited them over, and they came. The invite to their place also came. It felt like we were hanging out to be polite.
For as much as they told us how they like to hang out with us, it was difficult to explain why there was zero effort on both our parts. We’ve been in our new house for 8 months, and while we have discussed getting together, it has not happened. They actually put their townhouse up for sale and moved… How did I find out? I walk by it to go and come from the subway. They lived just down the street from the Cheaty Monkey’s abode. While they have not yet moved into their new house (renovations), my “friend” said last night that once they move in, we are “for sure” going to get invited over.

I’m not holding my breath. History tells me both families are brutal at getting together.

I do know when I’m healthy enough to play hockey again, I’ll play on his (my) team,and it’ll be like nothing even happened. But what do I do about the bris?

Should we go?

Thoughts?

Update: We moved into the same area as this family and didn’t even know it until my friend called me. We’re actually a street apart and put plans to get together have, shall we say, been stalled for 8 months now.

Some things never changed, eh?

I’m going to email him and see if they want to do dinner.

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6 thoughts on “A dilemma: Making friends later in life.

  1. mapsgirl June 10, 2011 / 11:28 am

    I love when your old posts show up in my reader.

    So anything happen since 2006??

    Like

    • Urban Daddy June 11, 2011 / 2:02 pm

      That’s what happens when you subscribe to my feed. 🙂 I edited a post and it came through as new. And no, nothing changed. We still have not gotten together… Since 2006 but we still try to make plans…

      Like

  2. SpeakEasy September 19, 2006 / 12:46 pm

    Quick update:

    I didn’t go, and eventhough I’ve spoken to this “friend” a few times since for hockey related discussions, he has never mentioned that I was not there.

    I actually feel better having not gone, than if I had gone and then was disappointed by not seeing this guy again for long periods of time.

    Like

  3. Naomi (Urban Mummy) September 8, 2006 / 11:17 am

    I would say go if they were actually friends. They came to our son’s bris, then for dinner the following day, and that’s the last I’ve seen them. That was 20 months ago.

    Surely, if they really were our friends, in all that time they could have found time to get together? I mean, it’s been 5 years that they’ve been saying “we should get together”

    Personally, I’d send a gift and forget about it.

    Like

  4. penelopeto September 8, 2006 / 1:17 am

    Not a friend.
    Don’t go to the bris (it’s not like you’ll be missing much), but send a card or gift because it ain’t the baby’s fault.
    Then get healthy and kick his ass on the ice. Oh wait, he’s on your team… get healthy and kick his ass on the ice by accident.

    Like

  5. Angela September 7, 2006 / 11:58 pm

    Are there usually formal invitations to a bris? I think if he didn’t have the courtesy to call and invite you and UrbanMummy, then screw it.

    I really don’t understand why people think friendship is such an easy thing to throw away or pass up. In a shitty world like ours, isn’t building a circle of friends important anymore?? It takes time to build friendship, but it sounds like dude isn’t even trying.

    I realize that your writing may be in the “heat of the moment”, and that your opinions may be one sided. But really, if he or they were really your friends, you wouldn’t be questioning this at all or be made to feel like outsiders, right?

    Like

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