Sunday, November 15, 2009

Losing Friends

I'm not talking about death, so don't feel too sorry for me.

I went to college and immediately joined a sorority. That brought with it a lot of issues about money, race, class, and socialization. One of the things that was really exciting about the house I joined is that so many of us have big goals and big dreams and we want to be influential in the lives of those around us. We had the reputation of being the girls you study with or ask to co-lead your organization or initiative.  We weren't the partiers or the sex-pots.  And I really felt like I fit in there. I love my sisters with all my heart. Being a part of that sorority taught me things I wouldn't have learned elsewhere and I am the woman I today because of them.

But there is one thing I have come to realize I get older.
After approximately sophomore year in college, and especially in a sorority, you see a lot more candle lightings and bachelorette parties and weddings. You hear a lot about lace and flowers and bridesmaids dresses. And no matter what kind of person you are, conversations about marriage and weddings and futures are more "fun" or "interesting" than conversations about politics, public service, or books will ever be.
One of the girls I met my first year became a close friend of mine. We noticed ourselves often sitting together at events and talking about things. We ended up being members of other organizations together and discovered that we have vaguely similar politics and vaguely similar personalities. We got really close the summer after sophomore year and remained so until I transferred schools.

I also got pretty close to the girl who was my big sister in the sorority. We spent my birthday together when I turned 20. I was at her graduation party. She and I have double dates with our moms. It's great fun. 

Well I haven't talked to either of those girls much this semester because one is our sorority president as well as the SGA chief of staff. She also has a demanding major and a wedding in approximately 50 days. My big sis has graduated and her job requires her to travel a lot. She also has a fiance, just recently, and is now planning a move and a wedding. 

Not too far into the semester when I realized that my friend and I never have time to hang out just the two of us, I got nervous. I got even more nervous when roads of conversation always led to her upcoming wedding. I don't have much to say about that because I don't get excited about weddings. She knows this, and we've agreed to disagree about it.

I saw her last week and we talked for a while. We talked about the sorority for a minute or two and about the Homecoming celebration they had just finished. And not five minutes later, I found myself searching for topics that would strike her interest. I don't have time to keep up with politics, so I couldn't ask her how she felt about the health care bill that was on the table. I don't do any extracurriculars at my new school so we couldn't compare busy schedules. I am out of the OCU loop now so we can't chat it up about the intricacies of the student government or the perception of our house on campus. So I told her some story about work or about Frank or about something else stupid that doesn't matter, because I couldn't of anything else to say and I didn't want to waste the little bit of time we had together.

Here's the main jist of this post:
It freaks me out when people grow away from each other. I am scared to death that once she gets married on December 31 we will have even less in common and once she graduates this May we will have nothing. What do I have to say to a married college graduate? "Great wedding pictures" "How's the hubby?" "Do you have a washer and dryer yet?" Blah blah blah. I won't know anything about her new life and everything about mine will be old news because she's already been there and done that.

Marriage isn't supposed to have to be the end of a friendship, nor is graduation, but my attitude toward love and marriage is one where I can only listen to someone talk about it for so long and so often.

A couple of weeks ago I saw my big sis write on my friend's Facebook wall, and she said let's get together next week. I was going to ask if I could come along. I haven't gone and had drinks with either of them, yet and I've been 21 for three months.  Then I saw one of them say to the other - "Can't wait to get together, have drinks and talk weddings!" Or something like that. And I realized that even if I had gone with them I would have been completely left out of the conversation anytime it turned to men, marriage, or weddings. They would have tried to include me because they are nice people, but really I would have put a damper on their fun. They wouldn't have felt comfortable gushing about colors and fabrics and honeymoons if I had been there. So I didn't even ask.

I don't want this to sound like it's their fault. God bless their marriages. The guys they are marrying are wonderful. God bless my friend's graduation. She has worked her ass off. God bless my big sis's job, she deserves something that makes her happy. But my friend's life will change, has changed, and mine will stay the same. I'm satisfied with my life, I just wish I could keep my friends in the process. I wish I could still hang out with them without feeling left out because I'm not getting married. I wish we still had enough conversation topics without weddings.

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