Friend Envy

I sit at the kitchen island, my brows furrowed and an intense look on my face. My fingers fly on the keyboard ensnaring thoughts as they threaten to escape. The cooker hisses mildly in the background. “It shouldn’t have to be this hard!” I think to myself. I remember the evening before. I walked the girls along the now empty roads in my up and coming development. As I rounded the bend and walked into what seemed a crowd of women, men and children, I slowed visibly. Ammu and Pattu ran headfirst calling out to their friends of two seconds. As they disappeared into the garage of one of the new homes behind two equally small girls, I worried and sped behind them. A lady my age stood amidst her five children. I relaxed, introduced myself and started talking. Even as I was mid sentence, an older gentleman introduced himself to her and hijacked the conversation. I slunk away unnoticed yelling for Ammu and Pattu to follow me.

I walked into the house my mood darker than the night. I fumed and raged within myself. It shouldn’t have to be this hard to make friends. It seems so easy when I see other people do it. They mingle easily, laugh without care and invite themselves over for meals. Suddenly now I have friend envy. Each time I spy a group of adults enjoying a conversation, I shoot a piercing look wishing deeply for what they have.

Washing the suds away from the large anodized vessel at the sink, I wondered if their lives mirror mine. Do they anguish over what to make for dinner? When do they find the time to socialize amidst the loads of laundry and the food prep? Do they relate to each other as good friends do or do they hang on to each other for sanity and kinship in a life overwhelming them with chores and just keeping up.

Perhaps one has to be lucky in friendship as in love. Perhaps for every gaggle of girls by the corner of the street, there are hundreds more hunched over their laptops rueing their sad lives. Perhaps some dreams are just that. Dreams?


Author. Parent.

10 thoughts on “Friend Envy

  1. It does get harder making friends as we grow older, but sharingg a conversation and some laughs outside with a neighbor doesn’t warrant friendship. It’s just being social and in the moment.

    You should try it 🙂

    ..and yes, everyone is basically very alike.

  2. Glad you are writing a blog again always amazes me how similar we are….when I moved into my new neighborhood we were among the first round of people to move in…I had visions of meeting and making lifelong friends. I’m not good at putting myself out there. While I did meet most of my neighbors and they are all really nice there hasn’t been anyone I’ve developed a real friendship with. (I still have the vision when the houses on my block are re-sold) Learn from my mistake and put yourself out there.

    1. Sue, we should meet for lunch some day. 🙂 Interesting to see how my experience mirrors yours. I will *try* to learn from your mistakes.

      1. Hey, just checked back…forgot I had posted….would love to meet up for lunch some time if you are still up for it..

  3. Is it really that big a deal Emkay? Not making new friends? Acquaintances need not become friends.
    In my case, it takes too much emotional energy and stamina to invest in new friends and so I stick to my old ones, and “socialise” with people I meet – with a hi and a few laughs. Occasionally I hit jackpot with an acquaintance who becomes a good friend, but I just let nature take its course and don’t work on it.
    That, of course is just me – the consummate introvert.

    1. LG, I guess I should have been specific. When I said friends I did not mean good friends or best friends. Just people I feel comfortable with. I have not had great luck in that area. Part of it is possibly because I don’t put myself out there. Till now, it did not matter much but I am increasingly feeling lonely these days so the musings on companionship.

  4. Me in the same boat….

    I was listening to the swimming gold medalist Missy Franklin(17 years). She is from Colorado, she says she has been asked so many times as to why she doesnt move to a more swimming friendly state like California or Florida. She hit the spot by saying she has her friends, family, her school, coach…everything… if she moves she wouldnt be happy and wouldnt have anyone to share the victories with…
    We have moved thousands of miles…. guess it will take a while to to get comfortable….

  5. Socialzing and making friends with strangers is not effortless to me either. But I have stopped fretting about it and have accepted that I take my sweet time to relate to and strike conversations, and that’s ok. One thing I would like to get better at is being able to talk knowledgably on a range of topics.

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