Tuesday, November 19, 2019
The definition of frienergy conservation is "stopping yourself from placing any energy into a friendship that will go nowhere". I just made that up but it's a very real thing with myself and some other friends. I was having tea and homemade apple pie with a neighbor Saturday, we were discussing my recent explanation to her as to why I liked Abba, Glee and Olympic male diving events.
She was wondering if she or her husband had done something or said something stupid to make me feel like I wasn't able to tell them about my fascination with the idea of Tarzan's loincloth falling off. I told her "no", that I have known for years I was able to tell them, that I actually came close to telling them a few times but I could feel myself suddenly become emotional and ditched the attempt.
I love this couple, they are as close to being family as possible. Actually there is cross marriage between my family and theirs so we have a slight connection. I was explaining to her that I "test" people, I have been doing that for years now. It's simple, just bring up something in the news like some singer coming out as gay. Most people like to offer their opinion, you are either going to get, "I'm happy that person is free to live their life" or the person will look around to see if anyone is within ear shot and say, "I'm sick and tired of gay people shoving their lifestyle onto everyone else". Then I think, "okay noted", I'm not wasting my time getting to know you.
I only invest time in friendships that I know will allow me to be me. I used to think that I may tell the person or I may not tell the person, either way I know it would not end the friendship. Lately however I feel that I am going to tell all my friends, it suddenly has become silly to me, not to tell my friends. I also look for attitudes towards other things as well, I have friends from other countries that I absolutely adore, so if I hear a mind closed to understanding people from other countries, I also don't bother, plus I find those people usually see everything in a negative light and it becomes a complete drain to be around them.
When I explained that I test people to see if it's worth my while to continue with a friendship, she suddenly smiled and said that she does the exact same thing and completely understands. Both of us feel as we get older, there is no point in wasting the effort of maintaining a friendship or starting a friendship that will end. She went on to explain that now since they are older, she and her husband try to get close to people who are going to stay around as they all age. She told me of two couples that they are close friends with, she said how those two couples are getting ready to move across the country once they retire within the next year. They want to live on the west coast where it is warmer and also spend half the year down south. My neighbor went on to say that she has slowly been moving away from those couples and concentrating more on the friendships of people who are going to be around. What's the point of getting close to someone that will soon become nothing more than a twice a year postcard.
People in the country see things differently but that's because we rely on friends and neighbors much more than in the city. An elderly couple in the country without a network of friends, is actually placing themselves in danger, so that is part of her thinking.
As for myself I just want to be happy and a good way to do that is surround myself with some interesting people. Everyone I know fills in a gap for me and so I want that space to stay filled and the only way to do that is chose each piece carefully... as I fit them in.