Thursday, May 17, 2007

Old Friend

What is it about old friends that lets us hold them to a different standard than new friends? Or am I the only one who does this? I was thinking about this today because I got stood up for lunch by someone I've known for that past 8 years. Not a big deal, really, we were also meeting another friend, so just the 2 of us went instead of all 3 (well, 4, Lauren was there). Then friend #1 apologized profusely afterwards. She got the days mixed up and just forgot. The funny thing was, I didn't care, and was not at all upset. Later, she called to apologize a second time. I feel more bad for her that she feels like she upset me to have missed it! (And I don't think friend #2 cared either but maybe she was upset?) And it's kind of cool that she did forget, because that's the kind of thing I might do and this way I get a free pass if I do it to her. :)

Anyway, though, I was thinking about how if she were a new friend maybe I would have been iritated and wanted a really good excuse but that since we have a long history of friendship, this, had this even been an issue, would have been but a small blip. But with new friends, when you're just learning about each other, the slightest misstep can derail the whole thing. One unreturned phone call or email, unacknowledged gift, one empty "we should get together soon" promise dangled but as yet unkept can mean so much more when you don't have a lot of good history to balance it out.

Conversely, I was thinking about how some of my best friendships have been made when I was thrust into situations with people where greater responsibility ended up happening than we first would have thought. One time, the first time I hung out with my friend M., she was visiting from Europe and didn't know Los Angeles that well. She mentioned she sewed, so I offered to take her to the garment district sometime. We would have only been there a few hours at most, but my car got a flat tire. She ended up having to wait with me for AAA, go to the gas station with me, drive really slowly back nervously on surface streets on the doughnut tire, and buy new tires. The whole adventure took all day, and by the end we were good friends.

In fact, the first time we hung out with H. and his wife, we also had to call AAA! (That time the car was new and I was unused to daytime running lights so accidentally left theregular lights on and drained the battery). They also waited with us while the tow truck came. I guess you can try to be so funny and charming and interesting for new people, but at the end of the day, you're just some loser who left their lights on in the parking lot. Cuts right to the chase, huh?

Anyway, I guess making new friends has been on my mind because I feel pressure to move so that Lauren can go to a good school, etc. We may have to do it one of these days. Where is up for intense debate, but if it involves any kind of commute from where we live now, we'll be making some new friends. And just when I finally feel really settled in Los Angeles. I've lived here the second-longest of any place in my life. Scary to think of having to meet new people again. Not to mention losing all of you, those of you that we see in person on a regular basis, those who won't want to make the drive to wherever new place we end up.


jenna! said...

Dude, seriously, not the orange curtain. That's not even funny. But I would visit you in the valley. :-)

Brighter Schemata said...

no orange curtain-that's a promise!! i don't want the valley either. would you visit me in rome? :)