“It takes courage” to confront a stranger to start a connection. Alex Williams addressed making friends for those over forty in his New York Times essay – Friends of a Certain Age.
As people approach midlife, the days of youthful exploration, when life felt like one big blind date, are fading. Schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends…often people realize how much they have neglected to restock their pool of friends only when they encounter a big life event, like a move…
Worth rereading when everyone around you seems to have something to do that does not include you.
The sidebar by Jesse McKinley in Some Friendly Advice offers 6 quick ways to find a friend; one is to “go it alone.” In that spirit, I took myself to cooking demonstrations celebrating Julia Child, who will soon celebrate her 100th birthday. People who like to eat and cook are usually friendly, and I did find new friends: Kathy, a writer from Australia, and Devra, the Coco Chanel of beautifully made ETSIS sunhats.
The best advice from the articles – besides getting over yourself – appreciate the BFF’s you have and look for a casual friend or two – “better than total isolation.” As the Girl Scouts sang – “one is silver, the other is gold.”
It’s hard to make new friends when you don’t have a dog or little children. Walking around the neighborhood pushing a stroller or tugging on a leash is bound to connect you to someone – even if it’s the Mr. Wilson character yelling at you to get off his grass. Without the protection of something cute to mark you as safe, your approach with a smile or conversation-starter might smack of dereliction or even criminal.
Social networking may be overrated, and the grunts of the someone in the room watching football, tennis, golf… don’t count. You can always read a book, immersing into conversations with adventurers, soothsayers, and many whose problems will make you forget your own.
September 6th was National Read a Book Day; I missed the celebration – because I was reading a book.
This week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, reminding me that some of the best friends I never met are reading books too.