Krissie: If It’s Tuesday

Photo on 2013-10-29 at 08.51 Urgh. My stomach is upset, and I’m not sure what to do about it. It was probably the chili and no gas pills, but I decided to just get up and work this morning. I spent yesterday doing the kind of stuff I hate — non-writing writing business. Like coming up with a calendar for reprint sales. And updating the website. And finding quotable lines for a promotion. And writing a stern letter to Harlequin. (It started out cheery and helpful but I read it to Jenny and she said it wasn’t professional. I should say what I want and leave it at that, since this is the third time I’ve asked and was told someone would get back to me shortly.) She was absolutely right, which is why I asked her. And by then I was too worn out to go back into the Magic Kingdom or Secret Garden or wherever my characters are living so I took a four hour nap instead.
But today I work, and plan, and probably nap as well because I didn’t get enough sleep, but worse things can happen. Tomorrow I visit my cousin while Jenny’s at the eye doctor’s and that will be a treat. But right now i have to start running in place, getting ready for blast off on Thursday (going home then) and a huge push to finish the book. Which should be a piece of cake, but we shall see. Gotta tie evverything up and I had a brilliant idea last night.
In the meantime, Crusie and I are staying home most of the day, getting work done.
I’m so fucking blessed to have Crusie you can’t imagine. One by one my friends in VT have drifted away — I’ve already talked about how I was dumped by my oldest friend, and others moved, and others are unsure of me because I’m a little more over the top than a lot of people and they don’t know quite how to take me. And my BFF, whom I love dearly but who frustrates me a bit, is gone all the time now with a sickly grandson. Not to mention all my family is dead. (My brother, sister and mother all moved up to Vermont and ended up dying there).
Oh, I’ve got Richie, and I adore him, but he’s been depressed and morose and I can’t fix him and I need someone to just laugh with. I need family, and Jenny’s it, thank God.
So today it’s crocheting and writing and Kathy’s and watching more “State of Play” (we’re on a John Simm kick).
Now if she just lived a couple of hours closer …
But you know, having two close friends of the heart is really a blessing. And Lani counts in there too, but right now she’s pretty tied up with her new job, new place to live, new school for the kids, and the eternal honeymoon (lucky girl) so we don’t see much of her. But sooner or later things will settle and we’ll have Lani back to.
Three’s more than enough for anyone — it’s quality, not quantity.
Which do you guys have? Quality, quantity, both, or isolation?

22 thoughts on “Krissie: If It’s Tuesday

  1. Deb says:

    Ugh. Your post has kinda hit home. I’m very lucky to have close family–sometimes a bit too close–but still, I’m lucky and I know it. But no real friends. I live in the booneys (sp?) and commute–and friends I’ve made through work live close to work. And those friends have kids so they’re (understandably) focused on family time. Is it my imagination, or is it harder to make friends as you get older?

  2. I was just thinking that I’d drifted away from writing friends — people who gave up writing, or … I don’t know. But I’ve lost touch with my small circle of close writer-friends. Plus, I’d dropped out of the local RWA chapters and the online writers’ loops, because I’m writing mystery these days. So when I had some nifty news (got picked to do a workshop at the New England Chapter’s conference in May, on estate planning for authors), there wasn’t anyone to share it with. Anyone who was a writer, I mean, people who’d really understand what it means to be invited to the conference, and to hang out with other writers.

    Well, I’m exaggerating, and I did share the excitement with a couple people who squeed with me, but there was a time when I could have sent a bunch of BCCs with the news! And I was on four or five writing Yahoogroups where I could have mentioned it and people would have been happy for me. (I know Refabbers are happy for me, so I’m definitely not all alone, and I’m not so much complaining as sorta’ wondering what happened to drift apart from the writing friends.)

    It’s a mixed bag, because not being on those loops probably means I’m being more productive with the actual writing, but it kinda’ sucks when I want to celebrate!

  3. I miss having that kind of super close friendship. Fortunately my husband is wonderful: he’s just not as chatty and silly as a good girlfriend can be.

    State of Play is terrific. Everyone in it is so good. Bill Nighy, of course. A great James McAvoy. And David Morrissey is fabulous. If you haven’t seen it, the miniseries of “Our Mutual Friend” is incredibly wonderful and David Morrissey is a powerhouse in it.

  4. Kieran says:

    Krissie, why can’t you and Richie move to New Jersey?? Can you live near Jenny? I hope so. I like to think of you two there together, having fun. That would cheer Richie up, too. You and Jenny would make him feel like a king among men.

    I have almost no local friends except for my neighbor and women that if I had time, I’d hang out with and develop close friendships with because we really like each other. But I have no time to lunch, and same with them. So we see each other and say things like, “Wow. I wish we had more time to get together.”

    Most of my close friends are faraway writers, but my very best friends are my sisters, one here with me in Charleston, about a half an hour away, and one in Smithfield, VA.

  5. I’ve been isolated for years since all my friends either live in my head or scattered around the country, but I’ve recently found a couple local writing buddies, and I have kiddo (who is awesome), and then there’s my cousin, whose daughter just had her first baby. So life has gotten much better.

    And I hadn’t even realized how much better until you made me think about it. So thanks for that. And to someone above, yes, I believe it IS harder to make friends the older you get. It is for me at least.

  6. Carol says:

    My bestie lives a 6 hour drive away, and her life is complicated right now (okay, it always is, but especially so right now), so we’re mainly communicating by quick emails when the impulse rises. I do miss the more frequent and deep communiques, but such is life.

    But I have the husband, who is fabulous, and other dear friends who are local, and a whole raft of writing friends around the country (and world), so I count myself as blessed for what I do have!

  7. Lynda says:

    My isolation began during all those years I was a caregiver for my late husband, and then we left the city I’d lived in half my life in order to be closer to my older son and his family–younger son was single then–and then there’s widowhood and old friends also moving away to be closer to their own children and, yup, old age is definitely isolating. I’ve made a few new friends here, but they’re busy, too, and when we do get together, it’s nice but nothing like the way it was.

    I’m struck by the fact that when I just want to get out and “do something,” that something almost always involves shopping, or else going out to eat, which is not really an option for me now. I’m sick of Buying Stuff, when what I need is something that can’t be bought.

  8. H says:

    I just moved a closer to my bestie – we’ve been friends for 30 years, and I love being near enough to do quick weekend visits.

    A lot of my other adult friends are people I met through work, and changing jobs/moving really throws a wrench in those. And it IS harder to make friends as you get older — we’re lucky to have school-age kids, which throws us into groups of other parents to get to know and hopefully befriend. Even then, though, I think it’s tough.

    Krissie, I’m with Kieran – remind us again why you don’t want to move back to the area around Jenny? One of the things that prompted our move this summer was being closer to family and old friends again. We’ve only been here 3 months and it’s been awesome to see people more often, and today my hubby asked if we could do a sort of Tour de Family the week of Thanksgiving – we’re finally close enough that it’s doable! Now, it’s much more expensive in the new burg, but we’re living smaller, and doing more out and about, so it seems to be leveling out in some cosmic way.

  9. JenniferNennifer says:

    It’s always been quality instead of quantity in my life. And yes Deb, I do think it is harder to make friends as we get older. I am just thankful for the wonderful friends I have, past and present.

  10. I’ve always had just a few friends at any given time, but when I was younger, we had lots of time to spend together. But then they married, one had kids, the other got seriously involved with someone and I wasn’t, and then they had less time to spend. So when the job market tanked, I took the opportunity to move and live near my mom. But there wasn’t anyone to play with outside of work hours, and I couldn’t spend ALL my time with Mom and Gram (if I wanted to maintain my sanity), so when the job market there tanked, I went off again.

    Now that I have no family left, I decided, finally, to move back to Seattle where my oldest friends are. I see my girlfriends once or twice a month. I live with a couple of other friends. And I have my close friends I developed online.

    I really dislike the weather in Seattle for most of the year, and commuter traffic (and often off-time traffic) sucks big time, and it certainly wouldn’t be my first choice if all things were equal. But I have a support system here. (Now all I need is a job ….) And that’s what will balance out the weather. I don’t have an in-person support system anywhere else. Of course, my online friends saved my sanity when I lived in Houston, and they continue to make my life wonderful.

    It would be nice to have my very own person, but I guess I’ll probably just have a couple of cats when I get my own place. If I make more friends, that would be great, but at least I now have the ones I’ve got.

  11. Debby says:

    My husband and I were talking about this recently. We still live near where we both grew up, and we still know a lot of the same people we knew “back when,” but the close friendships we had have fallen away – because we’re busy, because our interests have changed, because we travel a lot, because we don’t fall into the “small town” mindset anymore.

    Our dear friends – the ones who know us best, the ones we’d call for help if we needed it – live far away. And yes, we do have a few of those friends who would drop everything and drive for two or three days if we needed them. We’d do the same for them. It’s a wonderful support network, but locally we have acquaintances more than close friends.

    And I guess we’re OK with that. 🙂

  12. Carol-Ann says:

    I have to cross either the Irish Sea or the Atlantic Ocean to get to either of my besties, and the one in the USA is terminally ill, with a side-effect of dementia, so there’s no point in me going to see her, she wouldn’t know me. I have a darling husband and a fab 6 year old daughter, and I work full-time, so that all keeps me busy. I’ve got friends at work, and I’ve made friends through the school-yard, which is good. On-line communities are great too, but I can’t remember the last time I had a girlie night.

  13. Sharon S. says:

    I am blessed to have several good friends. Sandy is my best friend, 13 years my junior and who promised to take care of me in my old age. 🙂 Many friends and my parents nearby. I meet every Wednesday for “game night” with my girlfriends who have recently moved into the senior community I moved to 4 years ago and its wonderful. After 2 divorces, I’m happy to be on my own. My cousin lives with me and we have been having a ball. I thank God every day for my blessings.

    Girlfriends Rule!

  14. mitchiewitch says:

    I moved back to my hometown 25 years ago when I became involved romantically with my spouse (we were friends for years before that) because tenured teachers don’t move. We used to have a wide circle of friends and throw a couple of large annual parties each year but that has changed over the last 8 to 10 years. Some friends we see once a year, some never, but even those we remain closest to we are lucky to see once every month or two. Part of it is work but everyone has more family obligations now that we are in our fifties with both aging parents (my dad died of cancer 3 years ago & mom has Alzheimers)and grandkids. I just got a text asking me to babysit tomorrow because daycare isn’t available due to a medical crisis on the other side of the family. I’m fortunate to have personal days and an understanding boss but if I had social engagement planned tomorrow – oh well. I don’t think that my situation is uncommon and it does make finding/having friends harder.

  15. Kelly S. says:

    Hi Deb – I think there is an age range where it is harder. I’m going to go with 35-55 but really it is from time breeding starts until they are grown and out of the house, because while people are raising children, that’s all they have time for. So, friends are the ones who are conveniently located where you are taking your kids. If you don’t have kids, and I don’t, it has been very hard to find people who have time to do stuff without their kids. I’m hoping it gets better once I’m past the hump and I’m of the same age as empty nesters.

  16. Kelly S. says:

    This post and the comments are quite timely. I ended up reading this because I was feeling sad and had gone through my mind of friends and acquaintances I might try talking with. I have quite a few surface friends, but not many of fine quality that I trust implicitly with everything. Those I who meet that definition don’t live in the same state I do. Even with my BFF, we only talk 2-3 times per year and are living very different lives. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and two loving cats. 98% of the time they are all I need and 1 % of the time, they are more than I need. 😉

  17. There is hope! I’m single, no kids, and in my fifties I’ve reconnected with several friends who’ve been lost to bringing up children for the past thirty years. In fact another couple came out of the jungle recently. But other single friends are like gold dust. Especially as the mothers are liable to become grandmothers, and you lose them again.

  18. Eileen A-W says:

    My current closest friends were work friends. We, there are 5 of us, are all teachers, now retired, and close in age. One, the only one single, moved from Minnesota out to California to live near her daughter. The rest of us meet once a month for dinner & to catch up & support each other. It doesn’t mean we don’t talk or hang out other times, but that is our focus point. While in my 30’s & 40’s it seemed that my friend base was very limited because of all of the demands by my family. I don’t have a family base nearby, so I learned how to do it alone. I have other friends who I talk with but do not live close by. That includes family too.

    I agree with the others that you should move closer to Jenny. You need to leave VT & be closer to your real support system.

  19. Sharon says:

    I think the issue is time-how much we have available and how we want to spend it. My sister and brother-in-law are retired now but they have set aside time for their friends. They meet one group once a month for pot luck dinners-every one brings a dish and the host supplies the meat and beverages. The day and times are set a year ahead and placed on everyone’s calendar. They are both in book clubs that meet once a month-again the date and times decided a year ahead. Another group of friends are the ‘new years group’-they go to a nearby hotel on new years eve for an all day/ night stay and visit.

    I think it is important to plan time to be with friends-invite them over for afternoon tea or supper, ask them to go to a movie, have them over to play cards, meet them in a café once a month-anything to stay in their lives. Did you meet any new friend possibilities while doing the musical this fall, Krissie? I met some new friends at the library during a ‘book and tea time’ event. I read something recently-everyone should have 3 friends younger than themselves, 3 their own age and 3 older. I can’t say that I am there yet!

  20. I definitely agree you should move closer to Jenny.
    What Krissie didn’t say was how many times this week I thanked her for being my friend. I really am abjectly grateful. Even if I was bitchy on the ride to the eye doctor. (Sorry, Krissie.)

  21. Jill says:

    Quality. And quantity. Quality with the sisters of my heart that live in the same town and whose kids call me Aunt Jill. Quantity are all the wonderful friends I have met through author events. We are close even though we do not see each other very often. Goddesses bless the internet.

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