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Ostara celebrations [Mar. 21st, 2004|03:20 pm]
[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Behold, the first day of spring in Cleveland!

It's snowing.

Now, spring snow in the Midwest is not an unusual sight. Two years ago we had two weeks of winter weather in May, complete with snow storms and notable accumulation. But that was after a winter of no snow and 50 degree days, so we all sort of shook our heads and rolled our eyes and figured it was due.

This winter, it has been consistently cold since January 3, barely reaching into the 40s for most of it, kissed by only one unseasonably warm day, and otherwise below average. It's time for it to quit.

This is the last day of "Spring Break" for me, and I haven't seen anything that looked even vaguely like spring. I've gotten a lot of homework done, though not as much as I would like, and spent some time with friends, though not nearly enough to make it feel like a vacation.

But, no whining. We are making new friends, and it is a Good Thing. It's sort of interesting, the dance of friendship. Little kids just walk up to each other and ask, "hey you wanna play?" and it starts for them. In school you have proximity and constancy to ease past initial awkwardness. But in the adult world it's often tougher. We've been fortunate to meet people with whom we connected almost immediately here in Cleveland, so that got around the awkwardness. But some recent people whom we've met have put us back into the playground mode. I have actually found myself saying, essentially, "I think I'd like to be your friend. Why don't you come over to dinner?" And the reaction has been a combination of delight and relief - I'd love to, and feel the same way, and am glad you said something. The conventional wisdom is that it gets harder to make friends once you are out of school, and it's true, but part of that is everyone's reticence at taking a chance of looking foolish. If everyone is too cautious to make the first move, then a move never gets made.

I am reminded of the first Farscape convention, which Ferrett and I attended on our honeymoon. There was a reception the first evening and Ferrett didn't feel like going down for it because we wouldn't know anybody and would feel awkward and left out. Nonsense, I said. All you have to do is look around the room for someone else who is looking awkward and embarrassed and go strike up a conversation with that person. S/he will be so relieved to no longer feel alone that you will make an immediate friend. And it worked. We ended up hanging out with a group of about 20 people, whenever we walked into a room there was always someone to yell, "Hey!" to and visit with, and everyone had a great time. We were back to the playground, where kids make friends for a day whom they may never see again, but it's okay. It's what we all want, that easiness of contact, and it's there under the layers of social training. You just have to be willing to reach out.

[User Picture]From: supremegoddess1
2004-03-21 08:57 pm (UTC)
Couldn't have said it better myself.
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From: jendurrfukt
2004-03-21 09:02 pm (UTC)
It definately gets harder once you're out of school. I'm only taking a break from college and moved about 40 minutes away from it, and I have made 2 friends max. since I've moved- 2 months ago.
I wonder if people have as hard a time making friends with other girls as I do? Maybe I'm just too damn cynical.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-03-21 09:22 pm (UTC)
Well, by clicking on "Glenside" on your user page, I came up with 135 LJ people in Glenside, PA. Why not investigate the journals of some of them and seeif you can find people with whom you have things in common? Looking for local activities in which you're interested can really open doors, if once you get there you reach out to people.
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[User Picture]From: apostate_96
2004-03-21 10:06 pm (UTC)

Making Friends

One of the other things that seems to get in the way as we get older is that we seem to become much more worried about what people will think of us if we do or say certain things, or worse yet the WRONG THINGS. On the other hand, as you pointed out, it seems that once SOEONE makes a move, everyone else breathes this sigh of relief and then life moves on.

Your post is most timely, as I'd also been feeling at a bit of a loss for friends lately. I'll have to get off my butt and get to work on that. Thanks
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-03-21 10:19 pm (UTC)

Re: Making Friends

It takes a little effort, but it is definitely worth it. Good luck!!
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[User Picture]From: scarletdemon
2004-03-21 11:10 pm (UTC)
Whatever social group I join, I always gravitate to the person who turns out (sometimes after a while) to be a looney. I think it's my mistake for targeting people who seem "interesting". Heh.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-03-21 11:43 pm (UTC)
That can be an issue. But you have to start somewhere!
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[User Picture]From: tevriel
2004-03-22 12:53 am (UTC)
One of my dearest friends and I met on our first day of university. We happened to be sitting near each other, and struck up a conversation; we found we had a lot in common.

As the class ended, I said: "We have way too much in common. I think we should be friends."

And we have been ever since.
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From: barryr
2004-03-22 02:24 am (UTC)
Agreed... let the snow end.. ^^;;

There's still snow on the ground after three straight days of flurries hit us in RI mid-week. And I managed to slip in it today, and make all my stuff go flying into the dirty snow. I guess it was good that I at least missed the mud. :\
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-03-22 03:08 am (UTC)
Ouch. No fun. I am more than ready for spring.
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[User Picture]From: brujah
2004-03-22 02:42 am (UTC)
Dear zoethe,

Do you like me. Check a box.

[_]Yes or [_]No

Write me back. Your friend,

I miss being a kid, sometimes. I really do. I'm lucky in that I have "retail" social skills, so I greet people easily. Sustaining conversation without common interests is difficult for me, though.

If you ever make it to West Georgia, count on me knocking on your "door" and asking you and theferrett to come outside and play -- or dinner at the very least.

I admire you both more than I could express without sounding like a stalker. ;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-03-22 03:13 am (UTC)
Dear zoethe Velvetsteel,
Do you like me. Check a box.

[X]Yes or [_]No

Your friend,

Georgia isn't really on my projected places to land, but then again neither was Cleveland, so you never know. We may come down there and visit some day, in any event, and it would be great to get together with y'all.
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[User Picture]From: tygher
2004-03-22 05:45 am (UTC)
I so totally agree with your thoughts about making friends. It definitely is more difficult as you get older. I have a few friends that I've made since graduating, but not many. Most of them are online friends, actually, a good many I've never met physically, yet still consider to be friends. The playground analogy is great, because it's so true! It's harder I think, as adults, to get past the awkwardness of 'Hey, wanna play?' than it was when we were kids.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-03-22 10:13 am (UTC)
It is tougher, particularly if you live in an area where people tend to stay put. I go to school with people who've known each other since gradeschool - they don't have any pressing need for new pals, because their whole lives have happened right here in Cleveland. It's not always easy to get a toehold, but it can be done.
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[User Picture]From: justbeast
2004-03-22 03:58 pm (UTC)
Most eloquently put!
I like your new icons, btw ;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-03-22 04:16 pm (UTC)
I thought you would. [g] (And I did ask Melissa first.)

Did you notice that I put a link to Edge of the World on my info page?
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[User Picture]From: spiralflames
2004-03-22 06:18 pm (UTC)

hello :-D

since about half the people i know/read seem to talk about you all the time, thought i might as well wander over and see what's up..hope you don't mind?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-03-22 07:05 pm (UTC)

Re: hello :-D

Um... People are talking about me? Wow, I had no idea.

I don't mind at all, welcome, and I've added you back.
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[User Picture]From: zero_design
2004-03-22 08:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it was snowing here yesterday too... :p

See, I was getting all ready to pull out my "What do you know of Winter, silly American! You know nothing of the season, Southlander!" rant. Then I remembered. You've lived in Alaska. You actually know what a winter can be like. So I've decided to just leave it at: I feel your pain, and always remember that it could be worse.*

*Currently I live in Fredericton NB, where the winters aren't too bad, really, but I used to live on the prairies... so anytime I want to bitch about the weather, I think about the day I had to walk to school backwards.
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