Monday, July 9, 2007

Making New Friends

Ever since Christa told me that she was moving away, I keep thinking, what in the heck am I doing here? Why do I remain in Durham? Friends who used to be really close have now either moved, gotten married, or had kids. No matter what anybody tells me, I know that people with kids want to hang out with other people with kids. Couples like to go have dinner with other couples. And right now, I can count my single friends in town on one hand.

I've been tossing around the possibility of moving. Moving away. Moving out of North Carolina. Moving out of the tiny three-county area where I have spent my entire life. I love Brooklyn and I love San Francisco, but could a naive, impressionable Southern woman survive in either of these places? (Heck, could I afford to live in either of these places?) I think I need to travel and explore some cities to see what I like and what I don't. And to see what I could afford and what I couldn't. There is no way that I could psychologically survive living in a little studio apartment. I'd die. But for now it doesn't matter... I need to stick with my job for at least a couple more years. But that gives me time to investigate new places and to save some moving money.

In the meantime (or maybe as a backup plan), I need to work on building new friendships. And I have to admit that this blog has helped. I've met lots of new people including music folks and some hot dog folks. I've also rekindled some old friendships. This blog has given me the opportunity to meet folks that I thought I'd never meet, such as Charleen Swansea from Ross McElwee's documentaries.

Last month before taking off for Coney Island, Charleen Swansea invited me and Bill over for beer and cookies, which turned into inviting us over to for wine and homemade brownies, which were divine. We had a great time and discussed her daughter's artwork, my relationship status, living in Chapel Hill, and her father's tiple.

She begged me to play my banjo uke for her, which I reluctantly did. I was a little scared. I haven't been playing for very long and it's a huge struggle. I pulled it out and opened up my songbook and started the first two lines of "Walkin' After Midnight" and Charleen busted out laughing. I stopped and and turned beet red in utter embarrassment. She continued to laugh. I am probably quoting this a little incorrectly, but to the best of my memory, she said, "You know what you sound like, Charlotte? Well, it's like your first born son and you're changing his diaper for the first time [insert huge laugh] and he has a little accident on you!! [insert tremendous laughter with a knee slap and rearing back in the seat]" I was horrified. She told me to continue, but I couldn't.

I didn't take it too harshly. We proceeded to talk and laugh about all kinds of things... men, food, films. I could've stayed there all evening. But I had to get back to ukulele practice. It was so great to meet Charleen and I know that we'll be hanging out on her porch again soon. I want to eat more of her brownies. At one point in the evening, she looked at me and said, "I love you, Charlotte. You're like buttermilk and silk." I think that this is one of the best compliments I've ever received.


Gye Greene said...

Come to Seattle! :) (Although housing prices are a little steep.)

Eugene, OR? Reasonable housing prices, and fairly progressive (e.g. recycling).

re: folks w/ kids: For myself, it's not so much **preferring** to hang out with folks with kids. Rather, the non-children friends we have aren't very understanding of kid-related limitations and foibles (e.g. getting cranky when they're tired). That's my perception, at least.

And, at young ages, getting a sitter isn't always an option.


Charlotte said...

For the record, I really really love kids and I love all my friends with kids. But I know that new moms want to talk about new mom stuff. It's a subject for which I have nothing to contribute unfortunately.

Just like I cannot contribute baby stories, my parent-friends cannot join me for a beer right after work or go to a rock show that starts late or come over and catch a mouse in my house at 10 o'clock at night. It's just a shift in dynamics. But it's a shift that has undeniably created a divide.

christa said...

you ARE like buttermilk and silk. truly.

Jerry said...

That is an awesome compliment.

Unrelated: I'm tagging you with a meme. I apologize profusely for this. Please see my blog for details.

Jerry said...

...which is over here.

kelly said...

Hey! come to visit in the Nashville! Plenty of child-free escapades to be had. And hell, Steve isn't here 1/2 the time, so I'm effectively single as well. A bedroom awaits with 48 hours notice.

Charlotte said...

Hey KJ! I would *LOVE* to visit you and I would love to visit Nashville. I was last there with Craven around 8 years ago. I liked it alot. We went to the Grand Ole Opry and saw Little Jimmie Dickens and Grandpa Jones.