acquaintances and friends
I sometimes find myself wishing there were some kind of manual dealing with relations with people you don’t really know, people you might get to know better and become friends with in the long run.
I usually meet people through work or through friends. This means we always share a number of people we both know, and this means that from the very beginning I am careful not to say anything about these “shared” people that I risk will come back and hit me.
Today I spent a couple of hours in the sun (the lovely, lovely spring sun – thank you for finally showing your face) with a girl I know fairly well, but won’t yet call a friend. We share a number of acquaintances, whom we talk about in that certain way that clearly shows we are not really saying what is on over minds – good or bad. But we share one acquaintance we both dislike and talking about him is a kind of liberating because we both say exactly what we mean. Neither of us care if he should ever find out we don’t like him. But with everyone and everything else I am (I can’t write “we” though I sense it goes for both of us) constantly testing if the ice is thick enough to walk on, wondering whether what I say will be thrown back at me later.
My history of friendships has taught me this and I don’t think I mind. Not two friendships are the same and I am fairly good at cruising between my friendships and know when to say one thing and when to say another. This is not to say that I wouldn’t love it if I could tell my friends anything and didn’t need to worry about who is sitting in front of me – it is to say that I have accepted that that is the way it is and (probably) always will be.
From lunch time and until we split in the afternoon, I found myself loosening up and willing to tell more about myself and express more about my view on the people we both know and on people in general. It is kind of like learning to drive – the safer you feel behind the wheel, the better you drive.
10-15 years ago coming home after half a day like today, I would have been nervous. I would have wondered when the betrayal would take place. Thankfully I am somewhere else today. I am a much better driver and if there is one thing that I have learned, it is that there is no reason to get into the car and expect the accident – worry about it and handle it if it happens.