Thursday, 26 April 2012

Friendship and Community


Night in with friends

The last week seems to have passed in a whirlwind – or maybe just a hazy fog.  The kids were on half term until Monday and I have been trying to simultaneously train for my forthcoming inaugural Triathlon, whilst fighting off some virus, which has given me a sore throat and earache.

And to top it all, on Saturday night, I didn’t get to bed until 3am.  As is always the way, the best parties are those that happen spontaneously. 

It all started out in comedy style… I invited a few friends round for dinner.  It was a last minute plan and limited by the number of chairs in my kitchen. Two girlfriends (Mums from school) were unable to come.  Another guest had only been invited the night before.  And Running Man, who had offered to come at 6pm to help, turned up at 7pm, slightly giggly, having had a couple of drinks already! 

Julian and his boyfriend arrived minutes later, worried that something terrible had happened to me!  I’d asked them to phone before they came round, in case they needed to bring another chair.  I had completely forgotten and left my phone upstairs, ringing away without being answered!

As the booze began to flow, Running Man’s phone rang.  It was “The Chef” a friend of his (who I know) who used to be a Chef. 

“Tell him to come and join us!”  I shrieked, getting into the party mood.  “There’s plenty of food.”

And so he did. 

What I hadn’t realized was that he was supposed to be meeting another friend in the local pub.

Sarah arrived shortly before 9pm with the ingredients for desert…  Well, all but the key ingredient that is!  Not one to be put off by such things, I rummaged around the cupboards and found a very dodgy looking bottle of fortified wine.  Having forced The Chef to taste it and check it wasn’t ‘off’, RM poured it into the desert. 

No sooner had we finished dinner than RM’s phone rang again.  It was the friend in the pub round the corner, wondering where The Chef was. 

“Tell her to come and join us!”  I shrieked (again) already well into the party mood!

And so she did, bringing Two Gay Friends she’d been in the pub with!

I lost track of various people going home, but at 1am, I found myself dancing round the kitchen to 80’s hits with RM, The Chef and the Two Gay Friends (who I didn’t know!). 

Just a casual dinner with a few friends had turned into something altogether different.   And from an outsiders perspective, we must have looked like an odd bunch.  At first glance, there are no obvious connections between us all.

But in reality, despite the variations in ages (from about 28 to 50-something), the different jobs and marital status everyone has, there is in fact a greater bond than you might think.  Because what this group has in common, is what they do in their spare time.  So many people (and whilst I was married, I was one) have friends that ‘do’ the same types of job.  Probably because they’ve met either at university or work, all hanging out with the same ‘types’ of people. 

There’s nothing wrong with this.  I’m not knocking it.  But I love the fact that this group is not defined by what they do for a living.  There isn’t the ‘safety in numbers’ issue I have seen amongst people who only socialize with people in the same or similar line of business. 

The connections are about the types of sport or outdoor pursuits they’re into and food (the cooking and eating of it)!  No one is overly interested in what the others do for a living, because no one is defined by it.  These people hang out with each other because they are great friends.

But the connection between all these people is their bond of friendship, their support for each other and helping each other out…. Whether it’s Sarah, helping me when I needed to be taken to A&E, or Running Man fixing the dripping radiator in the bathroom, it is a community of friends.  And in this day and age... it’s a rare thing.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a blast. Your American friend is very proud, too.

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