Sometimes after the kids are in bed, I like to vegetate on the couch and watch Sex and the City re-runs. It’s not the plot or the outlandish clothes that interest me anymore. I already know what happens to whom, what outlandish outfits Carrie wears. These are reruns after all, and almost always ones that I have seen at least once. I watch these episodes to experience vicariously the tight knit female friendships of the four main women: Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte. After two full years of living in Darien, I am still working on finding my own close group of girlfriends with whom I can intimately share the triumphs and struggles of normal life.
What I have in Darien is more akin to compartmentalized friendships. There are my Solaris tennis friends, my Darien Town & Recreation tennis friends, my Oasis friends, my church small group friends, my / lunch friends, my coffee friends, my Patch friend, my school PTO friends, my children’s playdate friends, my Darien Little League friends, my Winetasters friends, my carpooling friends, my Pear Tree Point walking friend, my Crunch gym friends, my Junior Great Book friends, and my Darien neighborhood friends. There are probably other pockets of local people here and there that I am unintentionally omitting.
Thankfully there are people in my rolodex. I genuinely do love these people and consider them friends. Without them my life in Darien would be empty and lonely especially with the amount of solitary time there is as a stay-home mom. But outside of the neat time slot during which I am scheduled to see them, there is little to no interaction. It’s no one’s fault except maybe mine for not making a more concerted effort to deepen those friendships. It’s not like me to pick up the phone unless I have a reason for the call.
I have good days and bad days. On the good days, I feel included. For example, you’ll see me saving a seat for a friend at and looking forward to catching up. On the bad days, I am reminded of how new I still am to Darien, how I have a ways to go to develop my “friend status” in the community. I see other Darien people around me, belly laughing together in that comfortable way that only deep seated friends do and reminiscing about events that happened not last week, not last year, but YEARS ago. I hear of people who have so many dinners and parties to go to on the weekends that they are exhausted Monday morning from all the revelry. I observe Darien women walking for exercise while having an animated conversation on their cell phone, smiling about what I can tell is not about any particular purpose or task. They are just chatting for the sake of a healthy chat with someone they know quite well.
Making a real connection and establishing a shared life history takes time. Someday, hopefully not in the too distant future, I would like my friends from various sectors of my Darien life to overlap more and more. I see hope on this front. Attending the gave me a chance to see my son’s soccer friend's parents, for example, in a new setting besides . I saw someone from church at my daughter’s softball practice. Darien seems small enough that you do see people over and over again throughout town.
Ideally I also would like my friends from various parts of my Darien life to know each other. Someday, like Carrie, I would like to be able to call three or four buddies who also are equally close to each other and have an impromptu emergency powwow at .
Check back with me in another year or two and hopefully I can tell you that this personal goal is coming along nicely.