I don’t know about you, but it’s been hard for me to meet people since finishing school. When you’re in school, you have a common set of circumstances that structures your interactions with others while also giving you a lot of flexibility in who you meet and how you meet them. People come and go every year and your classes and interests shift, so you’re presented with a constantly changing cast of characters.
When you get out into the “real world” of a 9-to-5, that all changes. You see the same people and do the same things day in and day out. In some jobs, it takes a really long time to stop being “the new guy”. Outside of work, you have many of the same options for meeting people as you did when you were in school, but somehow it’s harder to make those casual connections that might turn into real friendships, particularly if you’re an introvert, and even moreso if you’re an introvert in a relationship.
I mention all of these things because five years ago, I came to DC on a job interview, and when I met Tina on my candidate lunch, I decided that I wanted to be her friend. We bonded over cats and Project Runway and Queen Bee bags. Tina was at the reference desk on my first day of work, and reintroduced herself, even though I definitely hadn’t forgotten her or any of the other cool people from my interview (including Abigail!).
I really don’t think it’s possible to will a friendship into being – I’ve certainly tried and failed since – but I’m glad that the powers that be agreed that Tina and I should be friends. She made the days at Gelman a great deal more bearable, and I’m thankful our friendship persisted after I left that job.
Here are a bunch of things Tina and I have done together:
– picnicked and happy hour’d at Fort Reno and the Sculpture Garden and the Galaxy Hut
– rode bikes from Old Town to Georgetown and back
– knit for the troops at Buzz
– got naked at Spa World
– saw Neko Case at the 930 Club
– ate a lot of latkes and cupcakes
– made plans for an alpaca farm where the stud alpacas will be named Brian Eno and David Byrne
– wrote a craft blog and also haikus about CVS
– high fived under the Kennedy Center
– wandered through “snow” on a film set in June in Ypsi
– ran a bunch of races as Team Helpful Paws and Team Astronaut Mike Dexter:
2009 Race for the Cure 5K, Washington, DC
2011 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Washington, DC
2011 Dexter-Ann Arbor half marathon, Ann Arbor, MI
2012 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Washington, DC
Here’s hoping for many more miles, and many more cupcakes, and many more stitches, and many more Talking Heads dance parties in the years to come!