Not sure what’s going to happen with my struggling church. But at least socially, things are looking up.
I decided I wasn’t doing enough to rekindle an old friendship with “Ted,” even though we are occasionally invited to parties by him and his wife, and my husband now runs a steampunk roleplaying game at their (awesome) house.
Some 10 years ago, my husband and I were friends with him, and I’d chat with him on ICQ. I had made friends with him through other friends, all of whom were on the same local BBS. (A BBS is how geeks used the computer to connect with each other before the Internet.)
But he did some things which were very immature and selfish, so the rest of our little group of friends got very angry with him. They started shunning him, but I didn’t go along with it, because he had done nothing to hurt me, and–even though I very much disagreed with what he was doing–I hoped to influence him (catch more flies with honey).
I still invited him to D&D and to parties. I strongly suspect this is why the other friends stopped showing up at D&D and parties, stopped even acknowledging the invites. As the years passed, we lost track of each other. A few years later, I think in 2005 or 2006, Ted and I started e-mailing again.
He had grown up, and become a very different person than he was before. He also met a woman who he said influenced his change. From what he e-mailed me about her, she sounded like an angel. Then Facebook came along, and I started re-connecting with the old group that way.
Considering that most of the old group occasionally comes to his parties and they all communicate with each other now, it appears their rift has been completely healed.
The rest of the group has scattered so I don’t know who’s where anymore, but I have seen them a couple times at parties in the past couple of years. I have also met his wife, and one Sunday as my husband ran his game upstairs, she and I visited and watched Stargate. It was very pleasant.
But I guess I’ve been waiting too much for invitations and not being proactive enough.
My husband spoke with them and discovered that I’m welcome to come over and chat with her on Sundays. So during today’s game, I did so. She seems like such a nice, sweet person.
From what she says, maybe she was different during high school, but I don’t see that old delinquent in her now. It sounds like their parenting philosophy is similar to ours, as well, that they are firm, but not harsh, and have even watched Supernanny.
And the great thing is, I don’t have to come up with a bunch of things to say to keep the conversation going with her. That’s a relief for quiet people like me.
It is good to reconnect with Ted. I always liked him, even during his immature days. He’s a reader, like me. And after the game, I discovered that the steampunk players would very much like to come over for a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy party some time. (We have the whole BBC series.) Yes! A geeky social life again!
…This is a big deal for people like me who are extremely shy and quiet, and live far from family or the people I grew up with, in a city which other people have noted is very closed off to newcomers (not intentionally, just so close-knit they don’t think of reaching out).
Especially when I’ve been so badly abused by people I thought were friends and adopted as family, that I’ve been far more skittish and untrusting than usual. Especially when finances are threatening to disintegrate my church family, my main social life.
This, more than anything, would help in the healing process. Sort of like Shawn helped me get over my ex Peter, Phil helped me get over Shawn and Peter, and Hubby helped me get over them all. (See here.)
(I have trouble making a comparison to broken past friendships rather than romances, because other than my blog stalkers, I don’t recall any fallouts or rifts with completely platonic friends. Shawn doesn’t count because we weren’t quite platonic.
(My husband has had them, and occasionally they have affected me as well, but I was not the one who had the fallout. As noted above, those friends from before just drifted off, most likely because of Ted, and then drifted back, and I did e-mail them occasionally in the interim.)