During my entire lifetme, I don't recall having been invited into someone's circle to hang out because they really wanted me to. Oh, there was the time when Crystal and Jennifer had invited me to hang out after elementary school - and seemed genuine about their request. I couldn't imagine why they would invite me. But it was just the one time. It never went anywhere.
For the first time that I can recall, I am now a part of a intimate circle of four. They have requested my presence. They would invite me even before they got to know Jenna - whom everybody loves. They admire her. She's fun and somehow I seemed to have made that reputation for myself - that I, too, am fun to hang with.
Perhaps it's the state. I was raised in Utah - small town that somehow grew bigger with every passing year. When my mom had first moved to the neighborhood, she felt as though she were living in "no man's land" because it felt so barren. Well, yes. She was raised in San Francisco. I'm sure the entire Salt Lake county seems dense compared to San Francisco.
I remember having to be driven everywhere when I younger. There was a gas station over on the next street over, but he did not offer a convenient store of any kind. There was a 7-11 on the other side of State Street that we would sometimes walk to. Traffic wasn't near as heavy as what it is now. I shake my head at the very idea that we had crossed the street so often. Perhaps mom wasn't aware.
After a while buildings started to spring up. We had over 40 fast food places within walking distance before I got married. I don't know when it was that I became so uptight and unhappy - but I think it was rather early in my life. I loved my family, but I didn't love the congestion. The older I got, the more uptight I became - though I would try to work on it. Overall, I probably was not the most pleasant person to be around. Perhaps that's why no one ever offered for me to join their circle.
I'm 56 now and this is the first time I can remember being part of a group (outside of church activities or going out for lunch with a few co-workers). We meet at a local coffee house just to hang out and visit. I usually have water or day-old pastry if available. The other day our small group car pooled to Winston right after class. I had collected change from the piggy banks in order to make my Taco Tuesday purchase - only Taco Tuesday prices don't start until 4:00. It was only 11:00. I was hungry but strapped as usual. One of the group members picked up my tab. They want me there enough that they will pay for me. I've never had that before.
One time we were invited to an expensive dinner and have a charity dinner coming up. I have also invited the three of them to watch the dress rehearsal coming up for Jenna and Roland. It feels great to be included and to feel such genuine friendships that I have never experienced before. It takes some getting used to.
Perhaps there are several others who may not classify our group as elite. At least three of us felt like outcasts during our school years. Perhaps we all feel that sometimes now. We support one another in ways that perhaps we hadn't known before. I like hanging with my small group of friends.