It's a big deal because I never was one to have a lot of friends. And by friends I don't necessarily mean people who you actually see or even talk to all the time. I mean the kind of friend where no matter how much time has passed when you meet again you pick up where you left off. The kind of friends that you feel a connection to stay in touch with even if sporadically. Facebook only doesn't count.
I always had this idyllic notion of having a group of best girl friends that I met either in high school or college. It didn't have to be a lot. Just a group of 4 or 5. Or even less. I value quality over quantity. We'd be like sisters. The kind of close that you can only build with time and shared experiences. We wouldn't have to have an activity planned to get together. We'd hang out at each others houses. We'd go on girls trips together and then be bridesmaids in each others weddings. You know, the kind of close knit friends that you see on TV where everyone knows each other.
Let's just say that didn't exactly happen for me. Most of my high school friends disappeared when we were no longer scheduled to be together every day. The whole gang of lifelong college friends thing didn't work out either. My college was known for academics not parties. To save money I lived in the on campus apartments and not the more social dorms for Freshman and Sophomore years. After that I lived at home and commuted. I didn't join a sorority. I wasn't an athlete. I joined a club towards the end of my Sophomore year but I was a day late and a dollar short. Everyone already had friends and I was out of the loop. I did a semester exchange in Atlanta my Junior year. I finally got that dorm experience but everyone was from somewhere else and we didn't stay in touch.
Between high school and college I made exactly two friends. That's a grand total of 2 friends in eight years. Then that thing called life happened and they ran off to other states. My high school friend now lives in Alaska. My College friend moved to Georgia after graduation. For a while my only friend was my big sister and then she moved too. Not having friends made me feel like a looser; and lonely. I was born, raised and still live in the same area. What's my excuse? Why doesn't anyone like me? Being single didn't help. If I wanted to go out to dinner for my Birthday I didn't have anyone to invite. There was no one to call if I felt like going out for a drink. Making friends as an adult is hard. Work is hit or miss. It can be hard to relate to people who are in different life stages. You meet people just here and there but it's not always someone you can really see yourself hanging out with.
My husband is my best friend. That's what I'm calling him anyways even if he doesn't feel the same way about me. Our relationship is great but it's very different from the kind of relationship that I have with girlfriends. I need that outlet. I need someone else with estrogen to chat with out life, love and shopping. I made two more friends at my first job out of college. Then another at the job where I work now. It's taken time but along the way I've picked up a few more. I'm kind of a homebody so I'm not looking to pack my social calendar. I don't need a ton of friends; just a few good ones.
That night we went to Lei Lounge. I'm so glad my sister was able to come before she moved. It's this really cool restaurant that's partially outdoors. There are vines on the wall, it lights up at night and they mix their drinks nice and strong. I usually stick to wine but I went for the cocktails instead. While we were at the bar battling for drinks before happy hour shut down I said to my sister; I can't believe it. I actually have friends. It's kind of a new feeling for someone who is used to being friendless.
I have so much fun when I hang out with girls. It was kind of like a wedding reunion because all but one of them were there. One of them was a bridesmaid. I haven't known all of them since I was in diapers. We are at different life phases. We don't see each other all the time. We don't talk all the time. But they are people who have been placed in my life for a reason. I like them. They like me. And I'm thrilled to be able to call them friends.