New Friends

Gretchen and I went to a small dinner party last night given by a couple in our new church. In addition to them, there was one other couple. The six of us had a great time! We watched the SEC championship game, had cocktails, had a wonderful meal, and talked about everything under the sun. This meant a lot to me because I have made exactly ZERO friends since moving to Chattanooga in 2006. And I make friends everywhere go, so it’s been different and hard. I’ve moved about 27 times and have friends all over the country. There’s Ami in Asheville, Karen, Little Amy, Arnold, Chel, all in Knoxville, Marc in San Francisco, Irene in Santa Barbara, Carey, Marcy and Celeste in L.A., Rachel in Seattle, Dee and Jessica in Atlanta, Jilly in Nashville and so many others, many I’m forgetting to mention. But outside of the occasional work friend I’ve made here, I’ve met no one. Part of it is because I’m now middle aged, so I don’t go bar hopping anymore and I don’t really hang out at the usual places people meet. I was also in a relationship when I moved here where my companion stayed in the house 98% of the time, so I never got out anyway. When we did, it was to get together with some friends of hers or to meet friends of mine in from out of town. My now-fiance moved here in August 2011 to invest in our relationship, which until then had been long distance. She’s also been frustrated at the lack of friends. So in May, we started attending a little Episcopalian church near us, and we’ve grown attached to it. The people there are really warm and friendly, and the services are nice, so we’ve been going back. (Neither of us are big church goers, traditionally.) So now some people have “taken a shine” to us and have invited us to their place a couple of times, and a couple of weeks ago I went out with some of the guys from church. For beers and political talk. I grew up a stringent Calvinist, so this was frowned upon during my growing up days (drinking, that is). It’s nice to be at a church where people are so “real.” I was sick of trying to fit into evangelical shoes when at heart, I’m really not one at all. Anything but, truly. These people last night were friendly and down to earth, very accepting and inclusive and I’m really grateful. I know these people won’t read this blog, but I want to extend a shout out to Kelly, Dee, Gene and Sally. Thanks all. I hope and actually know it won’t be the last time. New friendships are starting and it’s a wonderful thing.

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