I've been thinking a lot lately about what my best friendships are, and what they give me. This is because I don't have anything like that, here in this city.
A few incidents/people lately have underscored all of this for me.
First, there is D. D is my best friend here - he's a great guy. He's my go-to person; we have lunch together at the uni often, live within a ten-minute walk of each other, and see each other for an hour here or there, all the time. As I say, great guy. But, what's not entirely satisfying: D has very little sense of irony. I need irony, I realize. (Not that there's much irony on this blog, I know. But trust me - I'm all about the irony.) As well, all we ever talk about when we're together is work; I am all talked out about work. I am all worked out; when I am not at work, I need to be talking about other things. Especially because with D, it's all negative. D also doesn't drink much, which means I do things like go over to his house to watch a film, the night after my uncle dies, and sit there and drink 3/4 of a bottle of wine by myself.
This leads me to my next point: I really like drinks with my friends. I like drinking wine and having long, intense chats about our whole lives. So, when I went to that conference ten days ago and had drinks with Mentor and a PhD student of hers? I felt like something clicked back into place for me; it was the kind of languorous, indulgent evening I hadn't had in soooo long. It was a way of being I'd almost forgotten, but that is so foundational to who I am.
Now, this doesn't all have to come in the same package - for instance, my good friend A, who I was living with over the winter, remember? A doesn't drink. I don't drink with her. But she's probably the most ironic, funniest person I know. We can talk deeply-yet-ironically for hours.
Then there is my friend K, who visited me a couple of weeks ago over Thanksgiving weekend. Why do I not feel as close to K as I should, given how much time we spend together and how much we talk about? I've thought a lot about this - about how I like her a lot, and know her very well, but how she'll never be an A, or an M, so so close for me. Even though she's a wine drinker and a major chatter. It is, I think, that she is highly, highly in control. A very successful lawyer at 35, she is the most efficient and, I guess, masterful person I know. She has the crazy schedule of any high-powered lawyer, but she doesn't ever, ever let the craziness of her life phase her - at least on the outside. She has a kind of clinical approach to analyzing her own life and those of the people around her that I find, frankly, alien. And it's not that she's unfeeling - not at all. And she is damn smart about people. But I have heard her make judgements - of people's incapacity to "control themselves", like in making perhaps unwise romantic choices, for instance - that I just find to be intolerant of the confusion and humanity of people. I think what I need to feel truly, deeply intimate with someone is a sense that they can admit to, give in to, chaos. That we begin from a point of admitting our own fallbility.
So, yeah. That's what I need, what I'm really, really missing. That is the ad I should put out for a Scary City with Potential Friend. Wanted: ironic, chaos-embracing wine drinker.
By the way? All you folks out in the blogworld? It seems to me you are like all the people I would hope to have answer my friend-wanted ad. And certainly, those of you I've met have been ironic, chaos-embracing wine drinkers. Perhaps this is why I feel so at home in this little slice of the blogosphere.