All the Lonely People…

Here’s a piece relating to the research that says people have barely enough good friends to keep them afloat in times of trouble…

 The column talks about how hard it is to break into Pittsburgh society.  And they’re not talking the country club/junior league crowd.  Making friends in Pittsburgh (outside of those in college) is hard–from trailor parks to Heinz Hall, you better come with a thick skin and sense of humor.

My mother’s from the west coast and has lived here 37 years–she still complains about how hard it is to be accepted.  A woman who lives near me and is from New York, sears me with spittle everytime she talks about people in Pittsburgh having too much family and way too many life-long friends to make living here enjoyable for an outsider.

Yikes.  They’re kind of right.

It’s true, for every holiday, I’m swimming in family invitations for this get-together or that.  There are no lonely neighbors here.  Unless you’re neighbor is from Chicago.

On the other hand, I fly in the face of the research Sally Kalson references about having two friends to confide in.  I have at least 10, yes that’s right, 10 people I could call admist this breakdown or that.  Depending on the nature of the breakdown, you’ll get a call or not.  Interestingly, over half of those people live in other states.  

I don’t know, I’m not pessimistic about friendships, I guess.  With technology, are you ever that far from a friend?  I don’t think so.  Or, perhaps I’m drowning in crazy denial.  I guess someday, I’ll see.

 How about you–where are your friends?

10 thoughts on “All the Lonely People…

  1. I’ve cut many people out of my life so have few friends now. Ones that I could visit (but don’t) I can count on one hand. Online friends, I have many, and I find those friends are the best ones. My best friends are my husband, my sister, and my eldest daughter.


  2. I agree with the article’s general point about people becoming more isolated or relying almost solely on electronic communication for contact. But as an “outsider” to the ‘burgh, I somehow managed to make some really great friends during my 11 years here. I will admit that I met most through work or in my neighborhood. However, I think sometimes people want to make friends but do no more than hope a friend will come along. If you’re willing to go out and join clubs or groups that interest you, or if you strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know very well to start, you may find the friend you were looking for.

    I’m with you, too, on being more optimistic about friends far away. Even after a few months, it’s a great feeling to phone or send a note, and be able to pick up where you last left off.

  3. BTW, I don’t mean to imply that anyone here or your mom fall into the passive “hope I’ll find a friend” category…however, I have witnessed it with others.

  4. Interesting topic. I have to say that my closest friends remain the ones I made in college. It’s difficult to form that kind of bond with people later. But I have made some nice friends since, I just don’t have the same level of initmacy with them.

  5. Hee! Agreed Dana. It’s fun meeting Elizabeth Krecker and Angie Johnson-Schmit though. Couple of local ladies for me. Hoping to meet some others in the area also.

    Most of my friends are writers these days.

    Should I be nervous?

  6. I’m pretty stingy when it comes to throwing around the word ‘friends.’ I am very close to my family, and this sets a really high bar for relationships with non-family. That being said, I have one very close friend from college in Boston. And my husband.

    I know and enjoy hanging with several women in Missoula, but only one could I call late at night to come take me to the hospital. I’m not sure why this is my litmus test. The bizarre things you fret about late at night when you’re a mom, I guess. I have also made a few close acquaintances on-line. I call these women friends, because it’s easier when we’re all using the same lingo. But because I compare everything to my relationship with my family, I still feel isolated even with the pseudo-companionship these lovely women provide on a day-to-day basis.

    This is a good thought-provoking post. Thank you, Kathie.

  7. Well, I am the quintessential introvert, happiest with a small number of close friendships.

    There is 1 friend here that I would call in a crisis. Just one.

    Then there’s my sister in Virginia. She counts as a friend, too. I would call her.

    I’ve got lots of excellent neighbors that HAVE been there for us during a crisis. More than once. Good, good people. But “friend” doesn’t describe the relationship.

    Down here in the South, there’s so much “sugar” that a hapless Yankee might be taken in by it all. Fortunately after 18 years, I’ve learned my way around it, and have maintained my Yankee status (without the “hapless” attached). 🙂

  8. I think this blog may become my regular hangout! I’m a SAHM, and suffer from isolation, mostly self-imposed. I have one friend from college, but he’s a loner like me, so we don’t confide in each other. There are a lot of folks I enjoy talking to online, but none I would feel comfortable complaining to.

    I have got to get out more!

  9. Hey you guys are lucky, here in verona, wi, our neighbours dont like to mingle with eachother except on block party once a year. my husband is 12years older than me..he prefers to be with his male friends, or talk on phone with his brothers and sisters. He is a 100% control freak. I cant even go out without him knowing it. Cant work because he doesnt allow it, he is afraid i will find someone my age and fall in love with him. But then he doenst take any interest in me at all. I feel like a useless piece of furniture in the house that nobody wants…the kids are all grown up, they have their own engagements. the community here is a snob.

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