Monday, May 19, 2008

Kool and the Gang

I often complain about not having many friends here in Georgia. While that's true, I shouldn't make it sound as though I am utterly despondent. Really what I mean is there aren't too many males my age with similar interests as me (film, lit, games, ultra-mild outdoorsiness). There are plenty of people with whom I get along well. They're just not the same size or shape as the types of friends I've had in high school, college, and grad school.

Yesterday, for example, Amelia and I went over to a coworker's house for a birthday barbeque. It was one of the most fun evenings I've had in a while, in part because it hit that "friend" sweet spot: everyone was relaxed, there was good food, and we all (I hope) enjoyed some entertaining conversation.

Still, when I look at our group (we've hung out before and associate frequently at school) I can't help but laugh. I'm sure if teenagers saw us hanging out they would not get the draw. First there's Amelia and I, who (if you're reading this blog) you probably already know a bit about. Then there's Paige and Kurt. They're in their mid-30s, strong Southern Baptists and equally strong Democrats, and just some of the nicest people I've met. Paige is a fellow English teacher and they make us feel so welcome and loved. Next is Julie and Jimmy. Julie is a math teacher at the school (also ridiculously nice) and the grandmother of the group. Their youngest child is 25, so they're in their 50s or 60s and have STRONG southern accents. Finally there's Jonathan, who is single, 25, and the Latin teacher at the school. He's the "cool" teacher at the school in that he looks young and plays guitar.

I'm sure we look crazy together--spanning a variety of ages, religions, and interests--and yet when we get together it's always entertaining. I laughed harder last night (about students and about other stuff) than I have in a while. I guess that's the thing about friendship. You never know what form it's going to take.

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