Friendships, baggage and the like (touchy-feely)


It is that time of year and this time, it appears that I am in a “mood swing” phase. That is do to a combination of things, one of which is that I am probably not getting outside enough. So for my mental health, I’ll do a longer, slower run than planned as soon as the sun comes up and move my shorter, “less slow” run to Thursday where I have more of a time constraint.

I’ll talk a bit about friendships. Now you might notice that many (not all) of the photos below feature women, and yes, I am (happily) married. Here is what is going on: I like doing things. And yes, there are some men I do things with. But when it comes to, say, going to a football game: the Big Ten team is a 90 minute drive away and the NFL teams are a 3 hour drive away. So, that is a long time commitment. There was a time when I went to games with men, but that was “before kids”. So, as a non-custodial parent whose kid lived 1000 miles away, I had more in common with, well, single people who have no kids or kids who are grown and gone. Hence the people to draw from tended to be single women, and my “ok, dear, I am footballed out for the season” wife was very the point of being encouraging.

And yes, she has male friends too.

Now as I said, I like doing things. That means, “scheduling” things most of the time. Now of course, life happens. Once I had to back out of a race with a running friend because I became ill the night before. Once, a football/zumba/yoga/hiking/political friend had to back out of a game (they day prior) but, among the scores of “dates” we had, she was (is?) highly reliable. (She travels for work and we do stuff when she is in town). But these two friends are what I call “highly reliable and steady”. Planned and “dependable” is something I usually like.

But there is another side. From time to time, I make “spontaneous” friends. They are the kind that call you up on a summer day to say “hey, let’s ride bikes!” I’d ask “when” and they say “now!” Or, they might want to go walking after a yoga class or “walk plus breakfast”. That is fine. We even reached a point where she would call me when I was out of town, just to talk about this or that.

But one was a “Let’s do this; I’ll call” and they don’t. Finally, I had enough; I said “when you want to do something, give me a firm time or forget about it.” That worked out ok though we’ve sort of drifted away. We sill see each other at Park District events, and we still are playful around one another. Her spontaneity is fun; she’ll even stick her ass out at me! But I can’t plan stuff with her.

Then there is another one who replied to my “does anyone want to do X” post on Facebook. Well, we are 1 for 3. The first time she talked about an unexpected work situation (and that does happen) and the last time, she offered me a ticket to a game…which turned out to NOT be hers to offer. It was more of the ticket owner saying “I don’t think I can; see if you can get someone else” and then later finding out that he could. I don’t mind a conditional offer, but I don’t like it when it isn’t made clear that the offer is conditional. Yes, I can accept “conditional” offers from time to time but I like the person to be straight forward about it.

BUT, as my spouse told me, different friends bring different things into one’s life. The “steady and reliable” friend brings one thing, and given my personality, THAT is the type of person I should make plans with. The other kinds: they can be fun too; I just shouldn’t ask them to give what they can’t give or don’t want to give.

And sometimes friendships get strained over issues (e. g. politics, religion, etc.) even though there are other aspects of that person that you really, really like, love and respect. I smile when I remember these too.

So…here are some photos of former and current friends; I usually smile when I think of these people.









December 8, 2015 - Posted by | Friends |


  1. I’m honored to be featured in this post! The most important thing that happened to me when I moved back to Peoria in 2003 was making a few truly great friendships. I count Ollie and Barbara among them!

    Comment by Lynn Dempsey | December 8, 2015 | Reply

    • Well, dang Lynn, we’ve been to games (different sports), hiking, gym, yoga, zumba, eating out and on political campaigns (Iowa 2008, local in 2012). How could I NOT include you? 🙂

      Comment by blueollie | December 8, 2015 | Reply

  2. […] I talked about this earlier. Doing stuff with people is fine. But it is tricky line between saying “I care” and […]

    Pingback by 2015 in review…(aka my “Holiday Newsletter”; grotesque navel staring) « blueollie | December 27, 2015 | Reply

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