As I get older, I noticed that more and more of my time with friends is divisible chunks. You hang out for two hours over beers, or you go to a ball game for three hours. You more or less know when things will start and when they will end. Their appointments, which is neither a good nor a bad thing. It’s just how it is. You have errands to run, places to be, and other things to do. It’s not like high school or college when there seemed to be more time.
So when my friend Joe Kane invited me over to watch the Champions League game this afternoon, I was excited. We had been planning to go to the MN United game as well later that evening, but since we are both soccer fans, why not watch the final? I hadn’t seen Joe in a few weeks (maybe months?). He’s a busy guy, so we usually just go out for food and beers when we have time. He’s busy with grad school and work, so we don’t get to see each all the time. But now that we live closer to one another, it’ll probably be easier to hang out, which is a good thing.
The thing I like about Joe is that we always have something to talk about. We can catch up about old friends, but our interests in sports, politics, music, and culture greatly overlap, so we usually always have something to talk about. I think in the 7+ hours we hung out together, there were very few lapses in the conversation.
It’s weird how our friendships evolve over the course of your life. As a child, you begin with playdates and sleepovers, mostly playing games or other child stuff. As you get older, you have parties (or at least I think you do), but then in college you hang out, drink beer, and go to bars. It’s harder to do that once you have jobs and families, but you begin to appreciate those times.
I notice my parents and how they interact with their friends. They’ve got a solid friend group (probably larger than mine) that goes out to plays and restaurants. Large groups of friends also accompany them on their infamous cruises. As my brother and I have gotten older, they’ve kind of reclaimed those friendships, which is kind of cool to see. i think keeping those connections healthy is an important part of getting older.
It’s interesting how my own friendships have changed over time. I don’t keep in that good of touch with high school friends that I lived with in high school. That important part of our lives is gone and we’ve just gone on to do different things. I’m sometimes envious of those friends who have close ties with their high school classmates.
As I drove Joe back to Minneapolis, we talked about music and some television shows, we probably could have chatted for another hour or so, recommending bands and songs. While sometimes you just have to put that face time in with friends, and work with what you have. Other times, it’s sure nice to have an abundance of that same time.