Per­son who needs peo­ple

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

Iam­inmy mid-60s. I live in a small town, where I know lots of peo­ple but have only one friend I can count on. An­other re­ally good friend had to move out of state for her job. And an­other friend, along with her hus­band, I have known for 35 years, but I get ab­so­lutely noth­ing in re­turn. We only get to­gether if I reach out to her. I’d like to cut her off, but I have no one to take her place.

My ex­tended fam­ily mem­bers are not too far away, but they are too busy to make a phone call or send an email. I’m friendly with my hus­band’s fam­ily mem­bers, who all live close by, but they never call or make any ef­fort to keep us in­formed of fam­ily news. My hus­band has never helped in that re­gard be­cause he doesn’t keep in touch with them, ei­ther. He also makes no ef­fort to get to­gether with friends. I have a happy mar­riage but need more than my hus­band to keep me com­pany. I need more than one friend, as well.

Hav­ing no friends is a prob­lem I have had my whole life. My fam­ily of ori­gin was rather dys­func­tional, with a brother who was trou­bled and made it dif­fi­cult for all of us. My par­ents were pre­oc­cu­pied with him and ex­pected the rest of us kids to take care of our­selves, and be­cause there were no other kids in the neigh­bor­hood to be­friend, I feel that I was un­pre­pared to make friends. Look­ing back now, I could have been a bet­ter friend to peo­ple as I be­came an adult but didn’t re­ally get it at the time and was very friv­o­lous with friend­ships. I get along fairly well so­cially now, but there is no one I can call and say, “Hey, let’s do some­thing.” I also worry about what would hap­pen if my hus­band or I got sick, which I’m see­ing more with peo­ple in our age group. Whom would I call for sup­port?

Face­book makes me sad be­cause it ap­pears that oth­ers my age are still en­joy­ing a very ac­tive so­cial life. Has our cul­ture cre­ated an at­mos­phere in which no one cares, or is it just me?

— No­body Calls First off, there aren’t any peo­ple who are hav­ing as good a time as they seem to be on Face­book. If look­ing at those posts is bring­ing you down, log off for a while. Sec­ond, the best way to get some­body to call is to call her first. I know; you have tried reach­ing out to some peo­ple. But keep try­ing.

Check out Meetup, a web­site de­signed to bring peo­ple to­gether in real life over com­mon in­ter­ests. There’s a group for every­one — ama­teur quan­tum physi­cists, al­co­hol-free ad­ven­tur­ers, beer-drink­ing book-club­bers, puzzle en­thu­si­asts, bridge play­ers; I could go on all day. The point is that you need to get out and try new things. Friends are yours for the mak­ing.

Your ad­vice to “Bro­ken Liv­ing Room,” in my opin­ion, missed the mark and may cause the breakup of a long­stand­ing friend­ship.

Chairs are en­gi­neered and con­structed to with­stand years of hold­ing up un­der the strain of over­weight bot­toms. If this friend was ca­pa­ble of get­ting to “Bro­ken Liv­ing Room’s” house and get­ting her­self seated, her weight was not the cause of the chair’s fail­ure. The chair in ques­tion was ei­ther of poor qual­ity or well on its way to fail­ure be­fore the friend sat in it.

“Bro­ken Liv­ing Room” should re­place the chair with a qual­ity chair, or she should find a place to put her frag­ile chair where heavy friends won’t use it. Then she should for­get the in­ci­dent and nur­ture her friend­ship. She shouldn’t blame the friend. — Over­weight Chair-User

If look­ing at those posts is bring­ing you down, log off for a while.

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