“People don’t make new friends in their thirties. I mean, who has time for that? What am I going to do, go out to lunch with some new girl so I can hear all about her battle with gluten?”
The first season of Whitney, a show that centers around the lives of thirtysomethings living in Chicago, Whitney’s friend Roxanne makes a very valid point about how friendships change once women hit their thirties. I could relate so much to the characters and am really bummed that Whitney has been cancelled, but I will save those feelings for a future blog (or maybe I won’t. You’ll just have to wait it out and see where this SydRocks crazy train takes you, my loyal follower). Later in the episode, three good friends named Roxanne, Whitney, and Lily are in a bar sharing some beers and having serious talks about “the change”. In this case it is not about menopause (get your mind out of the gutter), but about how work and maintaining already established friendships and relationships with guys takes precedence over forming new friendships with girls once a woman hits her “dirty thirties” (my term, not hers). As the three of them are discussing this change, a girl approaches Roxanne and in a perky, friendly tone says, “Hey Roxanne, It’s Kelly from-” Right then, Roxanne cuts her off by shooing her away and proclaiming, “I’m 33. I’m at capacity,” as she gestures to Lily and Whitney in order to illustrate her point. Kelly then walks away very confused. And that, my friend, is how friendship works in your thirties. I couldn’t agree more with Roxanne and that has inspired this particular blog entry. In one’s teens and twenties it is very important to make friends that will go to the mall with you, the movies, or just gossip with about guys. It is essential that you give them a hug when you greet them or just link arms as you’re walking through Forever 21:
You strive to have a connection like this. You are joined at the hip and can’t wait to call this new girl you just met and share everything with your “BFF.” As you hit your thirties, you realize that linking arms with another female friend will get people talking. It dawns on you that this kind of connection isn’t what you want or need with another female unless you happen to prefer the company of women (cue Jerry Seinfeld’s mantra “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”). But there is something wrong if you are both straight and are giving each other backrubs, caressing each other’s arms, linking arms, or holding hands anytime after the age of about 25 and at 30 fuggetaboutit! It is, however, a normal part of social development in a girl’s teens and early 20s. To have that connection is everything at that stage. Brushing each other’s hair during ages 5-25? No problem. After 30? Creeeeeepy. After 30, you tend not to need another girl to gossip to about boys. You can either keep these thoughts to yourself, talk to family members about them, or be like me and write a blog about it. Suddenly pajama slumber parties with the girls gives way to staying home in your pajamas and drinking wine and watching T.V. which after a hard day of work is really all you have time for. Going out with your bestie is no longer as much of a priority. At this stage, it works just as well to have an acquaintance from work or high school to go grab a drink with. You don’t need to make new friends for this. Friends that you already have also work. In my particular scenario, I’ve made lots of girlfriends throughout my teens and twenties that I went out with up to three times a week, talked to about guys and any of our 99 problems to over the phone for hours on end, and shared clothes with. I don’t know about you, but that kind of friendship just doesn’t appeal to me anymore since I’ve turned 30 in March. These friendships rarely last and all the “work” put into to maintain them is just physically and emotionally exhausting. I rarely get back as much as I give. At this stage in my life, I am just as happy going out by myself to movies, the mall, or music festivals. I really don’t need “this” anymore:
If I find myself needing to hang out with other women, I am just as happy to text an acquaintance from high school or coworker to meet up with once in a while, like let’s say once every two to three months sounds amazing. If I have people who are willing to hang out the rare times that I need them, that is just fine with me. I don’t need a bosom buddy or bestie at this point. I tend to want to put more distance between myself and other females whereas in my twenties I loved hanging out with the same girl multiple times a week. Now that is what I would term “Hell.” When my distant friend or acquaintance has to cancel plans or I have to, I am secretly relieved. Obligations increase in your thirties as well and one does not simply have time for that. It is just as fun to stay home and watch T.V. There must be better shows on now or something. In my twenties, I thought I was a social failure if I stayed home instead of going out. Now I consider it some great reward. In my twenties I would feel as though the spotlight was on me if I went to a bar or club by myself to meet with friends or “regulars” to knock back a few brewskis with. Now at 30, it ain’t no thang. Guys do this all the time. And really ladies, we need to get some damn confidence. As Jason Derulo says, it’s perfectly fine to be “Ridin’ Solo.” Now where did I put that new girl’s number? I’m about to text her and tell her I can’t hang out tomorrow. I’m filled to capacity. She can take that anyway she wants.