Amigos, Familia

Looking for my friends

A couple weeks ago I sat down and looked at our recent spending to figure out if we could afford to enroll Xavi in preschool part-time. We hadn’t intended to sign him up this soon, but the school is close by and had a last-minute opening. After doing the numbers a few things were clear.

  1. I’m spending a lot on new work clothes. My new department only allows casual clothes on Fridays.
  2. We’re not spending much on gifts anymore.

The latter was just one more reminder of all the birthday parties, showers and weddings we are missing. Put another way, we have no social life.

Friday comes and Sean asks, “What’s going on this weekend?” I used to be able to rattle off a few different options. Even if there wasn’t a formal party coming up, just spending a Saturday or Sunday afternoon at my mom’s house felt like a family gathering thanks to Papá Chepe’a visitor. (A positive side effect of the stroke. It’s brought our family even closer together.)
Now I might say there’s some event I need to do for work but otherwise it’s do chores and hang out as a threesome.

If I was in LA today I’d be in the middle of getting ready to attend my fourth wedding of the summer — pretty average for us — and second of the month. Today, Elizabeth and César will get married. I’ve known Elizabeth since she was a toddler and her family moved to our block. They quickly became close friends. We even visited them in Jalpa, Zacatecas one December and went to Elizabeth’s quinceañera. By chance, I got to see the proposal too. César threw a decoy party complete with delicious tacos and a mariachi. I’m definitely sad to miss this wedding (plus her family throws awesome parties).

Last week I missed David (it feels weird not to call him Oso) and Iris’s wedding. I checked out the photos taken by other friends I met through blogging. I wish it could’ve been like the Carlsbad blogger reunion of early 2012, but alas it’s tough to travel with a toddler cross country.

Earlier in the summer I missed Diana and Carlos’s wedding. I’ve known Diana since 2002 and would’ve loved to spend a weekend in Santa Barbara celebrating with them. Unfortunately, their wedding was on the weekend right before I started my new job and we had already moved.

At least I didn’t miss my cousin Vanny’s wedding in early June. I was lucky my new job was okay with me starting later than their target or I might’ve missed Vanny and Junior’s nuptials.

Of course, I knew I’d be missing events when I decided to move. That was part of the deal since I don’t have an unlimited travel budget and vacation days.

What I didn’t expect was how difficult it is to make friends and how lonely weekends feel just us three. I know I need to give it time. I’ve only been here about 11 weeks and have actually  met a number of kind and friendly people. We say “yes” to the things we are invited to like a picnic for Latinos in the area. We’ve even been to a birthday party.

But still on weekends like this and last I wish I could teleport the three of us to LA for a good party or BBQ, delicious food and amazing people.

For now, you might just find me running around the Ithaca Commons skipping like Sid the Science Kid singing “I’m looking for my friends, I’m looking for you!”

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5 thoughts on “Looking for my friends

  1. I find myself thinking much more about you and your family lately, wondering how you’re doing and what new things you all get to do in the new environment. I’m sorry that it’s tough finding a new social circle and I’m sure everyone says that it will get better….I’m sure it will. Just know that your California friends have you in our thoughts.

  2. Yeah, that was one of the hardest things I faced when I left L.A. for Boston a year ago. Still haven’t created something that works for me. Best of luck to the three of you.

  3. Eva says:

    I think it’s harder to make friends as we get older, people already have their circle and it can be hard to be social with a toddler. Best of luck as you guys get settled!

  4. Wait, why am I no longer Oso? You were very much missed, Cindylu. It took us so long to meet friends in Seattle. Like a year. Then everything came together all at once. It’s like dating. Takes time, often wastes time, but eventually you meet the right people.

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