a social adventure

So today I met up with someone I had only met once, to see a museum exhibit and have coffee. We'd met at a NaNoWriMo event, back when I was doing that, and she'd said "I'll email you" without our having exchanged emails. But I had told her my name, and where I taught, so she could easily look me up, which she did, and emailed me a week or two later. I was busy with end of term stuff, so we didn't get together until today.

This morning, I was going to post a note about how the effort to meet a new person to be friends with felt an awful lot like dating. I don't have very many friends here in this city -- several of my close friends have moved away in the past year or two, and during the year or two leading up to tenure, I was living kind of like a hermit, since I was really focused on my writing. I put a lot of effort into socializing during my first years in this city, when I was new in town and single. Since getting together with my partner, I've put more time/effort into that relationship and less into other, more diffuse, socializing.

It's hard to meet new friends -- I'm not really sure how you do it, in your mid-30s. Everyone I know (including me) is super busy with work/career stuff. And then many people my age are also busy with having kids, which mostly puts people out of the social circuit for 10-15 years. I know, I know, I could take a class somewhere, or join a discussion group, or a service organization... but I haven't had enough money, or time, or motivation, or focus to do something like that yet. Maybe next year.

Anyway, since this woman P seemed interested in getting to know me, I thought I'd say yes to her suggestion about getting together. It's been a long time since I met a new person who might be friend potential. So we met up today at the museum, and had a perfectly nice time. She's interesting, and very different from my initial impression. But . . .

It also turned out that although she's married and has 2 children, she identifies as a lesbian, is in an open marriage, and I think she was kind of interested in me. Which is kind of flattering, sure, but it is also a little weird, since I had not picked up on this beforehand (being thrown off guard by the husband and kids who were with her when I first met her). I was plenty surprised.

So I'm hoping we can maybe become friends and not have it be weird. But it also makes the project of finding some new friends seem even more daunting than it already did . . .