I never was great at small talk. You know the stuff. “What do you think of the weather?” “How about them (fill in the local sports team)?” and the OMG I can’t believe you actually said that “What’s your sign?” (For the record, my sign is “caution: steep cliff ahead.”)
I’ve lost the art of the introductory chatter you use to find common areas for a real discussion. I never really had it but could fake it when necessary. It’s a waste of time but required to get the introduction that may or may not develop. (If I know you have a pet, I can chatter with you until the cows come home! Just ask the beloved husband. Maybe my go to question should be “do you have a pet?”)
A long time ago, when I met my good friend Gail, we were part of a bridge group. Everyone took a turn hosting, and it was my turn. She spent a nanosecond in my house and asked about my window treatments. In great detail. The detail only a professional would know. I had made them, and they were all unique. We bored everyone until someone asked if we could do lunch for that conversation and stick to bridge.
We became fast friends. She worked at a place that made high end draperies and I learned a lot from her. We were never at a loss for words and after the initial conversations, it wasn’t about draperies. We had a lot more in common. (Who would have thought window treatments would kick start a friendship?) We are still friends but she has moved across the country.
I had a work friend who would say that there are all kinds of friends. Some are for a reason and some for a season. Sometimes they help you get through something, or you share an endeavor like work or a hobby or kids’ activities. When that ends, the friendship falls apart unless you have other connections. I still consider her a friend but it’s unlikely I’ll ever see her again. Our real connection was work and discussions on the inner workings of people. (That’s a hazard of being in human resources. You always want to understand the motive that makes people do things.) I’m not sad about it as we shared many good times. Not every friend will be long-term. It sounds sad but it’s not.
My high school bestie died many years ago. I had a few others, but none survived. I’ve made some friends in my new neighborhood. We are all retired and at the same stage in life. Time will tell. Reason or season…to be determined.