Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The 7 Year Itch


Before you all get any ideas…. No, this is not a post about my wandering eye. All is quite good and stable on THAT front.

No, earlier today I was reading THIS article, which I found kinda interesting. Of course, I was reading it on “work” time, and pretty much ANYTHING I do on work time is more interesting than actually “working”, so maybe it wasn’t as interesting as I thought it was.

Where was I again?

Oh yeah, the article. Anyway, this piece talks about a study that was conducted that seems to have determined that most people seem to break ties with the bulk of their friends, and make new circles of friends, about every 7 years or so. For sure, most everyone has a friend or two that breaks that rule, but I began to take a good look at my own sordid history of friendships to see if I conform to the results of that study.

And for the most part, I kinda do.

Let’s start from the beginning.

When I was a wee-little Slyde, starting out in the world of elementary education, I, like most kids, made some tried-and-true friends that I had thought at the time I would have for the rest of my days (or at least until I was really REALLY old… like 20!). I pretty much had this same crop of friends, until we moved on to junior high (7th grade for me). Different school districts, different schools… the bulk of the friends I had made when I was young quickly melted away.

Jump to Junior High, where I met the people (good and bad) that I would spend the next 6 years of my life with. Here, over time, is where I met the friends who I SWORE as they signed my yearbook that “We would be friends forever!”. Our colleges weren’t THAT far away, and we would always have Winter and Summer breaks, yadda yadda yadda. Pretty much everyone that I would have DIED for when I was 18, is now no more than an occasional “Hi! How have ya been?” on Facebook. Makes me kind of sad when I think about it, but there it is…

Jump to college, where I again made some incredible friends that I bought a house with (5 guys an 2 girls living in a house in upstate NY, some of the best and worst times of my life), went on Spring Break trips with, got drunk with when they went through bad breakups, wiped the hair out of their eyes while they puked their guts out over the toilet the next day, and basically experienced the emotional gambit of what new 20-somethings go through as they enter adulthood together.

Know where they are now?

Me neither. Besides the odd “Family Christmas card” and again the occasional Facebook “HeyHowAreYa?”, I really don’t know those people anymore.

I’ve moved on. We all have.

Cut to my 20’s. A young, angry young man trying to make a name for himself at his first job. I made some great friends around this time…. A very close group of like-minded young adults. For the next 6 years or so, we spent virtually every weekend all hanging out together, as a group. We bonded, dated, fought, and were close as all get-out.

Aside from an occasional lunch get-together, a dinner night out where we meet each other’s wives, or that rascally Facebook again, they are all but gone too.

The group of friends that I have had for about 5 years now make up pretty much 90 percent of the people that I spend my social free-time with. I enjoy the time I spend with them, and at this point don’t wish that to change.

But after reading this article, I’m forced to wonder…. How much time with these people do I have left?

Is there some internal clock, unbeknownst to me, slowly ticking down the amount of time I have left where I can stand being around these people?

Likewise, are THEY, in turn, beginning to weary of me and my shit? That can’t be! Need I remind everyone that I’m near-perfect and extremely sexy? They can’t be tired of me, can they?

Something to think about as you take a look around at your closest friends the next time you see them.

p.s. The only close friend that I have currently had for over 10 years is, for some reason, Earl. Which is really weird, since he’s basically a dick.

And not that this has anything to do with anything, but every 5 years or so, instead of changing friends, he completely changes his physical appearance. It's true. He looks totally different NOW than he did way back when. When I first met him, he was a 6 foot tall black man.

Now, I’m pretty sure he’s Asian.

35 comments:

Dr Zibbs said...

"Now I'm pretty sure he's Asian" ...

Dots a good von!

B.E. Earl said...

You've convinced me.

I'm done with you. Have a nice life!

PS - Do you realize that it is approaching 20 years now that we have known each other. I really must be a great guy!

terri said...

Damn. It's true, isn't it? My husband has this one friend I'm getting a little tired of. I hope he'll move on soon.

Slyde said...

zibbs: :)

earl: or i must just really not have that much self-esteem

terri: Its cause he reminds you of me, right? the pain is too much to bear?

sybil law said...

I think there's a lot of truth in that article, too. I'm still friends with most people, but not CLOSE friends with them all. Huh...

Slyde said...

sybil: thats because you needed to make room for me :)

Michelle said...

You know I was just thinking about this phenomenon the other day. This is exactly what has happened to me. I am shedding my older more boring less active friends for my new and improved running buddies.

Want to be my new friend? Being your all hot and sexy!!!

Heff said...

Relax. ALL of my friends are dicks.

Michelle said...

:0)

That be life.

If nothing ever changed how boring would it be!

x

dizzblnd said...

I am 30 something. I have 1 count her 1 best friend that I have known since kindergarten. We live in the same city and see and talk to each other on a regular basis. My other "friends" from high school are the same as you described. Hey how are you on Myspace.

My work friends, I hang out with outside of the work place as well.

I am sure though, if I were to ever leave the job. I would not see them nearly as much.

Sad really.

Amorous Rocker said...

I changed schools every two years and we moved slightly over 20 times. I changed friends a lot.

Once I was old enough, I did find ways to keep in touch with some and I've got a small handful of people I've been friends with for a long time.

AlleyCat said...

Interesting. I don't have any friends from primary school. I have one friend from secondary school, but we weren't friends then. She & another girl we met at a gig when we were 19 are still best mates almost 20 years on! Others have flitted in & out. Plumbing boy is still best mates with his best friend from high school & 6 or so mates from his late teens. We are lucky to have such long standing friendships.

I do find we end up with new acquaintances perhaps every 7 years, but none have stood the test of time. yet :0)

PS glad you like my okker accent!

Caz said...

I wonder how Facebook is going to change it...

James said...

Interesting. But the other thing that your post points up is what a complete waste of time facebook is. These people are gone for good anyway what is the point of a network of humans you are done with?

Tamara said...

I'm still pissed off by the fact that I can't leave you a message because Snapvine discrimintes against my country, so I wasn't really concentrating when I read this post ;-) But I agree - I have very few friends of more than 7 years that I chat with often. Different seasons of life, I guess.

2abes said...

Earls really Asian? Reery cool Asian!

Blonde Goddess said...

I have friends from grade school that I'm still close to.
I guess I'm hard to get rid of.

Cuz said...

I totally agree with what you said.
The friends I would of killed for year ago, I have pretty much lost contact with.

Kelly is the ONLY person I can stand....LOL We know each other over 20 yrs. (yes I AM THAT OLD) and still enjoy going away together, meeting for dinner or a movie. We don't see each other that much but when we do we always have fun.

The other group of friends I know about 5 yrs. and 1 of them may not make it for another second, let alone another year. LOL

Bina said...

I have one friend left that I had growing up. Beth. We have been friends since 6th grade, and although I haven't seen her since '91, we are still great friends.

You lived with that many people in one house? I can only imagine the orgy's that went on there! LOL

Ookami Snow said...

I think alot of what is going on is just life changing every 7 years or so. Like new job or whatever. Also I think that there is also just natural turnover as some people we tire of and others seem more interesting.

But yeah my life falls into this pattern as well.

Elise said...

I can count my true friends on one hand. Those are the ones I've kept for ever (one of which I've known since I was about 3). The rest are my seven year friends.

I'm not saying I don't love my seven year friends. They're great. We have good times. Times I will remember for ever. But they gradually move on and so do I.

I like it. The more people I meet the more I grow as a person. xx

Bruce said...

I think that answer is obvious.....you like Dicks........(sad but true....come out of the closet)

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

Did I tell you that I left a message at the beep up there?

i couldn't figure out the way to add my photo but I left a message on 7-3

is there a way you can add my photo? well either way,

left a message for ya!

:)

latindog said...

How much longer do I have to put up with you Slyde? By my count, it's already been about 4 or 5 years.

Nej said...

I was reading that same article earlier this week. Pretty much all of my friends right now are 7 year friends. With only a couple hangers on from earlier years. It makes sense though. People get older, they grow up, the grow out.....and you grow apart unless you find someone that changes right along with you (or at least in the same general direction).

Kate said...

The love between you and Earl chokes me up. So special.
*sob*

Chris H said...

You are totally right about our circle of friends changing every 7 years or so! Weird that you are right about something!
I must check out your Earl... Asian eh?

Cocaine Princess said...

Great post!

Sometimes all you really need is one good, honest, loving, friend. The true ones stay wih you through the good and bad times.

Ali said...

I must be a real clingon then, because I've got friends that I've had since birth. Well, not literally, but since like a month or two after that.
Though, hmm, there are quite a few that I've lost touch with...
I dunno - I've kept some for good, and lost a few for good I guess.
But if it's a seven year itch, I guess I've got you for another...6.5?
Let's make it count, baby!

Real Live Lesbian said...

LMAO! Next he'll be an American Indian lesbian! ;)

Kaylen said...

I read this article too - and did the same thing, questioned which of my current friends are at the end of our time together. I now have a countdown for each friend so we'll know when our time is done and not try to drag it on longer than fate wishes.

I'm glad that this study came out though, cause honestly-I was starting to wonder why I can't maintain a friendship for longer than 7 years, but now I see it's a natural progression and I never have to doubt how wonderful I am ever again!

Sue said...

Ok Slyde... love this post. It's definitely true. In my opinion, we change constantly. I'd say we get lucky if we find one good friend to last our lifetime. Sometimes we find 2.

So... I do agree that people come and go. I believe we all have some sort of Karma with them and once we've played out the life scene with them, we all move on to meet other people who will help us make the best of our lives. However, there are times we meet someone, like your friend Earl and no matter what we do, they stay around.

I suppose we are either wicked lucky or the only ones who will keep 'em as friends! Does this make us saints?

Jennifer and Sandi said...

he was a 6 foot tall black man. - Holy shit that is SO FUNNY!

Great post!

- Jennifer

Heff said...

Just for the record, Heff Doesn't tweet. I couldn't let someone read that post incorrectly and leave misinformed...

Sitting In Silence said...

Very True !.....Love this post !