brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

friend soup or ala carte

some people like their friends ala carte. they have their work friends and their outdoorsy friends and their party friends. and they don't overlap much.

I like to mix my friends up in a big soup consisting of all different types of friends. sure I have friends who like to do specific things more than others, but my work friends know my outdoorsy friends who know my party friends who know my family etc.

when I have friends over I invite them all. some add the spice to the soup, some are its base, but the mixture is always different and interesting. everyone always thinks I have such intriguing friends.

some people don't do this. they have low-key birthday parties for their kids and invite only their other parent friends over. they have crazy parties, and only invite their crazy partying friends over. and sure, they have their inner circle which overlaps each group, but most of their friends serve their specific purpose.

apparently my part of the meal with these friends is the outdoorsy and concert course. I am always invited along on rafting and camping trips and to see concerts, but they'll non-challantly thrown in mention of the kid or crazy parties when we're together, and I feel a little slighted.

sure I may not want to join them for the mayhem of 2-year-olds running around at a birthday party or their crazy friends drinking and doing back-room-only activities until the sun rises, but perhaps they should either extend the invitation to all and let them decide for themselves, or not mention it in front of those they exclude.

I know some of my work friends will never come to my house for a laid back afternoon bbq, and some of my party friends will never go camping with me, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't invite them or make them feel welcome.

last night I went to see Keb Mo with my mom and a few friends. my mom was worried my friends wouldn't want her there. I told her I didn't care if they wanted her there. she was the one that suggested going to see him, and I wanted to go with her.

most of my friends love my parents. they're fun and non-judgmental, and they usually leave my parties early enough so that they miss the craziness.

at this venue, you can spread out blankets on the grass, bring in your wine and have a picnic. so when we got to the show I got a space large enough for all of us. some friends knowing my mom was coming found their own space and came over to chat, but then retreated to their own blanket. some were hesitant, as they didn't know what dynamic there would be with my mom there.

maybe I'm naive, but I don't understand that. sure, maybe don't bring up the crazy details of my barely existent love life in front of her, but otherwise, it's not a big deal.

my mom is a great concert date. she appreciates the music, and enjoys sipping wine in the middle of a botanic garden over friendly conversation. she always buys her own ticket and sometimes mine if I'm not that into a particular show. and she knows about my friends' lives. they tell her, I tell her.

perhaps I should make more specific soups in the future. only throw in the ingredients I know work together. but I love all my friends, I love my family and I love spending time with all of them.

so I'll continue mixing up my crazy concoctions. let those who prefer the parts of their lives not to touch to initiate the exclusive outings. I love that my different friends and family sometimes become friends with each other. I have amazing friends, I want to share them with my other amazing friends, I don't feel the need to keep them to myself.


Valerie said...

That's awesome. I'm in the exact same boat. When I have parties, I invite EVERYONE. It's their decision to want to come or not, giving who's going to be there. And more often then not, they won't come unless my parents ARE there. ;)

Jerk of All Trades said...

Well, I would go so far as to say I'm AMAZING, but that's your call.

Jen said...

That is great to have so many cool friends and a mom that is fun to hang out with. I don't have enough friends here locally to have to worry about how they mix!

Rob said...

People are people, friends are friends, I agree, why not let them mix! I soo would love to go to a party like that. I hate “work” parties, and I don’t go to friends parties that are just to party with other crazy none work friends… And, sometimes it’s really cool when you can mix family in!

My best friend has about two huge parties a year, and it’s his work friends, his neighbors, his outdoor off-roading and hiking buddies, his long time personal friends, and his family. And his girlfriend (whom he’s lived with 3 years, and I don’t know why he doesn’t just marry already) invites the same mix of her friends. It’s always awesome, people FLY IN from out of state to go to these parties. I’d never want to miss one myself, even if I move away.

Sounds like I’d like yours too… But, maybe I’d have to get to know you first :-P

Jerk of All Trades said...

I MEANT to say I WOULDN'T call me amazing, but I guess it's equally goofy either way.

GlitterGlamGirl05 said...

I feel the same way - all my friends should love each other and then we can all have fun together.

kt said...

great analogy! i'm the same way - when i have a party, i invite EVERYONE! i'd rather go to a party where you could meet new and interesting people than one with the same people every time. Hope you can make it to my bbq and bring anyone that you want! =)

Yoda said...


Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble...keep on mixing your crazy concoctions! Imagine where salads would be if nobody said, "Hey, this oil and this vinegar don't mix too well, but DAMN they taste good together!"

It's been my experience that many of my friends don't have the kind of relationship that I have with my parents and that clearly you have with yours. When you feel like your parents aren't cool, it's sometimes hard to relate to someone's truly cool parents.

You're very lucky that your mom will not just go to concerts with you, but suggest such outings in the first place...but of course you know that. :-)


Matt B said...

Seems like you have the right idea on the friends scale.

Almost like me.

Kate said...

Just thought I'd check out your blog too. I love this post. I have a problem with my Friend Soup. I also like to blend my work friends, college friends, family, etc. BUT I find when I do this I am EXHAUSTED. Too much this is So-in-so she likes such-and-such. And this soup feels the need to pull me in different directions causing me to not have fun. As I type this I realize I need a new flavor of soup. Sorry to take up so much space on your comments with my craziness.

Jerk of All Trades said...

kate: Try adding a little Nutmeg. That's the "secret" ingredient in EVERYTHING.

ramblin' girl said...

I am very lucky to have great friends. and of course you're all invited to the next party.

kt- hope I can make it, too.

yoda- yes, I am lucky to have a mom like mine.

kate- that's why I leave the friends to deal with meeting each other. they're adults, they can handle it.

jerk- if you go moving to phoenix, I guess I'll never be able to assess how amazing you are or aren't...

Jerk of All Trades said...

I'm amazing.