January 21 is an anniversary of sorts for my husband and I.  On this day in 1989, we had our first date.  We have been together ever since.  In case you’re not so great at math, that 24 years.  IOW a long time.

Yes, this is how we looked in 1989.

Because of the significance of this day, the fact my son’s birthday is in February and my husband’s is in March, I find myself thinking of relationships the first quarter of the year.  Not to mention, there’s also Valentine’s Day.

I quite frequently dwell on friendship and the fact that I have fewer local, close friendships today than I’ve had in years.  Except for my workmates, I feel very withdrawn from the world outside my family.  I tell myself to branch out, join a few groups, enroll in a class, smile at the person next to me on the YMCA treadmill…..

Yet I come back to this:  This is my son’s last school year at home.  My daughter wants to study abroad and very well might leave the country in a few years.  And I really like spending time with my husband.  Even if he doesn’t want to do ceramics with me at Mad Potter.

My husband reminds me of these facts a lot.

I understand we, as people, are supposed to be relational.  We women are told we need female friends to go out to lunch with and coffee with and shop with.  I’m an introvert and despite enjoying a lunch outing with my fellow workers, I can’t imagine who I’d even call and invite to dine with me.

I’ve considered an imaginary friend.  Why CAN’T adults have them too?  Actually, I have considered this as a book topic if I attempt to write another novel.  Another story for another day…..

In all the talk and books and tales of how we as people are supposed to be relational, I can’t comprehend how I could possibly be close to a few women friends, enjoy double dates with other couples, plus be close to my teenage daughter, all the while making time to attend various musical events with my son, and most importantly, maintaining a vibrant marital relationship with my husband.  Honestly, I simply cannot.  Not while working full time, trying to keep my house clean, and visiting Kroger numerous times during the week.  And making time for myself, again, a self proclaimed introvert who needs time to read, write, craft and bake to fully function.

So, as I trudge onward through winter, I am trying to pay very close attention to my family relationships.  As Buddy, the Cake Boss would say, “mi famiglia”.  Thankfully, my husband is my best friend, my son enjoys eating vegetarian food at Sav’s Grill with me, and my daughter is willing to allow me the privilege of driving her to Target for a lovely shopping experience.

Happy 24 years since Balboa Park and Corvette’s Diner in San Diego, Chip!  And thanks that all these years later, you take your daughter out for French food and watch hockey with your son.  I love mi famiglia, and as far as I’m concerned, that is, enough.

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