Why not? It’s not as if there’s some limit.
Are we so afraid of it in our culture that it’s unspeakable?
You may recall my tribute post to my momma. I said an older neighbor and friend was coming over. That, I attributed to my mother befriending people of all ages. My neighbor read or heard the post and said, “That’s me. I’m the old person.”
Well, why not? Why not have friends the age your parents might be? Why not have friends your kids’ ages, if you let them live? (Just kidding, y’all. All mine are still around.)
So much in our culture sends signals: you’re too old; you’re too young; you’re not ready; you’re overdone. It strikes me that we need more relationships that cross these divides, just as we need to know and love people of different ethnicities, religions, genders, and from different places.
How dull, if my world were reduced only to women with hot flashes and plans to make for retirement. If my only conversations were about good wine and nice restaurants, adoring them as I do. I want to hear from people who are planning weddings, forecasting careers, studying their butts off, birthing babies, posting homecoming pictures, watching soccer in the rain, shopping for colleges, taking their kids shopping for colleges, downsizing their homes, thinking about assisted living.
Too much homogeneity makes people single-minded and boring. This week, alone, I have friends who are flying off Seattle to share a book they wrote with an infertility support group, who are home nursing two-year-old twins with the flu, who are creating insurance plans during open enrollment for seniors, who are turning 23 and heading to the apple orchard, and who are adjusting to graduate life in Berlin. How I savor this knowledge.
Let me note that all these examples are about women. Yes, I’ve some male friends, but it’s the dynamic relationship with women this is about. Why should we care, sisters, if we’re older, younger, sillier, fatter, quieter, or crazier? We simply thrive in human contact, through a close connection with people who care.
This is one of my favorites this week; a much younger friend is having a “Red Tent” bridal shower. I have no idea what this means to the organizers, as I only know the bride. Sure, I read the book, but since menstruation has passed me by – and thank the good Lord for that – I can only think about the gossip, the advice, the competition, the managing of men, of husbands, of wives, of women, of children, of nomadic life that took place inside its red walls.
At first, I thought it was a terrible idea, but now I’m turning a tent corner, if it means that friendships and sisterhoods are timeless.
Friends, go meet someone far, far from your age and enjoy her.