When you’re a child, everyone talks about how hard it is to be an adult.  Of course, children never believe this, because it seems like adults get to do whatever they want, plus they have children around to act as free labor.  It seems like adulthood is awesome, and we all rush through our childhoods trying to get there faster.  Then you get to be an adult, and you wish that the adults in your life had been more effective in communicating how hard it is so you could have appreciated being responsibility-less with the right amount of gusto.

The thing that I find hardest about being a grown-up, though, that nobody ever mentioned to me, is that it’s hard to make friends.  Once I graduated from school, where it seemed like I was surrounded by throngs of people with whom I had a ton in common, the rate at which I made new friends slowed way down.  They sped up at my last job because the culture at the company was so terrible – it’s easy to make friends in a foxhole when you’re all fighting for your lives.

I grew up in Dallas.  My family moved here when I was fourteen, and I went to Texas A&M for undergrad and University of Houston for law school.  You’d think that attending these particular, large, Texas schools would mean that I have a lot of friends here, but I don’t.  When I first moved back in 2010 to housesit for my parents, I had two friends:  Katy, who went to high school with me, and Stef, who used to work with me at the terrible company.  Katy lived 30 minutes away in Lake Highlands, and Stef lived 50 minutes away in Southlake.  Both have young children.  I don’t get to see them as often as I would like.

I took a writing class at SMU on a lark in the summer of 2011.  My mom expressed confusion, telling me I already knew how to write, so why was I wasting my money?  I couldn’t tell her that I wanted to learn to be a better writer, that maybe someday I could make a living at writing the things that I want to write instead of the things that my clients want me to write.  To tell the whole truth, I also needed something that got me showered and out of the house.

That writing class changed my life.  I met an amazing teacher, whose opinion I value and respect, and who thinks I have talent.  We’re supposed to be self-motivated and not get our sense of worth from others, but it means the world to me that she thinks I have talent.  More importantly, I made two friends, who didn’t mind my prickliness and took the time to see what’s underneath.  Because of these two friends, I made two more friends, and now I have SIX friends in Dallas, four of whom love writing as much as I do.

The five of us went out for an evening of Korean fun one Saturday a couple of months ago:  dinner and karaoke.  It was Carie’s fabulous idea, and I organized and executed as best I could.  We navigated the melee of the Korean strip mall where the restaurant is, and I tried to be a good tour guide through the menu and negotiate some attention from the harried waitstaff. 

I got lost going to the karaoke place, which would have been ok, except I was leading a convoy of three SUVs hither, thither, and yon through K-Town, which is also where the hookers stroll.  When we began the evening, the five of us were all over the place in terms of enthusiasm for karaokeing, ranging from unveiled resistance verging on mutiny to the creation of lists of preferred songs.  I think the next time we karaoke (and there will be a next time), the spectrum of enthusiasm will be narrower and higher up in the range.

In some ways, it was your average night of five female friends enjoying each other’s company.  For me, it was putting down a few non-family roots in Dallas as a grown-up, which made the evening priceless.  I don’t know how long I’ll be here (I have itchy feet), but I know that whenever I come back, I’ll have friends for life who will sing ABBA songs with me as multi-colored disco lights swirl above our heads.

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2 Responses to Karaoke

  1. Leah Solon Streem says:

    One of my favorite memories with you (other than keeping track of “the list” ) is driving to a paint pottery store with you, both of us singing the heck out of Brooks and Dunn. I always had a good time hanging with you! – Leah

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