Monday, October 23, 2017

A Little Navy Dress and Some Thoughts about Friendship

 For an opera as splendid as Turandot, especially when produced this sumptuously, one really should dress up a bit. But the practicalities of walking to the Skytrain stop through Saturday night's significant rainfall couldn't be ignored. My new Vince dress qualifies as dressy enough because Midnight Blue velvet! yet pairs easily with black tights and a pair of black ankle boots bought in Paris years ago. (This dress fits that category that Duchesse writes about here -- and it also channels the navy that Alyson posted about today, here.)

A scarf against the gusty wind, an umbrella, a  black, wool, narrow, very classic coat I just bought, a pair of leather gloves to keep my umbrella-gripping hands cozy, and I was ready. (For a better idea of the dress's colour, click here and enlarge the photo for a close-up -- it's a subtle shimmer of dark colour.)
Not particularly dressed up, no. Sheer tights, a bit more heel, a sparkly pendant rather than the scarf, and perhaps I could have piled my hair up a bit. . . . But I must say that I'm feeling better and better about my wardrobe matching my lifestyle, the way I've collected a number of garments that can come out to play for a range of activities and circumstances. This fall, I've added five new items (shoes, jeans, the coat, this dress (scroll down), and the Vince one you see here), and I'm close to ready for any occasion that's likely to pop up in my life.
This dress I especially love because the velvet and the swishy cut lend it enough glamour to take me to the opera, and also, as on Saturday, to a wonderful afternoon hotel for a catered, sit-down lunch a friend hosted to celebrate the women who had nurtured her through her 65 years and were going to be there for the coming decades -- isn't that a splendid idea!

I wanted to dress up a bit, but my overnight guest and I had lots of catching-up to do Saturday morning, and pyjamas were de rigueur over coffee and the delicious pastries (croissants! pains au raisin!) Paul brought us back from the nearby L'Atelier Patisserie. No time for gussying-up, in other words, but this dress let me feel festive without the fuss.

Being able to go from that late-afternoon event to a quick sushi meal before the opera, on foot and using public transit, braving the elements? While looking good and feeling not just comfortable but yummy-velvet-swishy coddled? This dress is already paying its rent!
Oh yes, and the hair as an element of my wardrobe. It's getting greyer and the curls are getting to a length I like. And at the opera yesterday, a lovely woman stopped me to ask if I wrote a blog (Do all of you stumble over my blog's name? That odd Latin moniker that I should probably ditch one of these days?). She'd recognised me by my hair (hello Rosemary? or was it Rosemarie?) and wondered if we might meet for coffee some day.

And perhaps we will. I've been thinking about friends and acquaintances, how we meet them, nurture them, open ourselves to some, haven't time for others, how they change over a lifetime, collectively and/or individually. I've pulled or been pulled away, geographically and in other ways, from various networks -- ecosystems even -- of friends numerous times in my life, and moving back to the city, away from some very dear friends of longstanding, was a way of controlling another rip in my social fabric. My hope was that by making this inevitable move earlier rather than later I'd have time to develop new friendships to delight and sustain me through my next decades.

This is happening more slowly, perhaps, than I'd hoped, and I must say that it's tougher than making friends while watching your kids play soccer or learn to swim. Tougher than making friends at grad school (even though I was, at grad school, at least 20 years older than the other students). Much tougher than making friends among my neighbours on a small island.

But life experience tells me that it will happen, and right now, I'm fascinated at seeing what's happening for me, socially, while I'm waiting for the BFFs to manifest in my 'hood. Rosemary and I may meet for coffee, and we may or may not feel a connection that will lead to another coffee or lunch. Or we might feel a potential connection but the logistics, the timing, the reciprocal need for a new friend, one of those elements isn't working right now. I'm trying, though, to be open, to trust in process, to allow time,  to enjoy meeting people in those moments we have together.

At the opera on Saturday night, I sat next to a lovely woman and we chatted about the opera, a bit about grandchildren, As we left our seats after the applause finally died down, she and I said good-night to each other, and we commented on how much we'd enjoyed each other's company as seat-mates.  I said to Paul as we left, "I could see myself being her friend," even wished I could have been bold enough to offer my email address and suggest meeting for coffee. (Have any of you ever begun a friendship this way?)

Instead, I'm thinking of how lucky I am that the friendships I built in our last community are proving surprisingly resilient over the distance.  That I've got an international network of social media friends whom I've met "in real life" and who feel, honestly, like good friends although no, they couldn't easily be there for me, or I for them, in a crisis. That I've already felt the potential of acquaintanceships here to develop into friendships. That while I don't have friendships that deep or dependable nearby yet, I do have family, both immediate and extended. That I have a wonderful partner. And that I'm also very content, for long periods, with my own company.

And I'm also thinking of how surprisingly satisfying the fleeting or momentary connections can be as well. Visiting with my opera seatmate Saturday evening, the ninety minutes I spent with an Instagram friend in Portland last month. Lots of ideas about friendships and finding balance in one's social life, and about friendship and moving and ageing. . . . Hoping perhaps we can talk a bit about this over the next few weeks. It's a conversation I tried to start well over a year ago,  never quite managed to get back to in any sustained manner, and I'd love to pick up the threads again, so what we might weave out of them, together. . . .


48 comments:

  1. Friends are vital to ones mental health....
    Rosemarie and I exchange emails regularly... and she mentioned that she recognized you at the Opera!
    Look forward to more of your friendship chats.
    Great dress BTW!

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    1. Good to know that you and R are friends -- we can never have too many, right? You've been very lucky with such a longstanding and deep connection to your neighbourhood community.
      Thanks, re the dress. I'm really pleased with it!

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  2. Velvet is a hero - I like your dress very much and am sure I would like it more in person. I have a long slender brown velvet dress I haven't worn in 20 years but haven't thrown away just because it feels good.

    I carry my online friends with me, in a way, repeating to me something they've said (like your comment on my blog this weekend) or imagining something they might say. They are a real part of my life. xoxo.

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    1. I can just imagine that dress -- I wouldn't throw it out either EXCEPT that I threw out a few treasured pieces like that in the move, or at least placed them with wearers who seemed to appreciate them.
      You're a real part of my life, too, m'dear, and I know we'll meet again, much sooner than the interval between our last visits. xoxo

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  3. Ditch your blog name? I like your odd Latin moniker. It says so much and yet so little :) (In a positive way i.e. it does not limit you, topically e.g. opera, outfits, friendships are all fair game. And see what I did there? I would never dream of using id est and exempli gratia in one remark were it not for the Latin connection!)

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    1. You painted the broadest smile on my face with this comment, Georgia. So pleased to have readers to whom that Latin resonates! (I might well have been one of the last dinosaurs to study the language in high school, but perhaps you were another? ;-)

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  4. I met Rosemarie for coffee. She is delightful. It seems to me that acquiring new acquaintances who may or may not become close friends keeps us fresh. I am reclaiming a burgundy velvet dress from my daughter. It's vintage now. Your hair is looking very elegant.

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    1. I'm looking forward to meeting her for coffee (and I hope you and I might have lunch again someday, although your return to the classroom will make that a challenge!)
      Burgundy is a gorgeous colour for velvet!

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  5. Your hair is fantastic.
    I think we send micro messages of welcome or not to strangers, often subconsciously. In the busiest years of job and family, we are often distracted, and friends and colleagues are there when we need/want company. A move or lifestyle change puts us back in "new kid at school" territory, and I think we have to once again consciously open ourselves to strangers. As you just proved, it can be so rewarding.

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    1. Thank you!
      That's an interesting theory, about the micro-messages, and it resonates....There's something vulnerable about dialling those messages in the direction of openness, but the rewards are there. . .

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  6. I am one of the last dinosaurs,too :-),love Dicta and sententiae
    Your dress is perfect (as well as the hair)-deep blue vevet-invaluable!
    Friendships are too,they are essential,as well as our family we love. They are our chosen family. I was lucky (or not:-)?) to spend my whole life here,so some of my friendships exist from,literally ,very early years. But some are quite new,from different situations and circumstances.
    It is not easy to start from the scratch,but it is not impossible-you are not taking children to different places,but you are taking grandchildren. Individual foreign language lessons are better for learning,but in a group you could meet people.....etc,and start your network
    It is hard not to have your friends close,but than there are phones and visits
    From my experience,there are periods in life when you have less time,not to be here for your friends,but to spend more time with them,especially when your family ties are strong and it is a loving family-it is not easy to nurture friends relationships
    Social media friends could be real friends,too
    It was great to meet you and Paul
    There are some voices here that I'm looking forward to hear/read and it was so nice to see Rosie and Wendy in photos,while "travelling" with Sue
    Dottoressa

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    1. From one dinosaur to another ;-)
      You make a good point about the language classes -- this is something I'm thinking about now, and perhaps to take the classes without Paul, to push myself into other friendships. Probably in the new year. . . .

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  7. People here don't ' dress up ' for the opera , perhaps they do in London . I like your style . Bohemian in a quiet way . Not enough to turn heads in the street but definitely worth a second look . I thought quirky was the right word but , as it also means weird & bizarre, that wasn't right . So I shall put you in the category of ' Bohemian Academic ' ��Anyway it's a great outfit .
    Wendy in York

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    1. Bohemian Academic! I'll take it ;-)
      No need, really, to dress up for opera here either, but there's a mix that's been trending more and more dressy. And although I'm not going to be breaking out a formal dress and hat (there are a few who do this, and now that we've been season's ticket holders for ten years, we recognize them, a few circulating the same three or four gowns, good for them), I don't have so many occasions to dress up and I take advantage.

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  8. Your simple velvet dress is perfect and I’m sure will get much wear. I have a similar number in brown which I love and wear often. Hair is looking good too, bet you are glad you made the no dyeing decision. Life becomes so much simpler. As for friends, I can imagine your dilemma now. Nodding as you write about the simplicity of making friends when the kids were young. Must admit I’ve made lots of good new friends recently with my national trust volunteering work. Of course I have lots of new blogging friends too :). B x

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    1. I think so too, re the dress's wearability and longevity. Yes! So glad I've embraced the grey -- so much easier and less expensive.
      For the moment, I'm not quite ready to commit to volunteer work, but I expect that will someday be a source of new friends and other rewards. The National Trust is such a good focus for you.

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  9. Please don't alter the blog name - it's a corker! I think, with friends, that it can depend on propinquity and you make close friends in a work environment that perhaps do not remain when that is severed, although some will. Or you are friends because you have something very specific in common - babies, location - and sometimes they don't survive changes. Other friendships last your whole life and it is hard to pin-point why - yet more flounder and die despite years of closeness. Joyously, there are some that you think have gone forever but which suddenly spring to life again and I have been lucky enough to experience two instances of that in recent years. I would say: keep looking out for more friends along the way. Blogging mates are a new manifestation but a pleasing one. There is nothing sadder than those who let friendships slide and end up alone - I can think of two old ladies who are in this stage and it is very sad indeed. But, thinking about it, they were not encouraged to look for friendships outside the family circle when young and I think that has a lot to do with it. We always showed the kids how important friends were to us and filled the house with them, noisy though that might have been at times. And now they have lots of friends too. They are the blessed buffer in life. Also: velvet. But, of course.

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    1. Propinquity! Yes, I love that you used this word because it was rolling around my noggin as I thought about friendships.
      My mother was one of those who not so much let friendships slide as found it hard to replace her few friends as they died and the energy and confidence to be socially vulnerable eluded her. . .

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  10. Your velvet dress is regal. Love the velvet! Very nice for the upcoming holidays. I can see this dress going in many directions from casual to classic chic. For casual, I'd try belting it with slacks or tights and a tall boot or even complementary colored shoes. Given the blue, scarves are great. Also, there are endless possibilities with jewelry. For classic chic, try opera length pearls or a gold chain. Regarding friendships, everybody needs them. It is shortsighted to think otherwise. I find I have close friends and casual friendships. Inner circle and outer circle. The closer friends are trusted confidants and compatriots with much in common. Most important. All others come and go and neither of us has expectations. I find the two groups together are perfect. Susan

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions re the dress, Susan. I'll tend to keep it on the more casual side (although you'll only rarely see a belted dress or top on me -- my short waist simply doesn't tolerate it).
      Interesting the way you can divide your friendships into inner and outer circles. I'm curious about the constancy within each circle. Personally, I've found that I sometimes find myself more nearly on the same wavelength with someone who might come in and out of my life for a shorter, more intense period than I might with someone whom I've known and held close forever, but who doesn't "get" some aspects of me. . . The inner and outer circles aren't so clearcut for me, I guess.

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  11. I too am a Latin class dinosaur, though I think I've forgotten most of it. It was the only foreign language offered in my small high school - I'm a bit older than you. So I love the name of your blog, and also your dress and your hair in this installment. This blog and the others mentioned are my favorites, and though I rarely comment, I love your blog and the responses. I'm sure that doesn't count as friendship, but one does get to feel like one actually knows you and the others. I'm sorry that in my case, the reverse hasn't been true as well!
    Jane

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    1. Thanks for commenting today, Jane, and for the kind words about the blog. I do think it counts for some kind of friendship, and should we have the chance (if only we had Anne (nohatnogloves)'s propinquity), we'd be able to develop that.

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  12. My friends are few, too few. A painful betrayal by a very close friend years ago has made me gun-shy. It's time to get over that, I know, yet contentment with family, a few friends, and a busy schedule combined with introversion lead to inertia and wondering how to begin again.
    "Someday," I tell myself.
    As you've noted, it's much more difficult to make friends in my 60s than my 20s or 30s when the natural coming together over children's interests led to acquaintance that led to friendship.

    I'm so glad velvet is making a comeback. One is on my radar for the winter, too. Yours sounds like the perfect fit for both comfort and elegance.

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    1. I, too, am an introvert. I know it doesn't make complete sense (it doesn't to me either), but I have more friends now, at 60, then I ever had in my 20s and 30s. I think, at this more advanced age, I have opened myself up more to the possibility of friendship. I think that is part of it. I have been able to maintain friendships with small groups I used to work with (we get together every month or so) and with individual women - one from childhood and others along life's journey. Frankly, I'm amazed, myself, as I'm very much a homebody and enjoy spending time alone.

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    2. Oh Lorrie, those kinds of betrayal are so painful, getting at our ability or willingness to trust, to invest in other friendships. And you've got such a busy life, such a close family. But having met you IRL, it's obvious that you have much to contribute to friendships, and I think we all have much to gain from them. Between us, I think we have to make those "Somedays" happen soon ;-)
      Will you sew your own velvet dress, or are you finding yourself too busy for such projects these days?

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    3. And Jeannine, what a wonderful change to be experiencing at our age -- I relate this somewhat to what Belle says above re micro messages. You must be manifesting some kind of welcome -- plus you'll be even more interesting to others now, with all your life experience and wisdom, right?

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    4. You are so right, Frances, that we must make time now for friends. As you might remember, my husband works in longterm care, and he keeps reminding me (and himself) that the best indicator for a happy and meaningful retirement is social contact, more important even, than health and economic well-being.
      Funny you should mention sewing a velvet dress...I've been thinking about the idea and looking at velvets in the fabric store. Time is, here too, a consideration. Simplicity is best with velvet, so...perhaps.

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  13. Ah ... making new friends. It's like dating, isn't it? There's a real tension in deciding when to move from acquaintanceship to friendship. Some folks I just click with. Others I can't wait to run away from before they ask me out on another "date."

    I'm an extrovert who deserved the "friendliest" title in high school. But my good, good friends are few and far between and, these days, pretty far-flung from where I live. I'm more transparent on many topics with some people I know only online than with people I see in exercise classes two or three times a week. So for me, "geographically desirable" isn't a heavily weighted factor in selecting new friends.

    Interestingly, I've just returned from my 50th college reunion and seeing dozens of people I haven't laid eyes on in 50+ years. But amongst them were wonderful folks with whom I now plan to stay in touch and see again. I didn't expect this at all. What a precious gift it's been to find such lovely old/new friends again.

    Ann in Missouri

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    1. Yes, like dating -- in fact, I've been thinking that some aspects of it are (or could be? should be?) like speed-dating, as we suss out the chemistry of a friendship almost as quickly as of a date.
      Isn't it interesting about that openness we experience and/or manifest with online friends? Some of my social media friends know more about certain aspects of my life than IRL friends of fairly longstanding.
      I haven't been to any reunions since I left high school. How wonderful to connect now with so many who knew your (much!) younger self! I can't quite imagine what that would be like.

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    2. Frances, 50-year-later reunions with old friends is as close to time travel as you'll probably ever experience. Such strange sensations!

      Ann

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  14. Oh my goodness, my life is made up of fleeting connections at the moment. In my new work as a tourist guide I meet people briefly and they move on, and I feel pangs of regret that they are passing out of my life. In particular, a few weeks ago I hosted a French couple of my age on a tour of the distillery I'm working at. We were absolutely on each other's wavelength, but of course it would be bizarre and pushing the boundaries of my professional role for me to say at the end of a tour "why don't we keep in touch?". And so the connection ends, but I do regret the loss. It's something I've been thinking about a lot recently.
    Like others, blogging and Instagram friendships have been a recent thing, cemented by meeting several in real life and discovering that the connection survives the harsh light of reality. With these and in-person beginnings, I'm finding that I have to be much more brazen than I might have been in the past. There may not be a second chance to let a particular friendship evolve gradually, so the 'what about having a coffee' sometimes has to pop up much earlier.

    Please don't change the name of your blog! I have never thought of it as being a difficult name, due to having escaped the (to me) horror of sewing, knitting and cookery at school to jump into the Latin stream. And working in a university founded in 1518 for many years, Latin became part of daily life.

    As for the velvet dress - I love the sophistication of the dark silhouette, enlivened by the scarf, but not overshadowed by it.

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    1. That would be frustrating occasionally, I can imagine, to connect with clients during a tour but be constrained by professional boundaries from developing a friendship. Plus I can imagine that the social toll of the work doesn't leave too much energy for friendships at the end of the day and on weekends -- at least, that's what I found with teaching -- it drew intensely from my social/emotional energy, but professional boundaries meant that real friendships were unlikely to be made and sustained.
      I can see the need to be a bit more brazen as well, with the changes in lifestyles that have evolved since I last needed to make new friends. Then, a certain regularity of schedule and propinquity might offer numerous chances, but not so with these more random connections in the city. We'll see. Openness to possibilities seems key. . .

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  15. First... you have the most amazing hair, Frances. And it looks even better in person!
    Second...that dress. Love the idea of a casual-ish velvet dress. Better with opaque hose and boots like you wore it than sheer hose and heels. More chic... more... I'm me and I'll dress the way I want, I think. More... I'm striding out purposefully and looking fabulous while doing so!
    Third... friends, both on-line and irl. How wonderful it is when there is cross-over from one category into the other. I love it when former work-mates, and family comment on my blog, and make references to our shared experiences, and seem to cheer on my new on-line, post-work venture. And similarly I love to meet on-line friends like you. And Rosie last summer. And Wendy a week or so ago. That is so cool. Because as I commented to Stu, I think my blog readers actually know things about me that casual friends who have "known" me for years don't know. Partly because at work, or on social occasions I didn't usually wax lyrical about what books mean to me, or about family and identity etc etc. Things that may be close to my heart but rarely make it into casual conversation. I think that's why my mum loves to read my blog. She says she's learning so many things that occupy my mind and my life that she never knew. I love that. And while she says she never reads the fashion posts because at 90 they're not relevant to her...well... when Stu and I arrived at her house in August, as we were carrying bags into the spare bedroom, she whispered: "Are those the new skinny jeans?"

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    1. Aw, thanks, re hair and dress. . .
      I'm with you on the crossing over of friends between categories. I loved hosting those Friday late-afternoon soirées my last years on the island, just throwing out a bunch of casual invitations, putting out some snacks and wine and bringing together people that I generally saw in separate categories. The cross-over between on-line and IRL friendships works the same way (and you're so right that our "blog readers actually know things about [us] that casual friends who have 'known' [us] for years don't"
      I love that you're seducing your Mom into an interest in "the new skinny jeans." So sweet!

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  16. Sorry, I am late for this. Your remarks about friendship put me thinking, and it has taken me some time to find the right words. Three months into retirement, I find that I am missing my colleagues, or at least quite a few of them. (Not the work, not even the students, mind you.) I am realizing how much time I spent with them and to what extent our kind, easy co-operation shaped my everyday life. And I also notice now that almost all of them are younger than I am, although at the time this difference did not matter. These last weeks I have tried to take up some friendships from earlier times which I had badly neglected. In some cases we were able to pick up where we left some years ago. But all these people are in their 60s or older, and in many cases I find that their outlook on life is shaped by their age (including illness or loss). This is only natural, I think, but I feel a bit stunned by the swift and brutal way I have been put in my place – generationally speaking.
    On the other hand, there is time now to make new acquaintances which might develop into friendship, as with the group of future neighbours (we are building our own condo). And I haven’t forgotten our “date” in that café Unter den Linden and hope there may be more somewhere in the world.
    As for Latin, I beg to differ. I spent nine(!) years learning Latin at school, and I consider it a sad waste of time. I wish I had learned a living language instead. But I always liked the name of your blog because I took it to be a form of deconstructing the historical term “paterfamilias” with all its inherent aspects of dominance (of men over women, old over young…).

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    1. "I feel a bit stunned by the swift and brutal way I have been put in my place --
      generationally speaking." This is a point I'd like to take up, Eleonore. I loved the diversity I found in my workplace, the connections I could make with colleagues, and even though I wasn't friends with my students, I was exposed to a wider range of age and class and other demographic elements than I see myself moved into now. I've been thinking about this, hope to post about it and see what others experience or have experienced. . .
      You've got it -- that's exactly what I hoped to do with that Latin. I wanted to signal the importance of my role in the family -- against the assumption that the "pater" was the head -- but/and also to write back to academe, in a way, and insist that my family was part of my life.
      As for Latin as a waste of time -- nine years! that's a lot! -- didn't you find it useful as a key to other languages, though?

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    2. Absolutely! This being swiftly put in my place/boxed/relegated took me utterly by surprise when I took my very early (mid-50s) retirement from my university job. I found myself saying ever louder during introductions to new people 'but I'm going to start work again. I haven't finished yet!'. Would love to see a further conversation about this.

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    3. Eleonore, that's such a pity that your school didn't offer you a living language as well as or instead of Latin. While being very glad to have studied Latin for the help it gave me for studying European languages and for its rigour and literature/civilisation, I would never defend studying it instead of a living language. I was lucky at my Scottish secondary school to have been able to start with French and continue it all the way through school and then on to undergrad and then doctoral level, but also to take Latin, German and Italian to school leaving qualification level. That same range of language opportunities is sadly not available today in the Scottish state school system (Latin is dropping out of the picture, and fewer living languages are offered) and is one reason we opted for private education for our children.

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  17. You sound increasingly comfortable with your new life, with both keeping old connections and reaching out. And I too find that multipurpose clothes serve best, nothing terribly dressy or the inverse. It is necessary to take that small extra step to nudge a chance meeting into a coffee date or whatever. I know you can do it!

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    1. I think so, increasingly comfortable, yes, and also more aware of what (and why) I'm not comfortable with and how I might change that.
      Have you ever made that move, at a chance meeting, to suggest a follow-up? Twice now I've thought after that I should have, but not quite managing it yet....

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  18. What a lot of very interesting and pertinent comments here, Mater. (Yes, another grudging Latin student here who was overwhelmed with gratitude to discover that knowledge of that arcane language did indeed come in very handy in the deciphering of all the initially incomprehensible terms I crashed into when I began my very theoretical Masters in my 40s. That may not have been reason enough one might say - I mean, dictionaries exist for a purpose - but I loved the teacher anyway).

    Like Eleonore, I too left my university work back in the summer and find myself catapulted into a new age that I didn't see coming. It is proving a great opportunity to reconnect with those friendships which have fallen away through disuse (if I can put it that way), most of which have been a delight to re energise.

    I have a school reunion coming up next month and I have reconnected with some long lost friends in advance which reminds me that the old friends from school and university whom I cherished, I met purely by accident of alphabet having been allocated to classes or room by order of surname. There must therefore be a splendid group of women with names amongst the Ws, Xs, Ys and Zs whom I missed. Wonder what happened to them?

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    1. It's true for me as well that Latin has often proved a handy key to open up words. . . and those Latin teachers are "sui generis"!
      I know exactly what you mean about friendships that have fallen away through disuse, and I've been similarly delighted to reenergise some. And I'm amused now wondering if you might find some new friends with surnames from the end of the alphabet (so sad that friends from those bygone days can't easily be tracked through Facebook, etc., as so many of us changed our surnames, those early identities erased....

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  19. Our gardening friend, Ali, is travelling in Europe right now and not finding success trying to post enroute. She misses our community! so she emailed me this and I offered to cut-and-paste it into a comment.
    "I'm still not able to leave a comment on the blog. I wanted to tell you that I love the edgy look that you carry so well. You seem to be able to dress to your personality.
    Your comments regarding friends is interesting. Maintaining a friendship is work, just as maintaining any relationship is. Sometimes just meeting someone for five minutes, there is an instant connection and you both realize that with the effort there could be that BFF thing. I think the effort is what stops a lot of great friendships from getting off the ground."
    Ali

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  20. What a lovely dress, and your hair looks wonderful.

    Friendships are so changeable and malleable. I have distanced myself from some childhood friends, sadly because of politics, yet another friend from whom I was estranged has come back into my life, and it is a very good thing.

    Then there is my 83 year old mother who has told us three weeks ago she has fallen in love with a 93 year old man. You never know where friendships and love can be found. We are happy for her and adjusting!

    I cannot post too much because I have exams to mark. I do enjoy the thoughtful posters here.

    Brenda


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    1. It's surprising how much some friendships can change, distance between each other becoming more pronounced by changes in the political climate, for example, as has been happening rapidly lately. But then we reconnect with old friends, as you have, and we make new ones -- as with you and me these last few years.
      As for your mother -- that is a big adjustment to make, but what a thrill for her to have that adrenaline to ride at her age.
      I'd wish you Happy Mid-term Marking, but that seems unlikely, so I'll just wish it may go speedily, and imagine! soon this will all be part of your past!

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    2. Yes, it has been nice to develop our friendship over the last few years. May it continue so!

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  21. I've been sitting quietly in the corner, happily listening to the conversations around me, but with too much swirling in my head to be able to join in. But a few belated thoughts as I've thought about who my friends are and how I met them. Generally the friendships have developed through being part of a group--potluck group, book club, work, community garden, monthly dinner party, French class, neighborhood opposition to a mega project. Rather than "speed dating" and looking for an instant connection, all of these groups allowed time for people to get to know one another easily and naturally, and for time to sort out who was particularly attracted to whom. Some groups are easier to enter with a partner but I think it's essential to participate in at least some groups alone. One or two friends have emerged for me from each group. Different degrees of friendship of course, some to share joys and sorrows with, some to go to the theatre with, some who will come with jumper cables, some to laugh with. A small thing I did that allowed for a bit of spontaneity was to have "unbusiness cards" made up when I left work--just an interesting color, name, email and phone.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for joining in after sitting and thinking, Elle. I think this group-joining is what I need to do, next, soon, although I've got some travel to sort first. I do need the longer acquaintance-building first, and the slow emergence of kindred spirits. But I also love your idea of "unbusiness cards" and I think I might borrow it, thank you.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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