Thursday, November 25, 2010

Meeting New Friends

We are spending Thanksgiving weekend with some old friends of DB a few states away from home. These are families that formed around when DB was first married and have had many years to grow bonds between each other. The wives and the children have spend many holidays together. This is the first time they met me and J. We received a warm welcome, everyone did their best to make us feel at home. 

J found a bunch of kids to roughhouse with and is happy as a clam. DB is enjoying the time with old friends - their interaction opens windows into his past that I was aware of but had not experienced until now. The ladies have to pause their conversations mid-stream to include me. The men not as much, they are able to find things to chat about that don't require them to have had previous acquaintance with me. 

The first evening goes very well. The next morning. I am beginning to grow a little trying to fit comfortably without encroaching upon people I have known less than ten hours. I have nothing in common with the ladies, I'd love to help in the kitchen but they have things well under control. The kids have more supervision than they require - I am beginning to feel quite redundant. They all speak a language I do not understand so in the middle of a telling something funny, one person needs to step in and translate for my benefit. If anything I am in the way of everyone having a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend. 

I retire to our room upstairs, listen to some music, check my email,  read the November issue of Time magazine. All the time, I am wondering at point I would have crossed the line and gone to being impolite. I do have to return downstairs where everyone is and insinuate myself ever so gently so I don't upset the natural equilibrium of things. Marrying for the second time has many challenges  - catching up with friends who have traveled an entirely different path than ourselves is but one of them.


ggop said...

I don't think this situation is specific for someone who has remarried. My husband does this all the time. Of course, it doesn't help he isn't Indian and some of my good friends do act a bit clueless at times. They lapse into Hindi/Marathi even when he is around. I know it comes naturally for them and it is unfair of me to expect them to be as sensitive as I am to his needs.

After 4-5 years of meeting these people regularly he is now comfortable with a subset!

ggop said...

Forgot to add, I know some of these people for over 20 years. So we have a long history.

Ananva said...

After having spent more than 10 lonely thanksgvings and other holidays as a single and then single again person, I am grateful for any company I now get, even if it's just me and my husband. Languages, cultures can be a barrier to social interaction, as much as you let them be. Unless both of you start making new friends together, it will continue to be a "I don't fit into this group" interaction until the effort is made to blend in and like the other persons associations. Some fallouts are inevtiable though.

Heartcrossings said...

ggop - You are right about this not being a remarriage specific situation. I guess I felt overwhelmed with the realization that the relationship DB and I have with these folks will in large part depend on how well I am able to integrate with them.

Ananva - I am completely relate. For the first time this Thanksgiving I felt like I was an "equal" part. Though friends would invite J and I over to their Thanksgiving dinners, and we enjoyed their company and hospitality - this time was a lot different. I had forgotten how this felt like