Friendships divided

21 Nov

The Milks have just come back from a sejourn in Manchester. Mr Milk and myself lived there for 11 years. In fact we met there. We came to London when i had big Milk because we wanted to be near our families, but it was, and is, with a divided heart.

We’ve done alright in London, and we adore being nearer to our families. In truth we wouldn’t and couldn’t move away again. But boy do we miss our friends. When you become parents in a new area, you do make friends but separately. I have lots of mummy friends, but with the exception of a few i never see them outside school times. Firmly “first base friendships”.

Likewise Mr Milk has made good friends at work, and they might down a few pints after work sometimes, but the relationship ends there.

So if me and Mr Milk ever go out, it’s always on our own, which is lovely of course, but it is a bit one dimensional. There’s nothing quite like the fun you have with a crowd; it takes the pressure off you as a couple and allows you to explore and enjoy other facets of yourself. There’s nothing like looking across the table at your partner sharing a joke with your friends and thinking “Phwaor, you’ve still got it honey”.

So we miss our shared group of friends in Manchester, and it was with thick glasses of nostalgia and longing that we trundled back down the M6.

But life has moved on. In truth, it’s not just geographical distance that has changed things, so much as life itself. We’re all parents now, short of time and low on energy. Gone are the days as students when we spent all of our waking time in the pub giggling into our watered down pints of Fosters. I’m not so sure we left them behind in Manchester, as much as they grew up, just as we did.

Still, we can’t wait for our next trip up North guys, so put the Fosters on ice.

14 Responses to “Friendships divided”

  1. Lucy November 21, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Apple cores aside, I can totally relate. I did my student days and early twenties on both sides of the Pennines, and the nostalgia for those days is utterly piercing at times.

    That said, we operate in a group now. But I only like 50% of them….why is it that so often I only like one half of a couple?

    Never satisfied, me.

  2. Ehmummy November 21, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Relating to this post in particular today as spent last night with a two close friends. As you say, the friendships made through kids and work just aren’t the same and with no family within hundreds of miles, I think we really appreciate the old friends.
    On the other hand, these guys don’t have kids so are a terrible influence. I’m not sure a 5am close to proceedings is to be recommended…

  3. jfb57 November 21, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    So glad you had a good time. I know exactly what you mean about friends, work, children. At least you have something that you know you’ll love when you do it again!

  4. Janelle November 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    i feel the same… not about manchester, as i have never been there… but about my uni and pre-children days… a nostalgia for the past… fun things i did that i never do now because i have children… growing up and being a responsible parent is definitely not carefree and fun like those days gone… and going out is the same for us… he has his friends at work and they go to the pub and i have my mummy friends and we to to clown town with the kids!! we are moving back to aus though, for this reason, we want back our life together, so the kids can go to the grandparents and we can do more stuff

  5. Janelle November 21, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    …that was supposed to read ‘do more stuff together as we grow older’
    thanks to 1 year old… how does she manage to press all the wrong buttons??? is it by accident or does she really know how to send emails, tweets and blog replies?

  6. TheMadHouse November 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Oh my this totally sums up me and MadDad, we left all our couple friends back in Berkshire and although I do not want to move back I feel the same.

  7. Jean Has Been Shopping November 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    I like your new header and design.
    Hubby has so many friends in this town, and I can count mine on one hand. My closest friends (and my family) are mostly in California.
    Anyway, I enjoyed stopping by today.

  8. Vegemitevix November 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    very much where I am at the moment too, with heading home after 2.5yrs, in only three weeks time. So want to go, but also feel a bit nervous and sad for the old days I know have passed. (Sorry about typing cat is sitting on laptop to get warm!)

  9. Jana November 21, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    It is sort of sad, isn’t it, the way we all grow up and grow divided? It can never be the same as it was. But it is refreshing to see old friends and pick up the roles we used to have, as well as reminisce.

  10. Lady-Like Pervert November 22, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    Isn’t that really the story of all of our lives? (Perhaps not the moving bit, but the drifting from friends and finding yourself surrounded by one-dimensional friends)

    I spent a decade like that when I moved here to be with my now-husband, but 4 years ago I decided that I would “put myself our there”, progress some of the relationships. I’m so glad I did.
    I have amazing friends now, nice and close to home.

    If you ever find yourself on my side of the pond, I say we drink Fosters.

  11. Muddling Along November 22, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    I know exactly where you are coming from – there seems to be a distance over and above physical miles that separates me from some of my oldest friends, I miss them and the easy relationship you have with people you have known for the better part of 20 years but am not sure we can totally rekindle things again

    That said over the course of the last year (incredibly) I’ve been lucky enough to find friends that feel like old friends even though they are relatively new

  12. mrshev November 23, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    We have near 1000km between us and our close friends and I certainly miss talking absolute shite with my mates, looking at the clock and realising it’s 3am and the kids are going to be thwacking my head with Transformers in a couple of hours…

    It is summed up better than me by Mary Schmich:

    ‘Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.’

    • marketingtomilk November 23, 2010 at 7:53 am #

      Oh God you know that’s hit a nerve Mr Shev. My dad had always been hugely ambitious, a bit selfish, a loner, loved to travel the world on his own even if it meant leaving heartbroken girlfriends at home. When he lost his sight and hearing and was getting to the end of his life, he would say to me over and over again, make and nurture friendships. There is nothing more important in life. Sadly he realised this too late. x

  13. greenie01 November 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Only just got around to reading this post. I can relate to it entirely. We upped sticks 16 years ago from South Manchester to Hampshire. Only intended staying south about 5 years but once the kids are settled in school and friends it makes it difficult to up root them again. The weather is better here and we’ve made some great friends but we still miss Manchester. Fortunately we get to go back every couple of months to see my mum and family. Whereabouts did you live?

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