I was at a wedding over the weekend and was looking forward to seeing some people I had not seen in a while. By the time I got to the ceremony there weren’t any spaces left close to friends so I sat next to a couple I didn’t know. Turned out the man was the groom’s line manager and we ended up talking about our sons’ obsessions with football, after school clubs, life and general things. It was really nice talking to them.
Still I was hoping that at the reception I would get to sit with some of my friends. As I entered the marquee, I suddenly realised there were no place settings. I looked round for familiar faces but couldn’t see any. I contemplated sitting at an empty table with the hope that friends would soon gather and we could regale ourselves with updates from when we were last together. However, it didn’t happen quite like I had hoped.
At the same time, a woman who I had served with at my previous church sat at the table I was thinking of sitting at. I thought well I know her and there were two spare seats next to me if any friends came by soon. So I sat down, particularly as the place was filling up rather quickly.
I got up to get a cocktail and I met two friends who asked if there were spaces at my table. I replied yes and pointed at the table and one of them commented, “you are sitting with people you don’t know?” And my puzzled response was “so?” They politely declined the proposition of sitting with strangers.
We all like the familiar. It’s comfortable and comforting. I don’t think of myself as a sociable person but perhaps having to make friends in a city with no friends or family has morphed me into a more sociable person.
I had an absolutely pleasant time talking to this lady for the best part of two hours or more. We talked about children, our childhood, what we were up to, the food (which was really nice), some future plans, my blog – we really talked. And it was none of that stilted conversation where you are thinking of what to say. It was just an absolutely lovely time. I really didn’t miss my friends at all. Truly amazing how you can know someone for so long and not really know them.
Change is good – particularly when it opens up opportunities like these.