Friendship Is Hard

“Old Woman in the Garden” (1906) by Paula Modersohn-Becker

This week’s Ask Polly featured a letter about fading friendships. The letter writer expressed sadness and regret about their friendships and said they feel like a misfit in the queer community. In my reply, I mentioned that anyone who feels the same way should email me and I would pass it along. Now I have 10k emails from queer misfits for the letter writer — a stated introvert!

So maybe I should try to pair everyone up, in the hopes of creating a bunch of queer misfit quarantine pen pals?

But that makes me worry about ALL of the misfits out there who need pen pals right now! And it’s also made me reflect on how hard it can be to join any community when you’re a little allergic to groups (I know I am!) (and how hard it is to make new friends when we’re all isolating) (and how hard it is to ask for what you want from your oldest friends).

That’s too many things to talk about! But fuck it, let’s do this! Why is friendship so hard? Why is community so hard? Why is connection so hard? Why haven’t most of us learned how to reach out to each other without fear?