Moving to a different state as a grown-up is exceptionally hard. There’s the normal stress of finding a new home, getting your stuff from one place to the next, job transitions… you name it. But also, you’re taking this huge leap of faith going to a place where you have little (or, no) existing network.
Let me tell you, adults out there, you are wayyy out of practice when it comes to meeting new friends. When you’re younger, you make friends so naturally… you’re thrown together in school or activities or even a job (or, you go out to bars like it’s your job and you meet people there).
Later in life, you have to make an effort. Ug. I hate effort. I work full-time. I have no bandwidth for effort. Needless to say, I have been so, so, so appreciative of our San Francisco friends that have welcomed us into their fold and introduced us to their friends (less effort!).
I hope that some of my fortune on this front is a little karma being paid back. In Boston, I was flush with friends and social activities and was always more than happy to include someone new.
Last Thanksgiving day, I met the requester of this post. She was brand spankin’ new to New England, having taken the aforementioned leap just a few weeks before, driving a car full of boxes and her pooch to a foreign city. I’d heard plenty about her before the move from our mutual friend, but had not met her even once.
The year before, we’d invited my friend, her then boyfriend (now husband), and his mom to our place for Thanksgiving. We weren’t planning to see our relatives that year and we were thrilled to incorporate some of our Boston “family” into the holiday. So, when November 2012 rolled around, I invited them to come back and recreate the fun we had the previous year. They accepted and asked if they could include their newly-moved pal, which, of course, we welcomed!
I prepared a big feast with all the requisite Thanksgiving dishes, as well as a few experiments. One of the less traditional things that I served was Ginger-Cardamom Spiced Caramel Pears. They were a little weird and I wasn’t sure that anyone would eat them, but they were fun to make and pretty to present, so I figured, why not.
Turns out, those pears were a big hit with our new guest. And over them, friendship was formed. It’s my most special memory from that holiday.
I can’t wait for the day that we’re so established in our new hometown, that we have the opportunity to invite some friend-of-a friend-homeless-wanderer for Thanksgiving dinner. I’ll be serving ginger caramel pears.