My social life tends to be a little schizophrenic. There’s the swing dancing part, and the Catholic young adult part. Historically, the Catholic young adult part was the biggest and the deepest, where my good friends were, where I drew my emotional support, the people that I hung out with on the weekends, the people I took care of. Swing dancing was that odd thing I went off on my own to do. I wasn’t very close to the other swing dancers, and I was happy with that. There were already too many people who felt they had a right to my time and attention. Swing dancing was the place I could go and just be, the place where I could be selfish. All I wanted was to dance, and so I did.
Then I started getting closer to people at swing. First Mark and Jenn, then Chiara, then Trey and Anna and others. I started dancing a lot more, and spending most of my free time (and a lot of time that wasn’t really free) dancing. Little by little I began to pull away from the Catholic part of my life. Being Catholic is still one of the foundational facts of my existence and my friendships with my Catholic friends go way deeper, but my social life is now focused on swing.
Last weekend I had a party. I called it Big Party @ Bernadette’s, and I invited my whole life. I told everyone that this September marks my 2nd year of swing dancing, plus I’d moved into a new house that I wanted to show off, and I wanted to see all of them. And they came. I had maybe 60 or 70 people there, although they came and went, so I think the most we had at one time was maybe 50. We had beer, and chicken on the grill, and a dance floor in the basement that everyone was having too much fun to use. It was a great party. People are still telling me what an awesome time they had. It was a huge success.
Except my worlds didn’t mix. My Catholic friends and my swing friends pretty much stayed in their own groups, warily acknowledging each other’s existence at a distance. I think each group intimidated the other, but for different reasons. And while my Catholic friends are well aware that my life has a cast of thousands, I think my swing friends didn’t really realize what a large circle of acquaintance I have. I can’t make people talk to each other, but I guess I’d hoped that there might be a little cross-over. And… no. I’m still stuck in the middle.