Friday, August 26, 2016

Veronica, Joy, and our Circle of Friends

A couple of people have asked my why I am co-authoring this blog with Joy when I am married to Veronica. The answer is simple. Both Joy and I want to expand our friendship circles. Veronica is glad to cooperate in any way we wish, but she does not feel the same need to make more friends.

There are many reasons for this. First, as a doctor, Veronica spends time regularly with people who really need her. Because she works at a breast care center, many of her clients suffer from cancer and are quite ill. At the end of the week, she prefers to spend time alone and with the family - she does not feel much need for more human contact. By contrast, both Joy and I spend a lot of time alone. We both write. When our work is done we want to get out and spend time with other people.

And Veronica is also very devoted to the family. Her Mom, Zoya, spends a lot of time with us during the garden season. The two of them work on the organic garden together, growing the fruits and veggies we eat from April through November. This takes up a lot of time and effort.

Also, Veronica is a devoted daughter. About five years ago, Zoya had a stroke. She made a good recovery, but lost some use of her right arm and leg. Then two years ago, she took a serious fall and had to have a hip and a femur replaced, slowing her down further. Zoya loves the water; she was in her youth a serious extreme athlete, winning the all soviet union female sea kayaking championship two years running when she was 19 and 20. But now at 86, and with limited use of her limbs, she finds it difficult to swim. Veronica takes her out to the beach two, three and sometimes four times a week during the warm weather, places her in a life vest, and pulls her along while she 'swims' so that she can enjoy the ocean and get some exercise.  This also takes up quite a bit of time, but both of the 'girls' enjoy the beach and water, and especially enjoy their close relationship.

Veronica is also a devoted Mom. Our son has always needed some extra assistance and encouragement in his studies. Veronica and I home schooled him until high school, and then, when he was ready to drop out of high school, we enrolled him in an on-line school and assisted him while he learned at home. We repeated this process with his university studies. Veronica has until recently often been at his side, learning with him and coaching him. I was also very active in homeschool, but have not played as direct a role in his university studies.

Add to all of this that Veronica is more self-contained than I am. She can spend long hours just looking out the window at the birds and squirrels and butterflies and flowers.

Long story short, Veronica has less need of additional human contact than I; she is quite satisfied with our current circle of friends. But as I said, she is always willing to assist. Meanwhile, Joy has introduced us to just about every friend we have in Connecticut, so she is a natural partner for me in this friendship - expansion project.

I wonder whether other couples experience similar imbalances in their friendship seeking? Why not add a comment and let us know.

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