Breaking The Inner Circle

I’ve been sitting here for 5 minutes, just thinking, just looking at my screen. Trying to decide which way to go with this post. I could be really melancholy, because two of our best friends have moved away. I could be really joyful – because they are moving to an exciting opportunity in Seattle.

I decided to walk right down the middle.

We all have an inner circle, right? The people who are closest to us, who we can count on for anything? Especially us orphans who moved away from family back home and started a new life all on our own. We build that circle from friends in our new state, the people who gather for holidays, the people who are listed on emergency forms, the people who have house keys.

It’s sometimes hard to bring in new people into that circle, because it changes the dynamics. In the past, new people have crippled my circle and I became even more cautious.

“They are lawyers and one of them is Irish. They seem cool.”

That was all I got out of my husband six years ago when Michelle and Pierce moved in next door.

We’d been here five years already and were on friendly terms with the family there, but not much more than that.

Slowly, over time, we hung out with Michelle and Pierce more and more. Dinners back and forth across the fence. Concerts, as we all loved (mostly) the same kind of music. Walking dogs when Poe came along – my 70 pound dog nuzzling their pup who was 1/10 his size. Soccer games, because the Irish is always in Pierce and they were season ticket holders.

We introduced them to Jeff and Danielle – our primary non-family family members and the circle expanded. Dinners turned in Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hanging out turned into babysitting. Walking the dog turned into Pierce being the only one on the block besides us who could manage Poe. Concerts turned into sitting on their floor, watching Eurovision for 4 days straight and torturing Pierce with Jedward. Times with Declan turned into “date night” for Michelle – where they created insane desserts that involved massive amounts of Oreos and sugar and food coloring and a bunch of other things I don’t know because, seriously, Oreo Night was out. of. control.

We became family.

Michelle Declan Pierce

On her last day in Denver, Michelle’s mom called and told her a secret.

“I think your house has a ghost. I never wanted to tell you while you lived there, but I saw him, plain as day, when I visited.”

We all were crushed that that we didn’t know this previously. We totally would have made friends with the ghost. It would have been a goof. Like Oreo night, and Eurovision, like almost everything we did together.

What they don’t realize is, there most definitely *is* a ghost in that house.

Michelle and Pierce left one behind the minute they stepped on that plane.

This article has 15 comments

  1. Everyfann

    Beautiful. Sounds like a nice “family.”

  2. Chloebear

    Snif, Snif….they have a standing lifetime invitation to Thanksgiving & Christmas dinner. Actually, whenever they want to come:). They ARE two of the sweetest people in my life. I see a lot of Skype in our future. We vowed a girls trip once a year!

  3. Anonymous

    Wow, I don’t even know them and I am sad for you! – m

  4. Meghann

    We are geographical orphans as well, and it is really hard for an introvert like me. The number of friends I’ve made since we moved here, I can count on one hand. I’ve always envied your posts about your friends, I wish I had that sense of family.

    We did have it a little bit with a set of neighbors in our little cul-de-sac, which only contains 5 houses. They were an older couple, and very outgoing. They adopted our kids as surrogate grandkids, cheering them on when they learned to ride bikes, and their house was always the first stop on Halloween so the kids could proudly show off their costumes to Mr. Cliff and Ms. Betty. They hosted get togethers and our little cul-de-sac was a little family of its own.

    And then Cliff passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, and Betty moved away not long after to live with her daughter. The thing that crushes me is apparently they were the glue holding this little family together. Those of us left barely speak and we all feel like strangers. It’s been a hard adjustment.

    /long post all about me. I hope your friends’ move goes smoothly, and I hope someone awesome moves in next door to you.

  5. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    No Meghann – thanks for sharing that – they sound lovely.

  6. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    And D – yes! Girls weekend!

  7. Sizzle

    I’m feeling very raw around friendships and this post makes me sad for you. I hope they don’t experience the Seattle Freeze when they are here. It can be hard to find lasting friendships (I have found). But! Seattle is an awesome city. I hope this means I’ll get to see you more than usual (selfishly).

  8. FireMom

    I love your point about how dear our friends are to us when we move to a new state and start a life of our own. I’d be lost without my friends sometimes.

    Wishing them an easy transition — and you too.

  9. Arianne

    Aw hugs!! It’s so hard, I know. <3

  10. monstergirlee

    We have a close neighborhood around here, we watch each others kids to give Mom a break, we pick up or drop off from school in case of emergency or doctors appt or just because it’s convenient, we BBQ at one house or another all summer, every Friday, and its a wonderful bubble we’re all inhabiting right now. I see a couple moves in the next year or so and it makes me sad in advance, and try to appreciate what we have right now. No one has said anything out loud about the loves, but I have a feeling 🙁

    I’m sorry you’re losing your dear friends, that just sucks. I too, am a transplant from far away, and it’s friends who make up the difference, they are so necessary.

    But on the bright side – another reason to visit Seattle (and ME) yes?

  11. monstergirlee

    Oops – BIG typo.

    Shoud read: No one has said anything out loud about the “moves”, but I have a feeling 🙁

  12. Mr Lady

    I guess I better move back.

    But this time, I want THAT house.


    In sincerity, I am sad I never met them. Oh, how our street was born for greatness.

    I remember when you guys moved in, how sad I was because the people before you were so awesome, and I knew that we wouldn’t get that lightening twice. Boy oh lordy was I ever wrong.

    I wish your friends pure joy, and I wish you as epic new neighbors as that street always gave me.

  13. Cheryl R.

    Lovely! I wish them the best here in Seattle… it’s a hard town to get close to people in. I miss my “Inner Circle” of family back in CA, so I know how hard it can be to lose someone from it when they move away, or you do. Hope you’ll be able to visit each other regularly!

  14. Tree

    I am crying for you, but also excited for their new opportunities. What a lovely tribute.

  15. MPPs Mom

    a really nice tribute. I miss them and I didn’t even meet them. I just know how much they meant to all of you. Much success in their new venture, and fingers crossed the new neighbors are good ones too.

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