Private Gal

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I just made a new friend from my neighborhood association. She came
to visit and check out my deer fencing and we just clicked, even
though we are decades apart in age and I am retired and she is
working mom. She’s asked to visit, but her timing and mine are very
different. I protect my creative time zealously, even from close friends,
because I am a writer who is very involved with a project that I do not
want to distract attention from. Can I convey this nicely without losing
access to someone I would otherwise enjoy?

Private Gal

Dear Private:

Friendships that endure require mutual investment of time. That
almost always involves compromise. It’s certainly worth making a new
friend at any age and of any age if you click, though with person
whose life is radically different the constraints of infrequent contact
may inhibit developing a long-term friendship. It’s certainly worth a

Start by email contact with a summary of your regular schedules and
when the best times to connect are. Say you’re happy to make her
schedule apriority given that she has children, but caution her that you
have a busy and overly scheduled life too. Perhaps suggest meeting at
a park or somewhere where the children can play while you cat, and
explore whether there is enough there there to keep investing time.
It’s also good to connect on social media and see if you have any
friends in common. That will help you get a handle on what else you
might share. Tell her what you like about your writing, but (as a
writer) my general advice is to keep your project close to your vest
with people you don’t know well and save a lot for a true unveiling
when it is finished.