Small World

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I have two friends that I’ve known for a long time, though far better in
the past decade when we have all been single. We are social for
movies and theatre in dyads, but do birthday brunches with a fourth
friend who is in a long-term relationship. It’s a very small community
of Jewish lesbians, and everyone knows everyone else’s business, was
once with someone that everyone else knows, has heard about every
detail of your personal life (accurately or not), and is incestuous (not
in the literal sexual sense) but with the clannishness of any college
town with a community of migrants from NYC etc. The fourth woman,
Marsha, is not Jewish and has a wider social circle.


Complicated social engineering made simple:
Marsha is friends with Jane who converted to Judaism because she was
in a long-term relationship with Sarah, who left her for Ellen, but they split
up and Sarah just moved here. Jane and Marsha agreed I was the most likely
fit with Sarah and connected us and indeed it looks like it will indeed be fun
to get to know her better. But now the other two friends are angry with Marsha
for not picking them, and with me for being less available. To make it
worse my birthday is in May and I don’t want to be social with people
who are angry with me.

Small World

Dear Small World:

Friendship among singles and dating in a small pool of people is a
strangely collaborative and competitive world. You want your friends
to be there for you when you have great news to share and also to
help pick you up when romance falters, as too often it does. What’s
most important is to communicate well with your friends, and to do so
with such a sense of happiness and optimism that they would have to
be real grinches to fail to be joyous for you.

Go ahead and make your birthday brunch plans. Be sure to talk about
your new romance only part of the time, and try to avoid any air of
relief about no longer being single. Be sure to ask about what’s going
on in each of your friends’ lives and to display the same enthusiasm
for their joys that you would like them to show for yours. Do not,
repeat NOT, invite the new girlfriend to join the foursome “so that
people can get to know her.” Also, be clear for yourself that if she is
new to town she will likely want to make other new friends and
perhaps to date people other than you (including possibly your friends
or your own ex’s). Unless you say you’re exclusive, you’re just at the
front of the line.