Remember that fable? Technically I'm more of a suburban mouse, but I married a country rat.
When we first married, we lived in the city, and I became friends with our neighbors and his friends' wives. He tolerated my college friends, and disliked B, whom I was still in contact with.
Seven years later, we bought our first house in the country. He immediately felt at home, but I was lost. It wasn't until a year later that I felt comfortable with any of the women in the neighborhood, partly because I realized they had brought their 'city rules' into the country, and the two were not compatible!
I grew up 5 miles south of town, where the dogs roamed free; everyone cut through the yard to get to the neighbor's, and friends just 'dropped in'.
Not in this neighborhood!
-I received phone calls, complaining my dog had been in their yard.
-More phone calls, requesting my kids call before coming over.
-Fences were being erected all over, with 'No Trespassing' signs posted.
After the first baseball season, I also realized the rest of the community was a lot nicer, and I made friends who lived closer to the school. But my hubby was right at ease with the men, and didn't understand why I wasn't as friendly with our neighbors anymore. And when I explained, he agreed that the women were 'uppity bitches'.
I cautiously followed 'their' rules, and went back to holding people at arms' length, until T moved in. She was having the same problem as I was, so we hit it off and still remain in contact, even though it's been 3 years since we moved.
And now, in our new town, I've made a few friends, but no one I feel particularly close to, except maybe D. I'll talk about her and my writing friends tomorrow.