Regarding *friends for a particular reason*, it seems to be a man thing - or is that unfair, and it's actually a Sage thing? I shall explain what I mean, but please don't take this as a complaint, I love the Sage and all his interests dearly, and I don't mind ... but once in a while, it'd be nice if he shared some of my interests as I do his.
If you asked me to list mine, for example, books and music would come high on the list. Neither would feature anywhere on his. But pretty well everything that he would itemise is something that I am prepared to take an interest in, and this isn't reciprocated at all. I could do a long list, but it wouldn't really help matters- the point is not what they are but that I obligingly take an interest because he does, and it wouldn't occur to him to do the same thing.
I did have a bit of a go, a year or two ago - "you hardly ever encourage me," I said. "I don't discourage you," he defended himself. Um. A silence fell. The truth is, he assumes I will engage in his enthusiasms - and I do, I don't want to leave the impression that we go our separate ways entirely - while he is just indulgent towards mine without thinking that they should involve him.
We have agreed to differ for more than 38 years, there is no likelihood that things will ever change. Fortunately, we both like our own space and shy away from the notion of doing everything together. I'm not sure how this makes us look here, probably not a very attractive couple, but I know I'm not explaining it well at all. In particular, I don't want to make him sound unsupportive - it's just that he's more single-minded than I am (single isn't right either, he has a range of interests) - it's the difference between a specialist and a Jack of all trades. He masters, I dabble. He supports my enthusiasms, if he doesn't share them.
Except, I will say, for the friends I've made through blogging. There, he has been absolutely delightful. He hasn't felt excluded, but has somehow understood how engaged I've become with people I had never met. It helped, of course, that my very first blog-meet included him, and that it was with the