I am cool. People like me. I am cool. People like me.
It's a mantra, Stuart Smalley style (reference to SNL skit about self affirmations you can see a video here to refresh the old noggin) I repeat to myself on the regular.
You see, 98% of my friends that I would love to see on the daily live out of state. I've done the math here. I have a few (GREAT) friends in the area, if by "the area" you mean the state. The closest is about 20-30 minutes away on a good day and the next closest is 45 minutes. The friends that are closest? Strangely I typically see them OUT of state at mutual friend's celebrations, birthdays, weddings, showers, etc.
I just want some local broads I can call on a whim and meet up. Is that too much to ask for? I want play dates for the kid that we don't have to pack up for the day. I want meeting up at the playground or movie night at someone's house. This, clearly, is too much to ask for.
By in large, our friends are primarily in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts but we have a few as far as freaking Australia. Facebook helps, email is a savior, but these things don't give us a Friday night dinner date.
We moved to the area over a year ago. Since our decent on our new town and state I've been on the hunt for a friend or two. I'm on the prowl. I leave the house and it's time to hunt. I work from home which doesn't help my cause. There is minimal contact with anyone - live and in person. It's a huge downside, but I wouldn't trade my commute or freedom of choice as it relates to wardrobe or footwear for anything. Including this elusive group of friends... light bulb moment: perhaps this is why I can't find a friend? When I do leave the house, I try to use this time wisely. I do not operate thinking of stranger danger. Quite the opposite, I am fairly sure women have walked away from our interactions thinking I am trying to pick them up. I'd like to move past the pick up and go straight to the 'let's be friends' conversation.
I have found some success, in the way of hanging out with people superficially. Luckily I came into a town where I know of two people, one of which has been a monthly savior. She has invited me into a Bunco group. Ah women and their company. I tried to find a reference link for you, if you don't know what it's about - but I think this video shows it all.
Monthly, we have a blast. I get drunkO at BuncO and all is good with the world, but it's not quite the full picture of what I'm looking for. Maybe I'm looking for something that won't exist for me.
I picture this family who lives with in walking distance to us - they have a kid or kids around the same age as ours - we get to together on occasion, Friday night dinners every couple of weeks. Can't you see it? We drink wine (I'll drink beer, but the story seemed to call for wine), the kids play in the yard while we look on from the porch (we don't really have a porch, but maybe they do). We hang out and laugh and eventually the kids go to sleep, sleep over style. At some point we head home or they head home and maybe rather than carrying the kids home there is a red flyer wagon that provides transport for the children as Mommy and Daddy
BBQs in the summer? Apple picking in the fall? Sledding on a random snow day in the winter? Something Hallmarky in the Spring?
It isn't that I'm not trying, for the record! In addition to trying to pick up strangers, I go to all the parent 'nights' or activities that are organized through L's school. I show up, like I'm going out on a date. I get dressed up (for me) and even through on a little make up. I never seem to get asked out for that second date though. I guess I don't ask anyone for a second date either, but I'm a lady, god damn it. Either I freak out and I'm the shy girl in the corner or I go in gang busters aggressively trying to connect with people in the nicest way with verbal diarrhea and friendliness. Perhaps it is not surprising people don't ask me out again. I wasn't always like this, but as time passes I start to loose hope of finding my people and have somehow along the way lost myself. I have a hard time balancing because I just WANT to have what I have found in other stages of my life so badly.
I am thankful for the monthly outlet with group I've been looped in on. Maybe I can't find "more" because I'm asking for too much? I can't say the same for the ball & chain though. I want him to have a guys night out. We just haven't found that connection. Maybe we are comparing too much to our friends that we do have? Who, by the way, are awesome, fantastic, generous, loving, caring, funny, entertaining, supporting, too damn far away (even at 30 minutes). Maybe I really am asking for too much?
A few weeks ago, I read this post over at Scary Mommy. She speaks the truth people. Her post frightens me because I feel like she's been in my head. It also makes me indescribably sad. Sad because I find this kind of post, which means there is this kind of understanding, and this kind of potential of people 'getting me' but it being so far out of reach to what I had hoped we would have. This is someone's experience that I can totally and 100% relate to, but that doesn't get me any closer to a Friday night dinner or a brunch rotation.
I am cool. People like me. I am cool. People like me.
We are fun. I mean, not to toot my own horn - but TOOT TOOT BEEP BEEP. Light bulb moment: maybe I need to calm my ego down? Maybe that's why I can't find friends? I'm going to keep trying and hope that someday my family in a wagon will someday come.
*Today has been brought to you by the number 39 of the "100 Things" List about little old me. Sure, planned to be on Thursdays... but better late than never.
#39. Most of my closest friends are in other states or countries. WTF.