Tuesday, October 11, 2011
how to be (sort of) successful while trying really, really hard
A while back a fellow mom blogger, Suburban Snapshots, posted about the difficulty in making good friends that resonated with me. In fact, it was as though she crafted the article especially for me. As someone who doesn't enjoy talking on the phone very much, in-person chats are important to me. Having close buddies nearby means I can have a conversation where the two of us don't even need to speak in full sentences. I knew that moving to a new place would mean that I would be starting over, but sometimes I forget how much I miss the belly laughs.
I hate appearing needy, so I wonder if I might have a tendency to appear aloof to other moms. In reality, what I'd like to be shouting is "Gimme gimme gimme! I need, I need, I need!" Like Bob, I am babystepping it into friendships. I am thankful for the few good friends I have here; my dear cousin who lives a couple of towns over, Triathlete Mom, Laid Back Mom, and a few others I've been collecting over the months.
It doesn't hurt that the weather here is terrific pretty much all the time right now. Gorgeous. At least when it isn't raining. Great weather makes you want to linger outside a little longer, looking around for a good driveway chat or stopping to talk to the lady pruning her bushes. And Lord, do New Englanders love to gab. It's a little known secret that southerners don't own the rights to all the idle chatter this side of the Mississippi (M-i-ss-i-ss-i-pp-i). You just have to know how to make small talk, that's all. Here's the scoop on some solid gold convo topics:
1) Rag on the Red Sox, but quickly assert that the Yankees suck so they know where your allegiance lies
2) Rag on Tom Brady, but quickly assert he's the best QB in the NFL so they know where your allegiance lies
3) Say in an incredulous tone, "Can you believe this weather?" No one can ever believe the weather ("weath-ah"), no matter what the barometer reads. I can't figure out if they are just making polite conversation, or if the weather is really that constantly surprising here.
A few weeks ago I stumbled into meeting a nice woman at the library. She happened to exit during Vivi's "races," in which she runs like a maniac up and down the hill in front of the library and gives me a high 5 on her way back up. This woman's three-year-old ran right up to mine, and they stopped like a couple of dogs to check each other out for a moment, and seriously without a word--just a quick smile--they started back down the hill together, holding hands and laughing hysterically. Done and done. I've never seen a kid make friends as quickly as Vivi; she's the pied piper of three-year-olds, only without the creepiness.
Last week I went on a play date with Library Mom, and she and I had lots to talk about as fellow home rangers. She taught me how to give a kid some bangs. Bangs, y'all! I have a healthy fear of bangs due to having had ridiculous thick bangs that started from the back of my skull--or maybe farther back--for my entire childhood. A little too much business in the front, if you know what I'm saying. But that's my own quirkiness, and I dare to dream that my kids might have normal cute bangs some day. Apparently all you need to do is pick up the amount of hair you want made into bangs, twist it, cut straight across, and voila! Adorable 'do.
I've also met some fun moms at our local park in the woods, and we've made attempts via texts to get together on occasion. Although I've enjoyed these outings, I definitely agree with Suburban Snapshots that you make your good friends not by trying at scheduled outings but by living your life, much the same as with dating.
Maybe I'm proving myself a GenX slacker, but I want to fast forward a bit to the part of life where I've been here long enough so I can just sit back and attract friends through relaxed magnetism. Pretending to be at ease is hard work, people! Plus, I just discovered that TJ Maxx is headquartered nearby, which could be why we have some of the best stores I've seen. I need a plunderer to come with me!
The Ellipsis Queen
Just in case you thought I was exaggerating about the excessive bangs I sported when I was young...
Shazam! See what I mean? But maybe I should be thankful, since if it weren't for the giant overgrown toupe on my head, I would have totally blended in with the sand, and my parents might have lost me at the beach! Seriously, what's with the color of my swimsuit?