Monday, June 15, 2009

Making Friends

On vacation, we took Dylan to the pool. There was another little boy there who was his age, and Dylan didn't seem to know what to do. Jim and I coached him, when the boy asked his name, "Tell him your name...Ask him his name...Throw the ball back to him...". So simple - the rules for making friends when you're two. Swap names, share the ball, boom - friends.

When you are an adult it is much harder. Where do you meet them? What do you say? When is it too soon to invite them over for dinner? To get their number? To have a serious conversation, rather than idle chit-chat? Sometimes, I feel like making friends as an adult is harder than dating ever was. The women I'm trying to become friends with are so busy. I find myself analyzing what they say, much like my old dating self would. SHE said we should get together soon. Did she mean that, or just say it to be nice? What did she mean by soon? Should I call her, or wait until she calls me? If I call her, will she think I'm too desperate for a friend? It's ridiculous.

It doesn't help that I'm a woman. Men have it so easy. They just say, "Oh, you like poker? My buddies and I play on Wednesday nights if you ever want to join us". If beer is involved, it's pretty much a done deal.

It also doesn't help that I'm not normal. Well, I guess I should say, I'm not a typical woman. I don't like to shop. I don't really care where you found your shoes, (they won't have my size anyway). I don't want to swap recipes, (unless it's made with 5 ingredients or less, and can be thrown in a crock pot). I'm not going to join a book club, (love books, but don't have much time to read, and hate feeling pressured to read something by a deadline). I'm certainly not going to join a cooking club, (see above), and I don't knit or scrapbook.

The only thing that makes me "one of the girls", that makes me a card carrying member of a club is this - I am a mom. I am in the Mom's Club, figuratively and literally. You see, I joined the local Mom's Club over a year ago.

I don't discuss the new literary genius they discovered at book club. I don't astound them with my mouth watering desserts at cooking club. I don't discuss the texture of yarn and brainstorm new patterns at knitting club. But, after more than a year of failed play groups, (due to poorly matched schedules and constant changes made by the "play group coordinator"), I have started my own play group. I didn't want to step on anyone's toes, (I didn't really care), but when my 2 year old told me, "We need friends", drastic measures had to be taken.

So, I'm in the familiar role of initiator once again, arranging meetings at the park and inviting strangers to my home, in the hope that somehow, my son and I will figure this friend thing out together. Maybe I'll take a ball to the next meeting. Hopefully someone will throw it back.


JCK said...

It is harder to make friends now, but when you do connect with other moms it is awesome! I think it is great that you decided to start your own playgroup. And, Dylan will appreciate it, too. :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Good for you. If you coordinate you can make sure it works in your schedule. I'm sure you and Dylan will both enjoy it.

Lisa (Jonny's Mommy) said...

Darn it all to heck. I wish we lived closer because you and I are pretty much the same. All of that stuff...the reading, the cooking.. . . it is me to a tee.

I'm glad you are taking the initiative. Go for it! I have a feeling someone is going to throw that ball back after all.

Jonathan has difficulty making friends too. Luckily he's made some at the sitters and is starting to get better at it. the only problem is that he becomes fixated on one friend and freaks out if anyone else wants to play with said friend. He's a little possessive. Guess he takes after his mama. :-) Or it is just the "only child syndrome."

PSU Mom said...

But but but... I want to be in a book club, cooking club, knitting club, gardening club... except I can't find time to read, my oven is broken and I don't get home until after 6, tried knitting once but then had a child, and I kill plants. Can we make a club of nothing? We Have No Time For Anything But Toddler Chasing Club. And you don't have to initiate this club's meetings. Make Burghbaby do it. She's got lots of free time! (sinister cackle here)

Steph said...

I think it's definitely alot harder to make friends as you get older, plus it's alot harder for women to make friends. Like you said, guys can just say 'Oh, let's play this... let's do that...'.

We just moved 10 hours away from where I used to live, and I find it quite hard to meet people!! Meeting people is one thing... meeting FRIENDS is another. You definitely need to have something in common in order to develop some sort of friendship.

Sparx said...

Wow, good for you for taking the initiative. I've met loads of people through being a Mum and some of them are turning into really good friends - you've all got something major in common and that pretty much gets the ball rolling right there. Good luck - can't imagine you needing friends to be honest, you seem so outgoing; Dylan too!