Monday, June 15, 2009
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.