Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stage 5 Clinger

I haven't made a new friend in nearly 8 years.
I think about that a lot. I would say I am pretty friendly. And I do have some casual conversations with other women my age. They just never go anywhere. Sometimes, I'll meet someone and think, "I could see myself being friends with her". But, the moment passes, and I'll not have even gotten as far as her name.
One of my good friends up and moved to upstate New York almost 9 years ago. I am amazed to hear of the social circle she has created for herself. When we moved to PA, I was fine with basically sticking to myself for the brief period we'd be here. And then, something happened. One day, while at Reamstown Park, I met a young mother with a son about Will's age. Will and her son played so well together, and she and I chatted while I wiped the dripping blood from Sam's split lip with my sweatshirt, since I am a fucking ROOKIE and didn't have a FUCKING SINGLE TISSUE, WIPE, or NAPKIN with me!
She clued me in on some cool places to check out in the area, gave me the lowdown on some of the other idiosyncrasies of central PA. She had met Kate Gosselin also, and she said she was mean to her, too. And, then, in a rare instance of candid self depreciating humor, she joked that she should have named her son "Jose" instead of the uber-trendy moniker bestowed upon his tan skinned self. I liked her. As things were wrapping up at the park, she asked if I had a cell phone, and gave me her number; she said she'd like to have a play date sometime. This was as far as I'd ever gone with a stranger; it was like the equivalent of Mommy second base. After we left the park, I giddily called my long-distance friend-making champion for some advice. How long to wait until I call? A day? A week? I didn't want to seem too eager.
After Easter weekend, I gave her a ring. Sure enough, she answered, and we set a play date up (at her house- 3rd base, almost all the way; this girl was easy). What followed after that was a nearly constant barrage of phone calls regaring nap schedules, dietary restrictions, and toddler style skill set matching.
I was overwhelmed. Is this what it's like making a new friend? I was willing to tough it out and give it a shot, and then I had an epiphany. I was leaving this place in a few weeks. I would most likely never see this woman again. Was it worth it for me to endure the pain of geting to know someone only to have it be in vain? Furthermore, what if she killed us when we went to her house, or if she was one of those crazy cat people/hoarders, or she propostioned me for a menage a trois or even worse, tried to sell me Papmpered Chef? I had to get the fuck out of there before I even went. And, so, with a push of her name on my speed dial, I cancelled. And, I didn't feel at all bad about it.
My inner circle is pretty small. It's actually more like a teeny tiny polka dot. I would say that I have lots of acquaintences with whom I am very friendly, but very few close friends. I'm basically limited to about 5 or 6 ladies who I know I can call on at anytime for help, advice (usually about cutting my own hair), or some laughs. In my posse, are a few obvious choices.
My sister. Really, nobody knows me like my sister. We are only 14 months apart, and when we were little we shared a room. I remember drifting off to sleep, and synchronizing flipping over our pillows so that we would both feel the coldness of the bottom side of the pillowcases on our cheeks at the same time. We share the same childhood stories, lack of breast tissue and excess of premature gray hair. We have grown closer and closer as the years have gone by. And, although it's sort of like we have to be each other's friend because we are family; I would want her to be my friend even if we weren't related.
My BFF. J and I met in junior high...I fancied her a preppy art student in the making. I'm sure she thought of me as the friend from the wrong side of the Assabet. As our children become friends, we have even sillier experiences together. It's nice to have someone laugh at your dumb mistakes, and know they aren't judging you.
Throw into the mix a few wives (well, one isn't technically a wife anymore)of Brett's family. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I have great in-laws, and these girls have taught me so much, each in their own way. Lessons about distance and closeness, marriage and divorce, and most of all that being a friend doesn't really depend upon who you're married to.
It's rounded out by a good college friend, although we have grown apart, and a very funny wife of a firefighter.
And, really, when it's all written down in front of me, I can see why I haven't made a new friend in so long. I don't need one. I have all the friends I need. Who else in this world needs to or wants to know about my facial waxing habbits, my grotesque menstrual cycle, or my penchant for cutting my own hair, only to be filled with regret?
Apparently you do.

1 comment:

The Bean said...

Liz....I literally have tears in my eyes. I can't wait to be closer to you, although I am going to desperately miss my friends that I have made here. You are an amazing girl and the BEST kind of friend....love, me xoxoxo