That’s: Married White Female With Kids Seeks Best Friend Forever.
MWFWK Seeks BFF
MWFWK Seeks a friend with similar interests (reading, television watching, inanely followng celebrity gossip, cleaning for catharsis) to spend time with. It is preferable that BFF has children so that the aforementioned kids have playmates. BFF must have a robust sense of humor and be willing to make fun of oneself; BFF must also suspend judgment of chronic pajama-wearing. An interest in religion/spirituality is preferred. Training in how to comfort MWFWK in the event of possible emotional upset is available.
It used to be easy to make friends. In Elementary school, it was as simple as asking someone for their name. My kids still do this today.
“What’s your name?”
“Boy Q. What’s yours?”
Done deal. Friends for life.
But as an adult, I’ve found that without a concrete setting–church, school, job, community organizations–it’s hard to meet potential friends and even harder to build an in-person friendship once you do meet someone. It was enormously easy when you saw the same people everyday. Now, it’s an extra-special effort to get out of the house. Don’t get me wrong, we go to the library, we are finding a church-home, we are out and about.
In one of our moves, I was happy to discover that some of our new neighbors were actually from my husband’s hometown. They had the same number and age of kids as us! They were the perfect potential friends! I got a little excited. Sadly, this was the first time my friendship attempts had been so thoroughly rebutted:
Me, over-enthusiastically: “Hey! So-and-so said you’re from Cowtown, USA too!”
Me: “Do you miss it?”
Them: “No. We hated it. We couldn’t wait to move away.”
Me, faltering: “O-oh. Well…the people there are certainly nice?”
Them: “Eh. We’re glad to be gone. I mean, our parents are still there, but…”
Me: “Oh, um, so you…don’t go back?”
Them: “Not if we can help it.”
Me: “I think my husband actually went to school with your husband. They both have Type 1 Diabetes?”
Them: “Yeah. We’ve had to call 9-1-1 a few times because he passed out. But not since he’s gotten the pump.”
I concluded that I had all the wrong things in common with her. I reminded her of a stinky, dirty past and a lifelong disease! Lesson 1: Just because you have stuff in common with people doesn’t mean they want to hang out with you. Lesson 2: A solid friend can’t be just anyone (I mean, how discriminate were we in our youth?! Not at all, that’s how much.). For example, I’ve grown away from friends who don’t have kids yet, not because I don’t enjoy their company but because kids are little time-suckers. They drain you of all energy, like tiny vampires, and then all you can do is sit. If you have friends with kids then your children are entertained/distracted and you can a) sit and b) talk with another adult. WIN WIN!
Every time I have successfully made my own friends in the past five years, we move or they move, severing my wistful dreams of raising our children together and having late-night gab sessions. (Of course, we would force our husbands to be best friends.) Sadly, I am without siblings, cousins my age, or any lifelong childhood friendships to fall back on. In this new town, I am starting to feel like a creepy guy looking for a date. I’m running out of pick-up lines–“Hey! We have the same sippy cups!” or “OMG, did you get those on clearance at Target?!”
I know it’s not the end of the world. But maybe I need to relax my standards. I’ll take another harried mom who doesn’t mind staying in pajamas some days. All day. For now I will soldier on and continue to doggedly engage strangers in conversation.
Does anyone else feel like it gets harder to make lasting friendships as an adult?! Do tell. Also, what’s your name? Wanna hang out? 🙂