"so...you come here often?"
i've come to the conclusion that making friends as an adult is a bit like dating. a frustrating, distressing experiment that i've found myself thick in the middle of lately.
a little background. i'm quite comfortable being the girl who sits in the back row, whispering the correct answers but too freaked out to raise her hand to speak them aloud. the girl labeled 'stuck up' and 'a bitch' because 'painfully, insanely shy' would have been too easy a moniker. naturally, it makes sense i ended up on a career path that involved me talking (gasp!) face to face with actual people, no? trust me. it wasn't an easy leap.
however, i've grown up. i can talk to you without the potential for vomiting on your feet (you're welcome). when the opportunity arises, i can wax loquacious about pretty much anything and pull off the major accomplishment of actually sounding like i know what i mean.
so i've been putting that skill to task lately while spending time hovering around other moms at my children's various activities and practices. it's during these times i've realized we're all doing the 'mommy dating dance.'
platonically flirting. sizing each other up. laughing at silly, not necessarily funny things. watching our brains spin to come up with anything to say during those moments of strained silence. wondering if maybe, just maybe, this one has potential and can turn into something real. i have to admit i was momentarily flustered when a mom at storytime this week turned to me and said, "oh, your son has the exact same beautiful, big brown eyes as you!"
yeah. it's fun.
before you get worried about me and think, "ah, poor, sweet girl! she has no friends!" trust that i'm pretty good in that department. i've maintained friendships with both sexes for years. loyal, i tell ya. got a secret? you can trust me. need to whine about what your precious angel and/or spouse did today that pushed you over the edge? i'll listen and toss in my own anecdote if it'll help.
but the majority of my friends are those i've had for some time. perhaps we did the 'friendship courtship' thing, too, and i just didn't realize it then. now it's painfully obvious it's not as easy as it should be to connect with someone. especially when we're watching ourrespective children bond over something as simple as the fact that farting must be the greatest gift a person can do with their body (naturally, i disagree, but that's a post direction i've not gone in yet).
when you're a kid, all it seems to take is a tiny sliver of likemindedness and you've found your friendship soulmate, your 'best friend forever.' the moms i've been flirting with lately, well, we're taking things a bit slower. on our third date, we finally decided we should take the big step and see each other outside of our kids' sports practice. telephone numbers were exchanged, schedules discussed. it was all very quasi-romantic.
and so our date plans are in place. a visit to a pumpkin patch. naturally, our preschoolers will be chaperoning. they serve as the 'out' you may need should the date go badly.
yeah, it's a big step. maybe actual friendships will be borne from the experience. i'm open to anything, really, because it is tough to make friends as an adult.
but the best thing about this type of dating? even though by the time we take our pumpkin patch excursion we'll be on our fourth "date," i'm pretty sure i won't be coerced into letting the other moms see my boobs and get lucky when the afternoon is over.
well, unless i'm complimented on my beautiful, big brown eyes again.
and if so, well, that's a post direction i've not gone in yet...