Lately I have been feeling like the kid who showed up late to the ball field. The teams have already been picked and all I can do is just sit on the bench and watch the other kids play.
I have always been on the wrong side of the curve as far as friends go. I got married at 19, something my high school friends couldn’t fathom. We soon went our separate ways, them to college, me to a full-time job to help support my new marriage.
When we moved to Michigan I had been married for two years. All the friends I made weren’t married yet. When I met my very best group of friends in Michigan they were all in college, I was buying a house and trying to get knocked up.
Once I had my first baby my girlfriends were just graduating from college, still hitting the clubs every weekend and embarking on their new careers. The most we got together was once a month for dinner, when I could get out of the house without kids.
When we moved to New Mexico I was so excited to find a local moms group in our town. I thought finally I would be on the same page as these other women. We are all stay-at-home mothers who live in the same town and have a common need for support and friendship.
I am the type of person to just jump in with both feet and figure out group dynamics later. Everyone was so welcoming and kind and I never felt like it was cliquey. It was nice to have some kind of “built in” friends who had to accept me as long as I paid my dues. It was also a perfect fit because I could bring the kids to every event we have! I had always struggled with finding things to do for myself because Buzzer travels so much and I have the three kids to myself a lot. To be able to attend a book club meeting and be able to bring the kids too was like a miracle.
I had been a member for about 5 months when they asked me to run for club President. I can’t lie, I was flattered. I also thought it would give me ample opportunity to get to know the members of the club better and hopefully to make some of the same friendships I had seen the other woman cultivate.
In July I took over as President and while it has been much more work than I expected and sometimes stressful and taxing, overall it has been a lot of fun. What it hasn’t meant though is immediate and intimate friendship with the other women.
I think I just expect too much from things. When I try something new I have to be good at it right away or I give up. I can’t be bothered to practice and fumble my way along until I get it right. I guess I approach friendships much the same way. I want to be able to slip into a new friendship the way I would an old pair of slippers. I expect to just have someone choose me as their friend right away with all the benefits that includes; lengthy phone calls, impromptu get togethers, shoulders to cry on, etc.
Instead I am on the sidelines looking longingly at the close friendships I see and feel an ache in my chest where my best friend should reside. It seems like everyone has already been paired off with their BFF. I do have a best friend, but she lives on the other side of the country and so I have to be content with emails, instant messages and phone calls. Lots and lots of phone calls. She is totally the bee’s knees and I know I can call her about anything and everything. But it just isn’t the same as having a local buddy to lean on.
I guess I am just going to have to give it more time and not expect that adult life will be the same as childhood on the school playground. I hope that something lasting and meaningful will come out of the acquaintances I have made. If not, and all I get out of it is what I get right now, laughter, adult conversation and a social calendar, I think that will be okay too.