Thursday, November 20, 2008

Left of Center

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.

4 People Are Feeling Nostalgic:

Chrissy said...

I don't know if it will make you feel any better, but that positive attitude you have towards things is what makes you such a great person and such a great friend from back in the day. You always see the best in things, the world would be better off with more people like you. High school was a pretty crappy time in my life and despite everything, you were always still nice to me, even when I didn't deserve it.
PS-I didn't think you were crazy for getting married at 19, I thought it was awesome-you got to start your happily ever after without all the crap most people go through before finding the right one.

Susie said...

I'll ALWAYS pick you first for my team. Just one thing...did you just call me a pair of old slippers? No more Pomme Frites for you!

Tiffany said...

I just wanted to say *sigh* me too. I haven't had a real, honest to goodness gal pal in about ten years. I've never been a super social person, and it's so hard for me to make friends. Now that I'm a SAHM, with no car during the's about darn impossible. But I feel ya. I have that part in my heart where a girlfriend should be....I often wonder if I'll ever have another BFF? Or is that just for younger girls?

Katie and Eric said...

So much of that sounded like me...getting married and having kids young, that whole thing. Most of my high school "friends" aren't even married yet.

Megan, you're an awesome person and awesome president! I would love to hang out with you whenever, I think you are so much fun! And thank you so much for the ride today. I really appreciated that since it was so last minute.