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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You Wanna Be My Friend?

Why is it that making friends as an adult is , well, just plain awkward?

Today at the pool I was a witness to this cute, simple, frank exchange by two young girls.

Cutie-Pa-Tutie 1-Piece: "Can I play with you?"
Cutie-Pa-Tutie Bikini: "Sure."
Cutie-Pa-Tutie 1-Piece: "What are you playing?"
Cutie-Pa-Tutie Bikini: "Find the water rings."
Cutie-Pa-Tutie 1-Piece: "Ok!"
Cutie-Pa-Tutie Bikini: "Ok!"

This got me thinking. Why can't it be this simple for grown-ups?
"Can I play with you?"
"What are you playing?"
"Keep the kid alive another day while lovingly gossiping about the funny things my husband does and also contemplating if I can eek out another day of not showering because I went to the pool. Wanna play?"

Seriously, why does it seem like there is all this hoop jumping and uncomfortable weirdness about asking another adult if they would like to hang out with you?

I was met with this uncomfortableness today. There was a woman with her two young kids siting the next lounge chairs over. I asked if had taken a chair they were using. She said no, and thus the small talk had begun. However in my head I was bombarded with questions. Do I ask her name first, or her children's names? Do I introduce myself first and then Bradley? Do I tell her I have pcos? Wait, no that didn't cross my mind. Do I shake her hand? Offer a hug? Ask what her favorite color is? WHY IS THIS SO WEIRD?

Well, I asked her name first then her children's. Didn't really matter anyway because I only remembered the kids names, not hers. I'm so bad with names. The only reason I remember her kids names is that they are so over-used, but that's a different subject.

When I was about to leave it only became more awkward. Do I ask for her number or will she think I'm a crazy stalker, or hitting on her? Do I ask if she wants my number? But what if she says no then I'll feel even more horrible. Do I hand her my business card, or is that too formal and she will think I'm pushing my agenda on her? Again, WHY IS THIS SO WEIRD?

I ended up giving her my card because it just seemed like the simplest way to be done with it.

Now, what happens the next time I see her at the pool and she hasn't called me to say "Hey, wanna play?"




Mrs. Mama said...

haha this made me laugh. so true though. so true. i have a hard time asking girls to plsy!

Danielle said...

i sooooooooooooooooooo can relate to this!!!!! want t be my friend?? lol

Kristin said...

So, so true! It feels like dating, almost. And then if your kids hit it off but you have nothing in common with the mom, it's so awkward. I wish I could just be IRL friends with my favorite bloggers because I already feel like we'd be best-buds-sans-the-first-date-weirdness, you know?

FirstTimeMom said...

yup, you've seen my MANY posts about making friends as an adult. It's SO awkward and weird and, just...ugh!! I thought having a baby to break the ice would make things easier but it so isn't. Ugh! It's too bad I don't live closer to people like you and all my other online friends so I could have a boat load of RL friends to play with!

My Infertile Confessions said...

hahahaha... that is hilarious! It is EXTREMELY difficult to find adult relationships these days, especially if you don't have kids or are not working. I DO think it is so much easier when you have kids though.

I was really struggling with this for a while. When I got married, I moved to a new city, didn't know very many people and then I work 30 miles away. So my work friends and I couldn't REALLY hang out. Now that I'm not working its even worse, but I did just meet someone, because I'm pregnant with twins and she just had twins.

Let us know what happens with this new "friend." I'll be curious if she'll call :)

Anonymous said...

So true! We recently moved to a new city and I have found it extremely awkward and difficult to make friends. Ahh the simply life of a 5 year old!

Stephanie said...

You could always start out with, "Hi, I used to be infertile." I'm sure that'll make people want to be your friend. I hate trying to make friends as adults, it truly is awkward! Good luck with your business card "friend" of whom you don't remember the name.

Anonymous said...

Huh, I often wonder about this, too.

And this awkwardness, actually, starts long before we reach adulthood. Somewhere in our now-called tweens, we learn to pin others with an haughty stare that oh-so-obviously says "ME? talking to YOU? Have you even seen yourself?"

I don't know where we pick this up, but we do. We stop making friends in the sandbox and we start "being friends against someone".

And that's when we become self-conscious, often expecting to get rejected in our attempt to make friends.

Camantha said...

Oh I so feel this all the time. My high school friends and I have more or less parted ways, due to them having kids and me not yet. My college friends have generally moved away. So what is one to do now? Even when I find people I want to hang out with, how to tell them that. Another reason childhood is so much easier.