Monday, November 3, 2014

Making Friends in Your Thirties

I think finding friends can best be represented by a logarithmic graph, and the limit as you approach 30 (or really infinity) tapers off to some constant, let's say 20 (But you have 300 FB friends!!!). Let's be real, how many do you regularly hang out with?...and as a parent, I'll define regularly as once every 6 months.  School made finding friends (not necessarily making or keeping friends) easier.  Therefore, after it college, it appears that you start slowing down, and while you have less friends, you probably have more meaningful friendships, right?! Quality over quantity.

I have made some great friends post college days, mostly reconnecting with friends from high school who live and work in my home town.  So we generally knew each other prior to becoming friends (or better friends).

I have also been fortunate to have found some great friends when I was pregnant with Aidan due to the internet (pregnancy message boards).  So we had quite the long courtship in our friendship prior to meeting in person, though I was still nervous to meet in person, but I felt I knew them well.  My instinct was right because I don't know what I would do without these friends, and we get together regularly. We also chat a lot, and they are a big part of my life. I've now known them for close to 4 years!

But branching out from the home town and my pregnancy board friends...I haven't done that....until now.

I was nervous, like first date with a cute guy nervous.  In fact, I haven't been this nervous since AJ picked me up for our first date.

I was worried about what to wear, worried about my hair, worried about whether I should wear my cowboy boots or my camo boots (hey, it was raining, I was trying to think practical).

I was worried about being late, I was worried about the short lasting "diarrhea of the mouth" disease. 

I was worried she might cancel (because there was snow on the ground).

So I was nervous and worried, but I was also excited.  This could potentially be a new friend, how cool is that?!

It's not like we didn't know each other - it wasn't hey my kid played with your kid at the park, and I've never seen you before, so let's hang out . 

Nothing crazy or scary -  I have interacted with her over a two year period, so I kind of knew her.

Since the boys were with family, I was able to venture out by myself.  So it would really eliminate the chaos and allow to me to focus and hold a real adult conversation.  At first, it appeared that we would meet up and shop. SHOP! I'm such a picky shopper, and not really someone you want to go shopping with unless you know my tendencies.  I have such a hard time making a decision because I don't want to make a bad purchase and be out the money. I despise returning things. I usually shop online because I can research and agonize over my decision without tons of people around me wondering why I am staring at the same item for ten minutes.  Don't get me wrong, I like nice things, I have nice things, but the decision to buy them is a long process.  So not only am I a difficult shopper, but I also do not like crowds. If a sales person asks me if I need help finding anything, or if a stranger gets in my personal space, I'm ready to leave the store.  Just pretend I'm not there, is that so hard?

But fortunately, things turn to a lunch date instead of meet and go shop date.  I can do food - just not super unhealthy fried food and really, let's avoid a chain restaurant.  Also, I don't know what I want to eat, so here I go, being difficult again. However, she stuck through the decision making progress.  Basically, she did all of the work once I asked if she wanted to hang out.  I mean, asking was hard, right?! 

Lunch was great, food was great, talking was great.

But we both had a few free hours from our kids, so why waste it, let's do something.  Back to shopping, there are several new stores that recently opened, so it seemed like a good idea to check them out.

The first stop was a shoe store - I have been looking for some Ariat (see, I like nice stuff) cowgirl boots, pointed toe with a pattern but no rhinestones or weird color embroidery. Thus the shoe store sounded like a great idea.

We quickly learned, I'm country, she's not.  But we looked at all the boots and clearance shoes, and I feel like I wasn't an awkward shopping partner.  I saw some nice boots, but none were the cowboy boots that I was searching for (by the way, Amazon saves the day on those).  Then we went to a home goods store, and in fact, that might be the name of the store.  I always like a kitchen gadget, and I was in need of some storage solutions, but I found nothing.  After we were done there, it was either more shopping or go get coffee.

THANK GOODNESS I like coffee now, what would have happened if it was two years ago?! More shopping?! And what if I was too awkward because I already hit my shopping threshold?! Coffee was the best decision, and I felt comfortable. We talked for a long time, and I think it went well, but then it was time to go home.  She dropped me back off at my car, and I had some stuff to give her, so I retrieved it. But she got out of her car, and all I could think about was PLEASE do not be a hugger!  Really Diana? Really? Yes, that was my honest thought.  Nope, she grabbed the stuff, and we parted ways. Whew, saved.

So in all, I confessed to not liking being around people (like a neighborhood - I much prefer the secluded country, and there were probably several more examples)...but I hope I made it clear that I like friends. Side note, I like to control who is around me, which is why I don't shop on Black Friday and absolutely despise going into stores between Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas. I don't like being around all those people.  

I also admit to being more country, and hey, I would love cow farmers as neighbors (I mean, who wouldn't...better than people!)

And I probably talked more than I should and had a mild case of the "diarrhea of the mouth" disease.

However, that did not stop me from texting her a short while after arriving home.  It's almost like dating, hah. I hope she liked me, and I hope we can hang out again.  And then I checked my phone obsessively to see if she responded to my text.

She did...and we'll hang out again. :)

Then the next thought came - when is it appropriate for us to be FB friends? I mean, nothing is official if it isn't on FB, right?! 

And when it becomes FB official, I should probably delete this post, right?! Would it be awkward to read this? Oy, I’m so fortunate I have understanding friends.

If you haven’t made a new friend in a while, I suggest trying it out.  It was a great time. (So now I can refrain from making any more friends until my forties, hah!)