Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friends in Low Places

 After I graduated college, I made lots of friends.   I've always had plenty of friends.  It became a little weird when my friends started getting married.  Sure, I was still friends with the person, but then they had a spouse to worry about.  And spend time with.  After the honeymoon period, the friends would start wanting to do things again - only when their husbands were gone.  I didn't mind that, but it does get old after a while.  Then, those friends started popping out babies.  The first time around, it was so fun, so cute, so blah blah blah.   NOW, however, their time was really in a crunch. Not only did they have a spouse to think about and plan around, they also have a little poop machine that dominates all their time and thoughts.  Suddenly, doing anything with these friends involves careful planning and sitter finding.  Again, I don't mind this, it's just kind of inconvenient for "Free as a Bird Non-Mommy."

THEN, evidently these friends didn't figure out that sex = babies, so they KEPT popping them out! One of my friends is pregnant with her fourth baby. The other is due in March.  I readily admit - this is very weird for me. Partly because I thought I'd be in this place, too, and I haven't gotten there yet. Mostly I'm OK with that, though.  I just miss having single friends.  When they invite me over, it's me...and the couples.   I hear things a lot like "I can't wait until you get married so we can go on a double date." Thanks.  Helpful.   Conversations on the phone generally go like this:

Me: Hello?

Them: Hi, how are you?

Me: Good, how are you?

Them: Oliver didn't sleep all night long.

Me: That sucks.

Them: Hang on. *Yelling* JACOB!  I told you not to draw on that with markers!

Me: Do you need to go?

Them: No, I'm good.  JACOB, I'm serious.

Me: So, what's new?

Them: [Kid screaming into phone]

Me: I can really let you go.

Them: No, really it's fine.

Me: OK.

Them: I gotta go.

Again, I love my friends, married or not.   However, the problem these days is, I'm basically stuck with zero single people.  None.   Zip.  Zilch.  This isn't even about dating, it's just about wanting friends in a similar life stage as me.

The conundrum is, what to do?  How do you meet people?   I don't want to hang out in bars.  It's not my thing, it's gross, and I'm way beyond the partying stage.   I just don't want to.  Put an ad in the paper? "Help me, I'm single and just want a friend. But I'm really not as lame as this ad sounds."  Join a club?  What club?  And finally, the church option is always there.  Locally, there are no churches I want to go to.  I have tried them, and their singles groups.   The single people are either 18 years old (And, like, so, like excited about college!) or 40 year old divorcees (Sigh.  Their father didn't pay child support again.).  Hence the reason I went for years to Gigantor Church even though it's a billion miles away.  At least I got something out of it.  But it was so far away, it was hard to get involved.  So I switched churches to a closer one, not gigantor, but not dinky either.   I finally signed up to join a singles group.

I have to tell you how much HATE this kind of thing.  It's usually held in homes.  Do you have any idea how much fun it is to drive to a stranger's home and just walk in?  My stomach hurts just thinking about it.  It completely blows.  Plus, if you get there and there are a million cars with fish stickers all over them and then you get in and they are freaks, you are stuck.   Hopelessly stuck.

Churches seems to sense this is a major problem for people, and so they have huge get togethers.   You go, and then kind of get into a group and see what you think.   I must not be the only chicken, because there are always plenty of people saying things like "We know this is awkward, yadda yadda yadda."

Even though I know going to these events is not just for finding men, but also single friends, you know what it's going to be like.   Everyone that walks in is going to be fresh meat, and there are lions waiting to pounce!  They are going to look around and think "Too fat, too bossy, not enough clothing, oh yes, now SHE could be my wife!"  Yes, yes, I know this is all in my mind.  But that's what I feel like it's going to be!  I imagine it'll be a feeding frenzy.

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!

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