Archive for June 19, 2009

Friend Dating

Have yall tried that search function at the top of the blog? It’s pretty sweet. I just had to use it because I could have sworn that I’ve blogged about this before. But it didn’t show up, so here we go!

Life is easy when you’re a little kid. Not just because you don’t have to worry about food or money or mortgages, but because you don’t have to worry about friends. They are all made for you. When you’re a toddler, your friends are made by your parents. You hang out with the kids of whoever your mom wants to hang out with. Which is fine. You’re 3, what do you know?! When you’re in elementary school, you have more freedom to choose. But you have a limited pool. You can be friends with people in your neighborhood and people in your class. That’s it.

My elementary school had a day in the summer to come up to school and find out what class you are in and buy your shrink wrapped pack of school supplies. It was a day of great anticipation. Who would your teacher be? Who would your classmates be? I remember the summer before 4th grade. It was awful. I looked at my class list and knew nobody*. Not a single one of my friends were in my class. And to make matters worse, my classroom was in the temporary section in the 5th grade hall! I wouldn’t even be close to my friends. I couldn’t wave to them during bathroom breaks or on the way to lunch. It wasn’t fair. I cried. And cried. Because in 4th grade, there is nothing more important than your BFFs. But of course I met new BFFs. That’s how it is in elementary school. It’s easy to make friends.

(*Let me clarify. It’s not that I didn’t know anybody… I had gone to this school since Kindergarten, I knew people. They just weren’t my friends and I didn’t care for them. The two Bens were in my class though. And at first I was annoyed because boys are annoying, specifically ones that you already know. One of the Bens kissed my friend on the back in 1st grade when the boys decided to play Kiss Tag during recess. So we hated him. But one of the Bens was Jewish. And his mom came in to class and gave us a rockin Hanukkah presentation, complete with dradles and chocolate coins. But I didn’t know about the coins when I saw my class list in the summer. So at the time, my tears were justified.)

Moving on… wow, this is getting long. I apologize. I’m sure you have much more important things to do on this fine Friday… reading my rambling probably wasn’t number 1 on your things to do. Oh look, there I go again…

So lets fast forward through junior high and high school because quite honestly, I’m not sure how I made it through there alive. It’s a dog eat dog world in those lockered walls but somehow I had friends. (Thank you for that… if any of you are reading.)

College friend-making is probably different for everyone. I went to a school that had approximately 5,636,208 students. So in my first class alone, I had about 2849 people to choose from to be my BFF. I’m not sure how it all happened, but I quickly had a core group of friends. It changed over the years as my classes, activities, and interests changed. But I was never lonely. I never wondered what I would do on a Friday night. I never even wondered what I would do on a Tuesday night.

Why were all of those friend-making times so easy? Because we were all in the same life stage. And there were so many people to choose from. You were bound to find someone who liked to watch Friends at 3 in the morning while eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food. But it’s not like that anymore. I’m a 24 year old, married, homeowning, poor, employed Christian. To add to the complexity, I’m sarcastic, boring, don’t like going to movies or spending money, enjoy reading, desire motherhood, don’t like loud bars, hate the phone, and don’t know how to shop with people who aren’t my mom. So making friends is difficult.

When you throw in the husbands, it gets even crazier. A few years ago, an out of town friend hooked us up witha couple he knows. He old us we live close and should give them a call. We did. We hung out a few times each month but eventually, it died out. Not because it was anyone’s fault, but because we didn’t click. You know what I mean? We didn’t have that spark! Last year a woman at church approached me and said, “Oh Chelsea. There is this couple who just moved here and I think you and Stephen would really like them. Can I send you their information?”

That’s when it dawned on me… making friends as an adult is a lot like dating. You meet people through mutual friends. You’re married? Oh, so is my friend. You should meet. You don’t have kids yet? Oh, neither does my friend. You should meet. You have a dog? Oh my gosh, so does my friend. You should meet!

And that’s how it goes. The couple dating routine. Getting four people together for dinner and making magic happen. It’s complicated and stressful. And at the end of the night you are left wondering, “Did they like us? Will they call? Did you hear when he mentioned that they travel a lot? Do you think that means they are rich? We can’t keep up with that. Oh well, let’s not assume… Maybe his parents are rich. Oh gosh, I’m so confused. Do you think it’ll work out?”

I have a friend date this weekend. There is a wonderful girl who I have never met and we are finally taking the plunge. We chose not to invite the husbands just yet. We need to establish a good base before we throw two more people into the relationship. So this post serves two purposes…

1. When you’re saying your prayers tonight, say one for my friend date. Pray that we both like each other and there are no mixed signals or deal breakers.

2. Single ladies? The awkward dating scene doesn’t end when you get married. It goes on. Forever. Good luck with that…

June 19, 2009 at 9:42 am 12 comments


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