If you’re a child of the 80′s you’re putting on your Dionne Warwick wig right now. Or maybe your Stevie Wonder glasses.
The other day someone I know asked me to throw one of those candle parties. Which is all good. I like candles. I like things that smell good much better than I like things that smell bad. But I was forced to tell her that I couldn’t because, frankly, I just don’t have anyone to invite. I no longer have any friends. At least not in the area. They’ve all moved away or I have and somewhere along the line I seem to have forgotten how to make friends.
I’m not sure when this happened. It used to be so much easier. When you’re a little kid it’s super easy. “Hey, you like chocolate chip cookies and the Chipmunks? So do I! Let’s be best friends forever.”
It isn’t even all that hard as a teenager or in college. Proximity allows you to spend time getting to know people. If someone has a similar sense of humor that’s about all it took for me. Because I consider sarcasm a major plus in a potential friend.
When my husband was in the military it wasn’t even so hard. Again, it’s a proximity thing. We were all in the same situation, living in a row of identical houses, with children who were all approximately the same age, watching our husbands leave every six months.
Now, the only way I know how to relate to people is as a mother. The only people I ever meet are other mothers. The only reason I know them is because our kids happen to be the same age. The likelihood we will share even a single interest is probably pretty slim since my interests are esoteric and I am, as aforementioned, a pop culture black hole. So we usually find ourselves with nothing to talk about but teething and bowel movements. And that’s some fun stuff right there, let me tell you.
At a really wild party we might start comparing the horror of labor and delivery. And no one wants to miss that.
The truth is I do have some friends. My husband is the best of friends, clever, funny, entertaining, smart and charming. Just exactly what everyone wants in a friend. And I get to be with him all the time. However, I can promise you that his interest in candles is minimal at best. I’ve had the same best friend for almost twenty years. She’s so type A that she makes a stereotypical accountant look like a sorority girl at a kegger. (I love you, Jessica. Mwahh) But she’s awesome with a side of awesome sauce. We really have been through the worst and best of times together.
I have a lot of faraway friends from high school and college that I only see on Facebook. And some of my very best and closest friends are in the computer. People I’ve met on writing websites and critique groups. I’ve met some of them, like Bria Quinlin, Rachel Jamison and Sabrina Darby. I would easily consider these ladies, most of which I have never and will never, meet in person as some of my best friends. It’s amazing how supportive and touching a cyberhug can be.
But, that just brings me back to the original reason for this post. Is it just me? Am I that socially awkward, or do all of you find it so much harder to make friends as adults? What happened to that instinct that let us go, “You like Bath and Body Works brown sugar body scrub? So do I! Let’s be best friends!” Or at the very least, what happened to my instinct to carry on a conversation about something other than diaper brands?