I am a loner. A recluse. Completely weird, way too sarcastic and inappropriate. Making friends is hard because of these traits. Before children this wasn’t the issue. Being the odd ball chick who likes to throw down on video games and kick ass in beer pong is an instant appeal to most people. I am still that girl. I binge watch Doctor Who, Arrow, Supernatural, Sherlock, and rewatch many cult favorites such as Firefly and Buffy. I stay up till 2 am playing Counter Strike, Minecraft and other addicting video games. This is me. I am still young without the desire to fit into the expected mom mold.
Others disagree with these behaviors. An abundance of people look at me blinded, seeing only one thing – MOM. Quickly, I watch as their eyes twirl thoughts, calculating my appearance, eccentric comments, and “just mom” is hastily replaced with “inappropriate mom”. Their thoughts fill the air loudly. Loud enough that I can see them floating above their heads. “Doesn’t she know she is too old to have that many piercings”? “Wow she have a lot of tattoos”! “She curses a lot and always makes references to shows that we have no clue about”. “She needs to grow up and act like a mom”.
Another grouping of people I met for the first time without my children running circles around me tend to find me hilarious, charming, adventurous and a free spirit. We have casual and fun conversation. Numbers are almost exchanged, but once they discover that I have the 3 little potential tag-a-longs, a quick change of subject occurs. I strike out like the guy at the bar who received a scribbled down wrong number.
When I moved to New Mexico I decided that new friends did not matter. What is the purpose? I would only move away soon and leave them all behind anyway. I probably would not even keep in touch past that small initial gone window. I have a handful of great friends that I have collected over the years that I can text daily and they are happy to listen to my nonsense. Is a face to face friend really that important when I have that?
In sticking to my theme of being involved in the community, I reached out to the girl scouts informing them that I just recently cleaned out my garage and had a number of items that I was happy to give away. A lot of the items were asked to be put aside within minutes of my post to the troop Facebook page. Throughout the day they came and went, one by one lessing my pile for the Salvation Army. Then, when someone came to pick up the mini fridge, I met a potential. I learned we had similar hobbies (photography), our kids get along already, and that we both have a similar gypsy lifestyle. I am too old to play the beat around the bush game, so I let my personality and flaws free whenever I meet someone new. He didn’t scare and at the end he told me to keep his number so he could show me some of the good photography spots in town. Did I just make a friend?
Later that evening when playing at the park we ran into a nice, slightly younger mom with visible tattoos and a similar attitude as myself. We talked for hours while playing with our kids together. She was a local. Our conversation seemed casual, fluent, non judgemental, and as if we had been neighbors for a long time. I could not believe that I was enjoying being in a conversation with a complete stranger. I was wondering where she stood on this feeling that I had. As we were packing up our things to head home for dinner preparation she looked up at me asking, “How do you feel about drinking wine one evening while watching the kids run around together in the back yard”? With a small sigh of relief I responded back as coolly as possible “I think that would be awesome”! Did I just make another friend?
I retract my above statement. Having some face to face time with another human that doesn’t feel forced is an amazing feeling. I went home beaming of the possibility that I may be able to enjoy this town by having a couple casual friends. I don’t need these relationships to develop into besties, I have those, but to be able to relate to another human sounds like something I need right now.