Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Friends," Friends, "friends" and friends

Wouldn't it be nice if real life was like the TV show, "Friends"? All your best friends live by you, understand your lifestyle and want nothing more than to be another harmonious piece in the orchestra of your life. We could all suspend disbelief and pretend like we can have a baby who conveniently sleeps when we want and is completely tote-able to our friends' places for fun game nights and our friends still want to have us over even though we have a kid. And wouldn't it be nice if the bloggers you liked could actually be your friend in real life? But just your luck, the bloggers you really love who you could TOTALLY see being friends with (in a total non-stalker manner) live all the way across the effing United States. And lastly, what about having friends in REAL LIFE? The word "friends" seems to take on a whole new meaning once you're an adult with a spouse and a child. Your friends from college are spread all over the country. Your friends from high school still live in the town you grew up in. And in my case, most of the friends I have now do not have children. I knew it was inevitable, going to fewer gatherings once we had B. I was not ready, however, for the lack of invites. Surely, I thought, we'd still get invited. We'd just decline because the timing didn't work well with B's bedtime. But over the past few months I've had the slow realization that the invites aren't coming anymore. People are just plain skipping over us. It all dawned on me this past weekend when we didn't get ONE invite to a Superbowl gathering. Not a peep. And our friends love them some par-tay-ing. And I know not to take it personally. But it's just such a commentary on our new life as parents.
And don't even get me started on making Mommy Friends. (You DO want to get me started? Okay.) We've lived in our current city for about four years now. And let me tell you, I had to WORK at making friends. People in our city were just...different...from what I was used to. More superficial, wealthier, more exclusive. As someone who doesn't really like people to begin with, being tossed into this new community where I had to start fresh was a HUGE hurdle for me. I slowly but surely made friends with my husband's coworkers and their spouses. From there it sort of bloomed out to meeting other people. But I still found myself with only a few core friends. And then motherhood happened and all of a sudden I felt pressured to make friends not only for myself, but for B. Mommy friends. Mommies and babies and play dates and fitting this all in on the weekend because weekdays are a circus of daycare drop off, work, daycare pick up, a window of an hour for one last feeding, then down for the night to wake up and do it all again the next day. And then, when it seems the pressure will absolutely swallow me whole, I step back and breathe. And just effing RELAX. Because the more I agonize over it as opposed to, I don't know, DOING SOMETHING about it, I sprout one more gray hair. So here's the deal, people. I'm going to be ecstatic every time we receive an invite to a child's birthday party. I'm NOT going to feel sad about all the adult parties we're missing out on. Because, above all else, I want to be the kind of mother that B can be close to and love. And when I'm freaking out like only an incredibly type-A, neurotic, everything-has-to-be-just-so person can do, I'm not being that kind of mother. Being a mother is something no one can perfect. All you can do is try your best, know that plans are most likely going to implode, and move on with your life. Or, if you're me, just have the general, lofty goal of "make more friends." No stipulations, just plain 'ole friends, with or without child.
After the Bud Light Superbowl commercial featuring a guy crashing his wife's book club, I told H that I could never be in a book club. And he said, "Why? Because you're too judgy?" And I said yes. Hmmm...I wonder if that has anything to do with my inability to make friends????

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