I am in desperate need of some friends here. And it’s not just for me, I need to get some friends for my kids too.
Making friends as a grown up is so frigging hard, though. Just thinking about it makes me sweat. The tricky part is meeting people, because I am home all the time I have less opportunities to do that. This results in me throwing myself whoreishly at anyone over 18. Even the guy who installed the cable was not safe, I practically tied him to the banister with the coax cable just to have someone to talk to who (presumably) doesn’t have ‘accident’s in his underpants.
Compounding the issue is this: while incredibly desperate for friendship, I am also exceptionally insecure. It takes me a long time to just be myself, and no, I never stop rehashing what I said or the tone I used when I said it. Being sociable for me inevitably results in a few hours of flogging for things like making that joke about her husband or saying fuck in front her in-laws. This is why I spend so much time by myself.
It’s not like I have asperger’s or anything (although I think my neighbor does). I just can’t seem to hit a groove with most people – I interrupt or they interrupt me, I work really hard to keep things moving along while the other person just talktalktalks about herself (and by the way, what is that about? seriously, take a breath and at least pretend to be interested in what I might have done in my life – is that too much to hope for?), or things just stall out.
Unfortunately, the by-product of my social angst is that my son is not exactly suave with other kids. I know this is my fault because: I did not send him to preschool when he was 3, I didn’t do enough playdates for him, I let him watch too much tv, I was too depressed to model “normal” for him, etc. When my son was about 2, he did a spot-on impression of the vacuum cleaner. It morphed into various power tools, and then a “transformer” which involved stopping and an angry face. Any decent parent would not have encouraged this, but it was really funny so I made him do it for everyone.
Then when he was about 4 I had to pull him aside and say “listen, when you meet someone new, don’t do the robot thing right away because they might think you can’t talk.” This is because the daycare lady at the gym told me she thought he was autistic, as he had never used words while in her care because he was too busy buzzing and whirring and stomping. He did this because he thought the other kids would be impressed and like him.
Because we have moved a few times in my son’s life, he has not had the chance to have neighborhood friends. So now my guilt forces me to leer at ANY child in the neighborhood in an attempt to get my kid someone to play with. Unfortunately, my neighborhood appears to be full of children who are only seen going to or from the school bus (I refer to this as the children of the corn phenomenon). So imagine the thrill I felt today when another kid began riding his bike in the street while my son was riding his (with training wheels). As the boy passed us I asked my son if he knew him. My son did not respond because he was too busy advertising his age and poor large motor skills by squealing in frustration over the pedaling – it is SUCH work. The boy circled back by us and as he shot past he looked at me and with a smirk said “I am in 3rd grade…so no, he doesn’t know me.”
I kinda wanted to give the kid the finger. Or say something like “oh yeah? well maybe your mother is an alcoholic and you and your 3rd grade friends can all just fuck off!” But alas, I did not.
Clearly I need to refine our approach. Is it us, or is it them? I am trying to figure this out, because I’d like to blame the area we moved to as being unfriendly – but that would not allow me to continue to blame myself.
And you know I have to do that.
So, to be continued.