Tomorrow I am doing something that I am very excited and nervous about. I am meeting a friend for lunch.
Why is this interesting, you may ask? Because I haven’t seen this girl in over 25 years.
First of all, just saying I haven’t done something in over 25 years makes me feel ancient, but that is not what this was about.
I am not very good at making new friends. I’m awkward, to say the least. And a big dork. Thank God I have kept my high school friends into adulthood because if I had to make new ones right now, I’d be as alone as a piece of celery on Eastern morning.
This girl I am meeting was my best friend in elementary school. We moved around almost every year so to have a best friend meant a lot to me. And the last time I saw her, we were 10. You get a pass for being awkward when you are 10. Everybody is awkward. Well, not everyone. There’s a little boy in my daughter’s preschool class who you can already tell is going to be prom king. But besides him….
So, needless to say, I’m nervous. My dorkiness and socially awkward behavior has grown exponentially since then, and I’ve been okay with that, because those who love me know that I’m weird and they just accept it.
But introducing someone new into my circus, it’s a little scary. And on top of that, I’m bringing my children. Two toddler girls who are at the age where sitting still or eating food like a civilized human being at a restaurant is an impossible task. Any place where there isn’t an implied bribe of ice cream at the end and I’m asking for trouble. I have no bargaining chip. They will win.
I don’t know how other women do it. I’m not including men here because most of the men I know could care less about making friends, so it’s easy for them. My husband could befriend someone over a beer and a hockey game. And it doesn’t even have to be a good hockey game, or a good beer.
Not saying I don’t try. I make attempts to strike up conversations with the other preschool moms, or random people at the grocery store (I don’t get out much so these are my options). I’m just not that good at it. Or maybe I’m overly anxious so I try too hard. I don’t know. It just doesn’t come natural. It’s hard to convey how sane and friendly you are in the checkout line when you’ve got two kids yelling at each other and trying to climb out of the cart. It doesn’t scream, “let’s be friends.”
So, tomorrow I’m going to lunch to hopefully make an old friend new. And I’m nervous. But excited. Because even though we are adults now, this girl knew me as a dorky 10 year old. A weird little girl with a home perm, who collected garbage pail kid cards, had crooked teeth, horrible vision and was just as bad at making new friends then.
And I’d like to say in 25 years, I’ve blossomed into a confident, successful woman, but the truth is, I’ll always be a dork. Time has only added kids and more white hair than I care to see in the mirror.
So, it may be a complete disaster. I may be humiliated, fall on my face or say something dumb. There’s actually a 100% chance I will say something dumb…
But hey, maybe there will be ice cream?