For parents, well it can be trickier; there simply aren't that many potential friends wandering around the inside of my house. It takes longer to make friends when you are not sloshing around a mosh-pit of peers.
But, 'making friends takes time, it's a process' I tell myself. And I am lucky because I actually like being alone most of the time. It's just that some of the time, I wish I had a confidant-- a girlfriend.
I met another mommy in the neighborhood a month or so ago. Her name's Jen, too. Jen's tall, blonde, naturally beautiful, spunky and totally upbeat. The worst part is that she is ridiculously kind, self deprecating and grounded. It's simply not fair; there is nothing not to like about this woman- not one quirk that I can focus on, to bolster my pudgy self up.
Making friends takes time, it's a process. You'd think that my new potential friend, Jen and I would make time to get together during the days, considering all we stay at home mommas do is sit on the couch with our feet on the coffee table, watching our stories on the TV and eating bricks of chocolate fudge. But we move in different directions and have not yet made it a point to get together.
Yesterday afternoon, Jen and I were talking on the phone about carpool when she told me that she was going on a rare date with her husband. She said that she was going to see the author David Sedaris read from his new book.
'Have you heard of him?' She asked.
My heart literally skips a beat when anyone mentions David Sedaris' name. It was reading his book, 'Me Talk Pretty One Day' that brought laughter back into my life after the traumatic turn of events that surrounded my twins premature birth. His autobiographical stories elicit from me, warm tears and embarrassing snorts of laughter. I treasure his books, and was dying to go see him, but because my husband is (seemingly permanently) out of town and my lack-of-friend situation, when the tickets went on sale, I stoically passed.
'Have I heard of him?' I screeched into the phone at Jen (my new friend-- her fondness for Sedaris solidified this). 'I love him. I've read all of his books twice and I love him. I like to imagine that maybe he and Julia Child had a baby, and it is me.' I gasped.
'Well, come with us, then!' Jen enthused.
I grimaced at the pile of dishes in my kitchen sink. A couple of my daughters were still getting over strep throat, two had broken body parts and I had not yet found a babysitter in our new town.
I couldn't go.
I wished Jen a good time, hung up the phone and I got on with doing the dishes.
This morning, my car idled in Jen's driveway as we waited for her son to come out of the house. It sat sort of slumped in the front seat. I was wearing my nightgown under a ratty, old sweatshirt and hadn't had time to brush my teeth. Jen came bounding out the front door in her pajamas; her legs looked 8 feet long and perfectly toned, her teeth super white and not a swipe of make-up on; she looked fresh as a perfectly, white daisy in a grassy, summer knoll.
I sunk deeper down into my seat and popped a Altoid in my mouth.
'He'll be right out,' referring to her son.
'How was David Sedaris?' I asked.
Jen said nothing, as she brought her hand out from behind her back and handed me Sedaris' newest book.
Before I could say anything, she said, 'Open it'.
Inside the cover David Sedaris had signed it, 'To Jenny, I am really angry that I missed you-- David Sedaris'
I don't hug and I don't cry. I've built a reputation on these two character
Making friends takes time, it's a process. And sometimes realizing that you have made a friend, catches you off guard.