I’m terrible at making friends. I mean really lousy; the other day, I said to Mr. Book, “I am so desperate to make friends with another mom from the moms’ group that I worry about freaking them out.” To which he replied, “Good thing that you manage to disguise that with your incredible standoffishness.” This is the same idiotic tactic that I used when dating my husband, and while I’m glad that it worked out in that instance, the experience may have cemented my impulse to hide my friendly interest. There are three moms in particular whom I see at the weekly library storytime whom I want to befriend: one has started conversations with me, which I am desperately grateful for; one is in the moms’ group and just had a baby, so I signed up to bring her a couple of meals; the last isn’t in the moms’ group, but she seems like a cool person and her daughter is bold and enthusiastic in the same ways that Joey is—and she seems to appreciate that about her kid. The third mom I’m having a hard time figuring out how to approach; Okay, yes, “How old is your daughter?” is an obvious start, but she’s usually pretty busy chasing said daughter . . . and I am shy. But I’ve smiled at her! The second mom—well, I’ve talked to her briefly, but the Mister dropped off the first dinner at her house on Thursday and apparently did a better job conversating that I have managed in months. His social skills can be really irritating. But I should be able to go along for the dropoff this Thursday, and will prepare chat. Yes, I am this broken re: people skills.

But the first mom? Well, to be fair, she has been friendly with me from the start. She has two little girls, one a few months older than Joey and one three days younger than Kit—and I asked her about and then arranged a playdate. I know! I felt amazingly forward, but she seemed enthusiastic about the idea, so now I just have to make sure the kids are clean and well-fed. I’m assuming that this is the kind of playdate where I stay with them—I think it’ll only be an hour or so, but it will be at this other mom’s place—and I will need to be (or fake) socially competent for at least an hour. Still, this feels like a good step. With the kids not going to daycare, it feels especially important for me to make mom friends so that they have a network of little playmates in town. My loneliness is just a footnote to this. I have a hard time doing things for myself, but am able to push myself for the kids.

I think I’ll bring her a loaf of bread. Do you bring hostess gifts to a playdate?

9 thoughts on “WallGlower

  1. I’m sure she’d love it if you brought her bread! And serious congrats on the potential friend. A trick I use when socializing with new people is basically creating a mental list of (perhaps slightly boring and decidedly neutral) questions beforehand that might start a conversation, or continue discussion if you’re unsure what to talk about. Like: How has your week been? How long have you been going to the library storytime thing? How long have you lived here? Why did you move here? Where are you from? What does your partner do? What do you do with your kids during the day, normally? I love your kids’ names–how did you come to name them?

    A million questions like that. In a string they sound a little weird–but it will totally help if you think of them in advance (at least it always had in my experience). Have a good time!

  2. Oh wow, this is precisely my situation. My social skills are terrible, and while I’m desperate to make friends I so often seem to come across as a bit unapproachable, I guess.

    Play dates make me nervous too, in case I inadvertently outstay my welcome. I don’t have much advice (see above!) but the bread idea sounds lovely.

  3. I think a loaf of bread is an excellent idea. And having the kids to watch and talk about will make the conversation come easier. I hope you have a great time.

  4. I really admire you for being proactive in making new friends! It took me 5 months to join a group in our new city, but I have now made my first friend there (a fellow volunteer). She invited me to do a few things, and I said yes every time because I was always free. But I need to call some more people from our group to make plans…

  5. *sigh* I soooo feel your pain on this one. I think I am pretty good at *being* a friend, but I am terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE at making new friends. We just moved to a new state over the summer and I am still friendless. I would love to make even just one friend but I just don’t seem to know how.

  6. me too. I finally got up the nerve to ask a mom over for a playdate and it felt like I was asking her out on a date. then I was nervous and made lunch and muffins, she joked they would come over every week (for the food), the girls played well, we chatted. but then she didn’t even follow up afterwards, never invited us over. really awkward. it left me feeling like I’d been dumped.

    it’s so hard to make new friends as you get older. everyone says it’s easier with kids. maybe it’s when they get older?

    had to laugh at mr. book’s assessment of your efforts. I’m the same way, usually, unless I decide to overshare.

  7. Yay to bread. And you know what? Practice is what makes if not perfect, more comfortable. You are doing it! Bravo. You need friends; the boys need friends; the boys need YOU to have friends.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s