Friend Rant

I was looking through my highschool yearbook from my Sophomore year today. 1988. Not sure why it's at my house and not my parent's house but somehow it made the trip over. Boy was I cute! Er, not so much. (That's me on the left). I'm trying to recall what celebrity made the short-on- one-side, long-on-the-other hair style in vogue back in the 80's. Or maybe that was just my doing all on my own. That chic style, along with the braces, way oversized sweatshirt, tight jeans tapered at the bottom and converse high tops made for a totally stylin' 16 year old. But what I was really most interested in, more than the pictures, were what my friends wrote in the yearbook. Not sure about you, but back then it was a HUGE deal to save space for special people to write long, drawn out notes in the yearbook. Longer note=better friend. Good friends were reserved prime real estate in the book too (I saw today that I actually wrote "saved" on the corner of these important pages to ensure the right person would write there...).

In reading between the lines of "oh don't worry about Adam, he'll come around next year" and "remember the beginning of the year with Jimmy? (sadly now I don't), that was SO AWESOME!" and "thanks for keeping me occupied in English class with all of your notes you passed to me, I never would have made it through without that", I saw that I must have been a pretty good friend. "If I had to turn to one friend, you were the one I would have turned to and I hope we'll forever be friends" was one comment written by a friend that I no longer speak to and was a theme throughout - and that makes me happy even 20 years later. No, I wasn't in the "most popular" crowd (something to do with not drinking enough or getting to "third" at the movie theater) but I was very proud to be a part of the group of friends I had. It's the type of group, I can only pray Hannah will be lucky enough to find.

When I put the yearbook down I sat for a moment and thought about Friends. I have to say, I obsess (that might be a bit strong of a word but the right word isn't coming to mind) a little about friends. Some women obsess about their weight, their looks, their jobs, and measure their self worth by these things. At one point or another in my life I have definitely obsessed about these things (thus Tim throwing away my scale) but I'm happy to say I've found satisfaction in my weight and my looks. I will never be STUNNING. And I'm happy with cute. I will never Turn Heads and I'm ok with that. I guess I obsess a bit about my job since my job right now is being a mom, but even there, I've found my groove and I can (sometimes) just go with the flow. But friends... I can't get enough of them. I have come to the conclusion with my IRL friends that I just will NEVER get to see or talk to them enough. I can't beat myself up over the fact that my closest friends don't live Right Here. They can't be Here when I want them to be. We are all consumed with our lives as mommies (for the most part) and in between cutting grilled cheese sandwiches, giving baths, mediating sibling wrestling matches, playing princess dress-up, building volcanos, cleaning up vomit, reading good-night stories and maybe even spending time with our husbands, we just don't find enough time for each other. And it sucks. And it makes me wonder why I try to make new friends here where I live. If I meet someone "like me" I then can't find the time to "date" them and get to know them between naps and activities. And I work hard at my friendships, am a really good friend, and only expect the same in return so sadly, I'm often disappointed since I find I do more giving and less getting.

My world came crashing down on me recently when I was told not so long ago that I'm a "canceler". "Um what? Me? You mean I'm FLAKEY?". It couldn't be, I hate those people! But sadly, yes, there have been more times than I care to recall that I've called and cancelled plans, often last minute because of something minor (or major) that occurred on the home-front that made the planned outing just seem unbearable. That's not the kind of friend I want to be. I still want to be "there" for all of my friends. And it kills me to think that the way my life is today makes that so difficult.

I think this is why I turned to social networking. A whole world of new friends are out there and I don't have to make "plans" to "see" any of them. I'll never need to cancel plans if Luke decides to fall down the stairs or Hannah throws a major tantrum. I hoped these new friends would be there when I needed them. I hoped my Tweets would be met with agreement, empathy, sympathy or laughter. I hoped I'd be thanked for my responses to other Tweets. I read dozens of blogs and gain insight, learn parenting "tricks", see I'm Not. Alone, and I laugh and laugh and even cry sometimes too. And these friendships also take WORK. And I'm getting frustrated because I'm working at it and feel a little weird about working at it since I'm not sure if it's one-sided or not and for god-sakes, these friendships are on the computer! I see wonderful friendships built out there though through Tweeting and other blogs so I know it's possible and I do think it would take some of the "lonelies" away on days that I can't make that time to have a real conversation with my BFF. But I'm not sure it's working for me...

I did not start this blog to make friends. I started it as a way to remember the hysterical things that occur in my house every minute of every day. But the more I started reading other blogs, the more I wanted them to read mine. I get all giddy when I get a comment on my blog. The most I've ever gotten on one post is THREE and I loved that day! And when I joined Twitter I thought it would be a good way to connect with like-minded people. And a way to get people to read my blog and enjoy what goes on in my life. But there are days (like today) that I feel like I'm just "following" (which is what we're called in the Twitterverse - a "follower") people around, hoping they'll be friends with me if I SHOUT things out to them every once in a while. And yes, some of them follow me back but don't shout much. Can you imagine if this was something we did in person? I don't think I'd score big points for finding a mom on the playground that looked appealing, followed her around for a few days, listened to her conversations with other friends and randomly shouted things over their shoulder like, "I'm going to teach Hannah to enjoy sunbathing so that we can just lie by the pool together and I can relax." or "Luke loves nothing more than playing with his balls." or "I went to Target yesterday and forgot everything I went there for but still managed to spend $200". Yeah, that might not score me any friends.

And now, I have this problem that someone through Twitter has started leaving weird comments on this blog. I mean I love comments and all, but these are a little too weird for my liking since some of my family members are mentioned by name and have nothing to do with my blog, and now I am tempted to shut the whole thing down and maybe start up an anonymous blog. Thinking about it. Haven't decided. Cause that doesn't sound like me... I'm an open, look and laugh at my funny life type person. Not a make up names and places, incognito, undercover type person. Finger taps... what to do?

So what do you think? Am I obsessing?


Anonymous said...

i am now checking to see if you posted anything every 3-4 days. reading your blog reminds me so much of why i liked you when we first met- humor, well ok, you "looked" like someone i wanted to know if truth be known (something about that blue pocketbook and good maternity jeans...)but you know that! there just aren't enough funny people out there. i just got back from a cocktail party of 6- all funny and i realized how important that is to me. why aren't there more funny people out there???
ok, well, this post wasn't humorous but still...i can't even remember the question you asked because i think i had too many drinks! maybe you have too many friends so it is hard to keep up? i limit my circle- not saying this is better, i have always been like that and it works for me. it certainly makes things less complicated -but then makes it more complicated or painful when one of the inner circle goes awry. since i have known you you have been on the lookout for new friends. why not focus on the ones you have and really focus on the most important ones that bring more joy and understanding to your life?
ok, now i remember your question- so curious to know what that commentor is commenting on that would make you obsessed? i don't know if i would worry so much but it is hard to say without knowing facts.
boy, that plan canceler comment really struck a nerve huh (or did someone else call you that)? SORRY!

abc said...

I don't think you need to or should go totally anonymous--whoever is doing this will probably find it somehow. I'd go with moderated comments--people will still be able to post comments, but they go to you first and you approve them to get them live. True, you'll still get the garbage from that person, but at least you can delete it and they won't get the satisfaction of publicly carrying on in your space.

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