Funny story. Before the hubster and I were married, while in the throes of fairytale-dating love, we decided to try a painting class together. Real talk: After nearly 5 years together, things were getting stale and as much as I loved attending every softball game and participating on a bowling team, it was time for us to do some things that I loved – like painting!
We took a one-night class at a local art gallery. This isn’t the “paint by numbers” kind that most places are nowadays. This basically was like: open a bottle (or two) of wine and paint this particular art display of wine bottles and grapes that was on the center of the table on your nifty canvas with the help of an instructor.
Well, let me tell you about our instructor. She was a badass. She immediately took to the hubster and myself, because, well, duh, who wouldn’t? This feisty chick was hysterical while also providing some very helpful painting suggestions. I kept thinking to myself, I would love to hang out with her, she’s so fun and smart. As the night progressed, I was trying to figure out how to get her to hangout with the hubster and I (and some friends we were meeting up with) afterwards, without it sounding like a proposal for a threesome.
By the end of the night, I just couldn’t figure out how to ask her out without it sounding like I was hitting on her or inviting another person into my bedroom. I convinced myself I would see her again because, like the artsty-fartsy person I am, I frequented this art gallery.
Meaning, I chickened out.
Wouldn’t you know it, months later the hubster and I did run into her while partaking in some libations at a local watering hole and she totally remembered us! We shared a drink and before long she had to make her way somewhere else (if I remember correctly, it was a hazy time…). I knew I just had to ask her for her phone number because, man she was cool, and not cool in like a popular way, just cool as in self-confident and smart. Now, no offense ladies, cool chicks are sometimes a pretty rare fucking gem, especially at that time in my life when I was the Lone Ranger who wasn’t procreating or partaking in wedded bliss. So I ran through the 18 ways I could ask her for her phone number without sounding like a groupie and guess what?
I chickened out again.
I still think about that, like the anxiety-ridden, over-thinker that I am.
Nearly 5 years later, I still have no freakin’ clue how to ask a person to be a friend. I mean, not like, “Hey, wanna be friends?” kind of way. But, maybe for instance, “Hey, in the few times we’ve met, I think you’re really cool and I’d like to hang out with you and maybe start a crocheting club, or perhaps we could watch bizarre documentaries on Netflix about the process of making stinky cheese and after a few times, I think that means we would be friends, right? So, what do you say?”
That’s how it goes, or so my mind has told me.
You know you’re likable and friendly and make a wonderful, supportive friend. But how do you prove your worthiness to people you’ve known such a short time?
I know part of the problem, for me, is the comparison to friends “back home.” My Michigan pals have known me for decades. Some I’ve even been friends with since the single digits. Some even before I had these glorious tits! They know me pretty friggin’ well. Some even choose to spend money and fly down to Florida to see me on the regular. SUCKAS.
One friend, in particular, texted me at work asking for pictures of the cars I saw while I was in Havana, Cuba so he could show his dad. I abided by the awesome request and checked in to see how his parents were doing, as they are unfortunately not doing well health-wise.
“We’re ok. Hanging in there.”
My eyes welled up at my desk, like the sap I am.
“Me too, buddy.”
1400 miles away during tough times is…tough. I miss my friends and those friendships, a lot.
But how do you even begin down that path of long-term friendship? Hell, even short term, without sounding like a total psycho because there isn’t an adult recess that I know about or birthday parties still being thrown at McDonald’s and lunch time often consists of me slurping down grub at my desk.
I’m lucky enough to work along side some pretty cool people. Sometimes interests don’t always align though. So, what about outside work? How do you expand your horizons?
I’ve joined “meet up” groups and often they are geared towards singletons looking to hook up — which, is totally cool, whatever floats your boat — or it’s all about bar meet ups and getting smashed — which, again, totally cool, whatever melts your butter. It’s just not my jam. At least not with people who aren’t my husband and with strangers (on both accounts).
Last year, after the hubster moved 1400 miles away, I decided to do more than just donate to my favorite social causes and actually attend their local groups; I get to hang with amazing, incredible and truly motivating human beings. I love the relationships I’ve made thus far and certainly hope I get the courage to ask some out for
coffee tequila. But, we’re just not there yet.
And I’ll probably chicken out.
How do you make friends as adults?