Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Girl dates

One of the few disadvantages of not working or being in school is that you don't have an easy way to make new friends. In school and at work, you sit next to other women or you are in the same dorm or have the same boss and the relationship takes an easy, natural progression. Over the course of a semester, you get to know each other a little more after each class. As you are complaining about your boss, you discover you have other things in common. You go out to lunch. Then you progress to drinks after work. Then it's meeting on Saturday to go to the Junior League Thrift Shop together (but only if she's not the same size as you).

But if your only interaction with other human beings besides your husband is at the gym or the grocery store, it's harder to have that continuity that shows you if there is actual friend potential there. There are some women I like at my gym, but do I like them enough to do something outside the gym?

What if I ask Jane, whose name I just learned today after six months of occasional, short conversations (she can't stand her in-laws and that's completely understandable given what she has told me about them, her husband works crazy hours, she got a ticket for leaving her battery-dead car parked in the street overnight because parking on the street overnight is illegal here, a campaign worker called her last summer while her two-year-old was throwing up and she told the caller that but the caller insisted on giving his pitch for Obama, which did not make Jane like O any more than she already did and indeed stiffened her resolve against him, she gets migraines but takes a different medication than I do, etc, etc, etc) to get a cup of coffee after class some day and then discover I don't like her after all? Or worse, that she doesn't like me?

Then I still have to see her at the gym but have that awkward "We went out once and it didn't work" moment.

Sheesh. This is what keeps people from moving -- so they don't have to go through this.

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