Girlfriends are tough finds

Last week I came across a post from Sarah, actually it was an open letter to where she wrote about how hard it is for a single girl to find… not a man for a date, but a girlfriend to shop with, to meet for drinks, catch a movie or just hang out with. 

Of course putting aside How to make friends as an adult tipsshe is painfully right!

This is Ch and me - late 70s, early 80s. We grew up together. Today we live about the same short walk away than back then. But we're still talking about having that glass of wine one of these days. 

My high school friend and maid of honor. F lives even closer than back then. But we saw each other more when we were both living and working in different states. 

Once you graduate from school, where making friends was somewhat easier - at least in my days when it wasn't all that important what label sported your clothes - and enter the workforce, it gets more difficult for several reasons:

You have to re-invent yourself as a working girl, figure out office politics and who to have coffee breaks and cafeteria lunches with. Here's an ugly thought: isn't it like 100 times easier for smokers? They have their matches - pun intended, thank you very much - cut out by default! See you 20 feet from the entrance, friends!

Workplaces are more diverse in terms of age, martial status and hierarchy, which can make for interesting and challenging times, but are probably harder if you want to make friends who have got common interests and values. 

And let's be real, school or work are not only the no. 2 location to fall in love at, but also to find a friend. 

What's no. 1? Being introduced by other friends. Bummer: you need friends to meet friends! 

You know what that feels like to me? You need a Green Card to apply for a job. But in order to apply for a Green Card, you need a job. This is enough to cover in a separate blog post. I was just thinking about the time I wanted to make new friends after moving to California alone. Working would provide opportunities. Just I wasn't allowed to work. See?

But even if you are eligible to work and actually got  a job, this is what happens: If you're good at what you're doing at work, then you're probably too busy to get out much - especially when you've got no friends. Result? You don't mind putting in more hours at your desk. Result? You don't get out at all. Result: At least you may get a promotion, yay! Result? More responsibility, more hours… Talk about a vicious circle. 
Her best friend is probably the pizza delivery person!
So clearly it must be easier to make new friends once you're married with kids? Provided you are so lucky as to get to that point at all. Sarah mentioned coming across lots and lots of mommy meetups. Think mommy and me class, playgroup - there must be plenty of opportunities! Right?

Any activity that takes place at a specific time is a challenge of its own. Ever changing sleep / food patterns, full diapers and / or clothes drenched in milk or - sorry - vomit, just as you are about to leave, a repair person announcing their visit within a six hours time frame, you get the picture. 

Suppose you make it there on a regular basis, and meet a fellow mom who makes it most of the times, too, who seems "normal" (there are lots of strange mommies out there), and your kids like each other, and you actually manage to meet up a couple of times outside class? You know what happens? She goes and gets pregnant on you! Not with one baby, but twins! I have never seen A again.

Oh, or my mall buddy, C? Whom I managed to meet about 3-4 times a year even though she had to take and pick up her sons to and from international school and race to photography class or yet another European destination to explore? Goes and moves back to California!

Then there is a part-time working mom, also called A, whose girls Colin adores and vice versa. We never get so see each other much, though, because when our kids see each other, we are at work. Huh? How..? My mom babysits - sometimes for the both of us at the same time!
Recently C has become a big boy and calls their house:
"Hi, this is Colin. Are the girls allowed to come play? Aha, J is in school. R then? Around 2pm? What, my mommy? Sure, she agrees. Oh, you want to talk to her?"

2009 / 2013 - I'm positive there'll be a 2017 picture!
A word about strange mother figures: If I was to be friends with a local woman who has a kid or two in C's age, (yes, before I went back to work 2-3 days a week, I was someone who drove an hour and more each way for baby play dates / coffee among mommies),  I can't be picky. 

I must be open for her to be 10 - 15 years younger,  have a tattoo and / or a nose stud and look at me funny when I mention a movie or music that was before her time. That's fine. 

What I expect are some common parenting values. No food throwing, no painting the walls, washing their hands between playing in the sandbox and snack time, no jumping on the sofa, a no means no and no dinner - no cake policy. It's a royal pain to try and teach your kid the dos and don'ts when the other mommy allows her children everything and more. 

Luckily I have a wonderful friend who exceeds all of those requirements, she's even my age, our boys have been best buddies from birth, plus our husbands like each other! 

2009 / 2013 - I'm positive there'll be a 2017 picture!
Last time I saw D? I think it was Halloween! Have I mentioned she works 4 days a week, and her day off is Friday? Yeah, I work on Fridays.

I don't have a sister. Well, not a real life, real family kind of sister.  That's where B comes in. 

I met her on Facebook, back in the days when we were both playing Sorority Sisters. These days we send each other care packages: Swiss chocolate vs St. Patrick's day items. And we comment on each other's posts: 
There's more where this one came from. She is funny, has 3 adorable kids, her dogs eats candy, and she and that life of hers would make for a kick-ass blog, but so far she has refused. 

What's more important though, we messenge. Is that a proper English word? We send each other messages using the messenger. 

We are in our PJs (at least I am), our house is a mess (at least mine is), we rant, we cry, we laugh, we encourage each other, send memes and dinner pictures. And I don't know how many times one of us has written "I'm on my way". The bad news? We live 4,000 flight miles apart. But we will have that coffee! Soon!