being friends with other people’s moms

Oh, and you should read my better beauty rules column over at The Frisky. When you get a chance, I mean. 

My friend was having a birthday party, and of course I didn’t want to go. I know people like parties. I know parties are supposed to be fun. But I dread them. I force myself to go to them sometimes, when it’s someone who is a close friend, or because there is this voice in my head that is definitely my mom’s that is always saying “you never know! It could be a great opportunity!” and otherwise I make something up.”I think I have swine flu. Again.”

(i don’t have the right hat! source)

“My mom is coming,” she texted. “Just so you know.”

“I’m in!” I wrote back. “Of course I’ll be there!!”

Thank god for my friends’ moms. I love them. I have loved them since I was a kid. You know what kind of kid– one of those secret introverts, loud and friendly on the outside, dying to get home and curl up with another Tamora Pierce book on the inside. I always wanted to hang out with moms. I don’t know why.

Guesses: they’re nicer than kids. They are impressed when you’re friendly and polite. It doesn’t take much to impress them. They know interesting stuff.

Once my friend’s mom farted in front of us, and she was like “Oops.” And she didn’t even care. It was an amazing moment. To be at the point where you don’t even really care that everyone just heard you fart. Hell yeah.

 

When we were seven, my best friend’s mom did this whole ceremony with us to mark our transition from childhood to preadolescence, or something. It was badass. We dimed the lights and sat in the rec room in their finished basement. She’d put a lace cloth over the little table, and we sat on the rug around it, with some candles lit. It was very solemn.

I was friends with a pair of sisters when I was thirteen, and their mom, a music teacher, listened to me play piece after piece on their baby grand, and told me I was a great talent. She also told me I had a delicate sneeze, which made me feel very feminine.

I visited a college friend in another state one summer, and while she was in a class, her mom and I sat in a coffee shop and talked for hours. I told her all about how unfair it was that my parents wouldn’t accept my boyfriend, who was really, really nice, even if he was a little hopeless in certain ways. She listened.

I have always felt safe with moms. I am the friend who wants to hang out with your family. Who is hoping for an introduction. Who will happily celebrate a holiday with you, learn your traditions, sing along, and hang out in the kitchen with your mom, drying dishes after, talking and talking.

It’s been made perfectly clear to me, the way it has to every one who was ever a child, that I am supposed to be good at people my own age. That my peers matter most. When people talk about socialization, that’s what they mean. When they talk about social deprivation, they mean kids who don’t have a lot of friends the same age as them. For my entire life, when people found out that I was homeschooled, they felt sorry for me, because I was missing out on so many potential friends, all exactly the same age as me.

(a friend for every desk! That’s how it works, right? source)

That was the thing I loved most about not going to school, when it finally occurred to me that my not going to school was a thing. I loved not having to be around people my age all the time. I loved reading in my room. I loved hanging out with the retired women in my poetry group. We all got tea together on Wednesdays. I was fourteen, they were sixty-five and seventy and fifty-eight.

They gave me life advice freely. Some of it was terrible. Some of it was great.  ”You need to try caviar at some point. I had an orgasm from smelling it once.” Someone really said that to me. “Whatever you do, don’t wear high heels a lot. They will ruin your back.” Around older women, I was precocious. I was schooled. I was easily loved.

(I have had it, the orange kind, on the outside of the crab roll. No orgasms so far, I’m sorry to report. Maybe it just wasn’t enough? source)

Socialization is supposed to be harder than that. You’re supposed to be learning all these tough life lessons. I don’t like those. I like to be appreciated. I like to learn the easy way.

I am not supposed to admit how nice it was to not have to be around my peers all the time. I feel guilty, writing it now. Like I’ve failed. Like I am responsible for representing homeschoolers better. We are normal! We are just like you! We love to party! We got good SAT scores! We have so many friends! We are super cool and hip and groovy! 

My mom would ask me to invite friends over sometimes, to make sure that I was normal. And there were days when I really wanted to. I always had a few really close friends my age. We played in the woods when we were young, we went on long walks and to the coffee shop when we could drive. We had sleepovers at every age. We told each other we would tell each other as soon as we had sex for the first time, and then we mostly didn’t tell. We made bets on who would be first. They said me, but they were usually wrong.

I have always liked girls my age, one on one. I like them now. When someone I’ve never met asks me if I want to grab coffee sometime next week, I almost always say yes. And I almost always really like her. I almost always think she has intriguing clothes and successful hair and a cool speaking voice and an impressive air of confidence. I always try to be at least a little funny.

But in groups, people are so different, even now.

Last year, a group of my friends took me out to dinner for my birthday, and it was really incredibly nice of them, but I spent the cab ride home (you get to take a cab instead of the subway when it’s your birthday) crying and texting my brother. I liked every single one of them on their own, and together they became this sleek, unforgiving machine that glided forward at its own pace. It ran me over. I felt myself disappearing underneath it. I felt like I had to fight to fit a few words into the conversation. No one was really looking at me. Their eyes slid off me like I was slippery and went to someone stickier. There were all these little moments where my thread was torn off by someone else and she started fresh there, in the middle of the dead point I’d been trying to make. One of the other girls got up to go to the bathroom and everyone said, “Oh my god, she’s the coolest. She’s so gorgeous. Her outfit is amazing. She’s so much more successful than us.” And I thought, arrogantly, privately: I am gorgeous, too. I am successful. I hope I am. And I still can’t tell who I am in a group. Am I loud and funny? Sometimes. Do I shrink and become less important? Sometimes. And sometimes, around these brashly beautiful, tall-heeled, boldly dressed women my own age, I think I am just generally less noticeable. There is something about my manner that I sense for a second and want desperately to correct—something apologetic, clumsy. Something uncomfortable and gentle. I don’t come equipped with the smooth defenses I think people use so often.

I felt ridiculous, crying in the cab after my birthday dinner. Like I was thirteen again. Because you are not supposed to cry over being subtly excluded when you are twenty-six. Because at twenty-six you are supposed to have found friends who pay attention. Because at twenty-six when someone cuts you off, you have to fall quiet and smile or dive back in.

Oh hell, who knows what twenty-six is really supposed to be like?

And I like my gentleness. I like my rough-edged awkwardness. It is not so much a failure of personality as an open window into who I really am. It is like the fringes on the ends of the prayer shawl that Jews pray in. They are there, we’re told, to remind us that we are all rough around the edges. We are all imperfect and vulnerable. And we have to be vulnerable, so that we can let the world in. So that we can learn. So that we can grow and love and laugh hysterically with our silly real laugh and cry at little things that actually do matter.

(source)

My mom always wanted me to socialize in a bigger group of my peers. She was popular in school. She was one of those pretty girls with shiny hair and a posse. My mom was always a little worried that homeschooling wouldn’t work. That I would turn out flawed. She was brave enough to do it anyway, though.

My friend’s birthday party was awesome. Her mom sat across from me at the restaurant, and we talked about the choir she’s singing in at her synagogue. We talked about liturgy and spirituality and everyone talked together about being confronted with homelessness and about what it means to be a good person—giving charity, volunteering, how and where should you do it? No one could turn sleek machine, because her mom was there, guarding the weapon’s bin, being uncool in the critical, life-saving way that parents have.

Now that I’ve moved into this new apartment, everyone is saying that I should have a housewarming party, but I’m nervous. I imagine a stream of the fashionable, sexy twenty-somethings I know, rushing in, already being witty at each other, wearing fabulous shoes, and I am backed into a corner in the kitchen. No, that’s absurd. It’s my home.

I imagine that Bear, soft-spoken and patient, unsure what to do with his hands, will be no help.

Or maybe I just won’t do a housewarming party.

Or maybe I will, because I totally can. God, I’m twenty-six, I can do this kind of thing. It’s not a big deal. People like me. I’m friendly.

Or maybe I’ll invite a mom. .

*    *   *

Who else likes their friends’ moms?

Unroast: Today I love the way I feel and look in flowing pants.

A couple things:

Cake pics from a beautiful, hungry reader:

 

 

And to the adorable curly-haired girl who recognized me under the Manhattan bridge the other day and was telling me things (in case you’re reading this): that band was playing SO loudly, I couldn’t hear you, and I felt like I came off sort of cold, but it was just that I couldn’t hear you.

40 Comments »

Kate on August 21st 2012 in friendship, homeschooling, life

40 Responses to “being friends with other people’s moms”

  1. Kiran responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    And sometimes, around these brashly beautiful, tall-heeled, boldly dressed women my own age, I think I am just generally less noticeable. There is something about my manner that I sense for a second and want desperately to correct—something apologetic, clumsy. Something uncomfortable and gentle.

    Aaahhhh, Kate, how do you describe me while describing yourself, and do it so well. At just over 40 I have the same responses to group situations – mostly I get quieter, and shrink off to the side. There is no point attempting to contribute, sometimes, only to have people speak over top of me. I am much better-suited to small gatherings, or a large enough gathering where smaller groups can form.

    Which, by the way, is totally something you could do for housewarming – have several smaller groups (over the course of a day, or a few different days), or do it as a drop-in so that you won’t have a massive cluster of people all at once.

  2. Kate responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    @Kiran
    I think that’s what I’ll do– just have little dinners/brunches with small groups. Where is it written that you MUST throw massive parties?

  3. Kae responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    OMG I love Moms too! My friends’ Moms, and just moms in general.
    I read a lot of myself in that post – although I do not have a delicate sneeze. My sneeze has woken people from their slumber, scared animals, and people can tell I’ve entered the room by my sneeze alone, without even seeing me.

    As for your party, you could always go with a theme – ‘Bring-a-Mom Night’ or something…

  4. Sam responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    I think you mentioned once before that you really liked the book Quiet by Susan Cain. I kept thinking of it as I read this post. Mostly about accepting and celebrating the situations in which you feel the most comfortable. Where’s the rule that says you have to have a huge party just because you moved into a new home? If it is a rule, its one I will certainly be breaking when I move into my new house this fall.

    Also, I just love moms. My own and ones that belong to someone else. Moms are just the best.

  5. Kate responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    @Sam
    I keep thinking of Quiet, too! I think I’m always sort of thinking about that book, in the back of my head.

  6. Kate responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    @Kae
    First of all, I once named an awesome character in a story I was writing “Kae” because it is amazing. Second of all LOL! I love “bring-a-mom-night”!

  7. Nazira responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    I remember when i was a kid and at ballet school and all the moms liked me but their daughters hated me didnt talk to me once all 10 years i danced. Oh and i also just wanted to sneak if into a corner and read tamora pierce. But seriously all my friends were adults which may have come from being the only person under 20 in my local opera company and the fact that everyone in my grade school hated me but seriously they were awesome.

  8. Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    “And we have to be vulnerable, so that we can let the world in.”

    Indeed.

  9. Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Oh…and if you need tips on housewarmings and potlucks, contact me…you can become the Northern version of the Potluck Queen :)

  10. Kate responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    @Kimmy Sue
    Aww, thank you!!

  11. Farida responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    This topic just popped at my head today, my husband like you , love the parents of his friends for the same reasons, parents appreciate that you are smart , polite and so on, and your peers will hate you and be jealous, but don’t bother yourself with this peers issue, enjoy what what you like to do in this life !!!

  12. T.K. responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    awww Kate, I’ve been there many times. that place where you suddenly feel swallowed whole by the group dynamic and you feel like you might as well not even be here, no one would really care, and you can’t help but feel like it is your fault for not being dynamic enough or interesting enough or assertive enough. it is a lousy feeling. some of it must be us but a lot of it is the people you are with. my former coworkers gave me that feeling all the time ( big surprise – many of them didn’t actually like me very much, though in your case your friends obviously like you) but I don’t really get that feeling often around the new ones. i suspect this is also a little bit of a self sustaining mechanism – you get self conscious so you withdraw, resulting in further isolation and also a good chance that this feeling will haunt you at future group gatherings. dinners are also particularly difficult because at a party you can always just find one or two other people and start a small private conversation.you can work a party and avoid the big group dynamic but at a dinner there is no place to go.

  13. Kristine responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    I always got along with parents. I was an only child, so while I had friends my own age I always related more to adults because that’s who I was around the most. I find most people’s parents interesting as hell. Through work and other social situations, my social circle not only contains people my own age but also people in their 40s and 50s and I don’t feel any differently about them than my other friends.

  14. Shaba responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    I’ve always liked moms and I have long since discovered that I will never be that girl with a posse.
    I don’t think I want to be that girl with a posse though. I like my one on one friends. I also need a lot of alone time and having a group to constantly turn down when I need to spend a weekend in my house (again) would get exhausting. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  15. Erin H. responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I cried at my staff Christmas party last year. I’ve worked with these women for seven years, and though I have never really felt like One of Them, I can certainly carry a conversation with them one or two at a time. But en masse, it was just too much. And it was in a bowling alley, so it was loud, and bowling makes me so self conscious, and the lady who coordinated the party intentionally grouped us with women from other departments that we don’t know well so we could get to know each other better.

    I hate forced mingling. It makes me cry.

    Coincidentally (or not?), I was always one of those kids who liked to be around adults. I’ve never related well to people my own age.

  16. margosita responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    I like moms. I’m pretty critical of myself and am always comparing myself to my peers. But not to moms. Moms think you’re doing ok, most of the time, and they’re older and it’s easy to talk to them and not think “Are they being a better adult than me?” Of course they are! They are moms! They are the definition of being an adult! I am not usually jealous or anxious around mom’s or about a mom’s accomplishments. I wish I could feel that way about my peers, but it’s much harder to.

    I also don’t like large groups of people. I like my friends in groups of two to six. More than that and I get shy or intimidated. It’s easy to get lost or not talk to the people you hoped to talk to, or get caught in conversations you wish you could leave but can’t. I feel you there!

    When I threw my best friend a bachelorette party her mom and the groom’s mom came. And it was the BEST. They didn’t go out drinking with us late into the night, but they played some games and hung out early on and it was really fun. For whatever reason it is just unending fun to realize our moms are real, fun people! More than moms! (Dads, too!) It’s my favorite part of being a grown up.

  17. Melanie responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    I have always loved the moms of friends, and they have always loved me. I remember telling my girlfriends to be nicer to their moms, because they didn’t realize how good they had it. I had a really distant mom, so to see them being rude to their mothers hurt me.

    Your story about the birthday dinner makes me so angry. I try and keep groups at dinner small so I can visit with each and every person and make them feel important. I don’t want to sit at one end of the table and not get to talk at all to several of the people we’re dining with. My best friend is the same way. Any group larger than six and we don’t go. Unless it is at my house.

    I have a lot of friends my age now. I also have a lot of friends of various ages. I tend to get along really well with older women who have life stories to share and possess personality traits I wish I had. I have come to love people. And I have come to realize I can dislike some people, and that doesn’t make me a bad person.

  18. Anna responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    I can completely relate to this one, Kate. I wasn’t home schooled, but went to public school in smaaaaall towns. My father was the pastor at the largest church and I definitely would hang out with more adults than people my age. I was usually the one in the kitchen helping out when the girls were off doing things young girls do (as to what that entailed most of the time, I have no idea).

    I went to a wedding recently and all the people I knew were in the wedding party. The reception was me attempting to make small talk with people my age or younger. I felt like I was sitting at the children’s table! Who did I end up talking to as everyone else danced and mingled with their friends and family? My old roommates parents! Best conversation of the day.

    To this day I still gravitate toward age groups older than me, but surprisingly it seems to be more difficult to meld. I completely relate to groups being different than one-on-one. I am friends with a couple a bit older than me and we have fantastic conversations individually, but they had a BBQ the other week and I felt wildly out of place with their friends.

    I hate feeling immature and awkward when I know I’m not! I’m a working professional. I have goals and aspirations. I have opinions and responsibilities. But all of a sudden I start feeling out of place and start acting how I think they view me and saying things I never thought would come out of my mouth. It’s amazing how our insecurities start to rise to the surface when we allow them.

  19. Stacey responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    I love moms too! They were always the ones who were super impressed whenever I played the piano at choir concerts in high school. They would come up to me afterwards and tell me how amazing I was, which of course, as an insecure teenager, I loved. Now I love visiting with my friends’ moms because they’re just so wise, and I gain so much life knowledge from them.

  20. San D responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Friends’ moms were lifelines for me. I moved a lot. I had an odd mother (she was an alcoholic), and I was an odd child. In order to be grounded I sought out other moms for their opinions of me, their advice, and most of all their support. I can’t name one in particular, they all blended to become “the other mom” in my life. They let me know that it was all right to be me, that indeed I didn’t stand up straight, that I laughed a little too loud, and that my curly hair was beautiful. Maybe they were happy a little I wasn’t their odd child, but they never made me feel that way. And of course like it is with daughters and mothers, these moms did not install any emotional buttons into me, so they couldn’t push them, so our relationships were drama free.

  21. Also Kate responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    I love this. I often find myself shrinking and silent in groups of my peers, too – it’s lonely and I don’t entirely understand why it happens. If I have coffee one-on-one with people my age, we have these long, wonderful, deep conversations. But in groups, I get interrupted or ignored, or just feel uncomfortable in my own skin.

    Some of my best friends right now are middle-aged gay men I’ve met at church. And it’s kind of awesome.

  22. Gretchen responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    “You know what kind of kid– one of those secret introverts, loud and friendly on the outside, dying to get home and curl up with another Tamora Pierce book on the inside. I always wanted to hang out with moms.”

    This is me. The whole post is me. Thank you.

  23. Marie responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    It looks like so many of us feel this way! You just read the post and go Yes! That’s me too!
    I still don’t do well in groups. I find I do better if I stop trying to be so “fabulous.” So much of life is just appearances anyway, and it’s like those groups can tell you desperately don’t feel included. And I never did well in a group of girls/women. Even now, I would rather have one on one time with a group of friends that is very much a “group.”
    It’s so weird, you are supposed to just forget your adolescence and your high school experience once you hit “real life,” but why? The experiences of your formative years can’t have impact on you? I don’t know if I would have preferred homeschooling, but it is a little telling that I have no friends from high school.

  24. Alpana Trivedi responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Hello, Kate. Currently, I’m friends with a couple of moms as well. As a kid, I liked talking to grown-ups, because they were proud of me for wanting to be different instead of fitting in. Also, peers tend to compare each other, but friends from different age groups tend to be more accepting. I don’t know what’s THAT important about the necessity of “getting along with your own age group.”

    On a side note, you said something in your un-roast about flowy pants. Any information about gaucho/palazzo pants (especially finding them on a bargain) would be greatly appreciated. :) It’s sad they don’t make too many of them anymore (the ones I do have I got them from Japan).

  25. Becky responded on 21 Aug 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    This post is fantastic!!! Everything you just wrote is me. I thought I was a freak because I always seem to feel more comfortable around older women than women my own age (28). Thank you so much for posting this now I know I am not the only one.

  26. Lindsay responded on 22 Aug 2012 at 7:07 am #

    I too have difficulty in large groups of people my age. I don’t know what it is, I just seem to shut down, sit back, and observe. I have fun watching everyone else have fun until someone (and there’s always SOMEONE) points out that I’m being too quiet. I think I’m too cautious about what I want to say in front of that many people, especially those who are my peers. I wish things were different, I wish people laughed and talked about stupid little things with me; unfortunately, that’s just not my personality.

  27. Mandy responded on 22 Aug 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Kate;
    Who says you’re only supposed to be friends with people your own age? People who are older (or younger) than you have different life experiences, and different stories, and can be fascinating to talk to.
    When I was in my thirties, and was taking martial arts classes, I had fellow students ranging in age from the sixteen year-old foot-ball player, to the late fifties grandmother. (She was my hero–martial arts didn’t come naturally to her, but no way was she giving up!)
    So, don’t feel odd for having friends of all ages–it can be fun, and if you’re prepared to really listen, all of them have wisdom to share.

  28. Bethany responded on 22 Aug 2012 at 10:14 am #

    I love that you said “successful hair”.

    Also, I know what you mean. I feel very unpolished most of the time. I don’t know how to get that glossy, finished look and attitude that other women have. Lipstick doesn’t look the same on me, my hair is never just right, my clothes are wrinkled by the time I get to work no matter how furiously I ironed them. And I’m hesitant sometimes…and stumble into really awkward, stop-and-go exchanges with people. I don’t flow, I guess. Sometimes I feel like a fake adult.

  29. katie responded on 22 Aug 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    hi kate,

    i feel like i would like to be your friend. i’d be more like a friend’s little sister than a friend’s mom, but i am drawn to the way you boldly speak the truth of our experiences. maybe someday we may meet and share a coffee hour. i promise i would never exile you at a party; we’d more likely be exiled together, and that’s the best way, with a friend.

    hoping this comes off as sincere and not creepy,
    cheers,
    katie

  30. Kate responded on 22 Aug 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    @katie
    never creepy! we’re all here on the internet together, sharing stuff, anyway :-)

  31. margie responded on 22 Aug 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    I love reading your posts because I can relate so much! This particular post fits me perfectly though. I have always enjoyed the “older crowd”! I would much rather be around people in their 60s than people in their 30s, most days. I find that when I am in a group of peers, even cousins of the same age, I either get lost in the crowd or I feel the need to exaggerate myself and end up looking ridiculous and obnoxious. I am a pretty witty person and I enjoy making people laugh. I am not easily embarrassed and have always felt comfortable using myself as bate for a good laugh. But sometimes I feel as though I am watching the party through the window and the only way to be included is if I do some kind of performance from my side of the glass. Guess I struggle with that middle ground. Finding the halfway point between invisibility and circus clown! ~sigh~

  32. katilda responded on 22 Aug 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    i am actually terrified of some of my friends’ moms, haha. the ones with too many rules who would pull their kid into their room privately with a little, “come in here for a second so i can talk to you.” i think i was paranoid they thought i was a bad influence on their kid or something, and had to tell them privately. i don’t know?! i like the moms who don’t do that kind of crap.

  33. Kara responded on 22 Aug 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    Wow…I felt like you wrote that article about me. Maybe not the friends’ Mums thing, exactly, but the getting along better with older people, rather than my “same-age” peers. Reading the bit about parties, and big groups, almost gave me goosebumps, because I felt like all my fears and insecurities had finally been put into words. I now understand why I get so afraid and so anxious about social situations and parties. Thank you!

  34. Bridget responded on 22 Aug 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    I was an only child for four years before my sister was born and I always liked hanging with the adults. They did talk about interesting things, and I preferred conversation to running around.

    I wasn’t homeschooled (but I was a homeschooling mom, so I know all about the socialization “issue”). I think your preference has more to do with being an introvert and an individualist than a homeschooler. Anyway, the whole peer group thing is an artificial construct; it’s not like that in real life.

    Introverts just don’t like crowds. Here are a couple of my reasons:
    Group think. (also why I don’t like committees)
    Shallow conversation.
    Jockeying for position.

    Introverts think entirely too much for these situations. Unlike extroverts, we notice these things.

    A series of small housewarming gatherings sounds fabulous. Congrats again on your new digs!

  35. Rose responded on 23 Aug 2012 at 6:16 am #

    Oh god I know that feeling so well! Even when I was attending 18th birthday parties, and everyone was downstairs drinking and dancing on the tennis court, I was upstairs chatting to the birthday kids parents about how uni was going and what I wanted to do at the end of it all. I still get that asphyxiating feeling sometimes when I am in a group. Even with my own friends, all together I feel like I am entirely too large and taking up too much space without being half as witty or successful as I ought to be. At the end I go home, make tea and grab a Kate Forsyth (or Tamora, or George R Martin, or Pratchett) and suddenly its ok to be me again.

  36. Rosanne responded on 27 Aug 2012 at 4:47 am #

    This post, and all the comments… yay for like-minded people! I am so much better one-on-one than in groups, or more comfortable, I should say. Never had one of those groups of girlfriends either. For a long time I tended to prefer hanging out with guys over girls anyway, only in recent years has it become about 50/50. I wonder if that has something to do with becoming more comfortable in my own skin and thus feeling more comfortable with other women… I still much prefer friendship with people who are older than me though. I just find it easier to connect somehow. I remember my aunt asking me at a birthday celebration for another aunt (I was 23/24) if I shouldn’t be going out for drinks and fun with all my cousins, when all I wanted to do is stay and listen to the older family members talk about the struggles and hilarities of being in a very long term relationship, raising a family, throwing diapers and dishes in fights and all the other craziness that life brings.

  37. Eat the Damn Cake » the things grownups say automatically to kids they run into in the hall responded on 20 Sep 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    [...] I didn’t really know how to act around kids when I was a kid. They seemed to have their own secret language, covert body language signals that they were flashing at each other when I glanced down, or even when I looked right at them. [...]

  38. Rachel responded on 25 Oct 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    I love your posts – and I was one of those introverted girls obsessed with Tamora Pierce books, too (still own mine!) Would rather be the slightly rough around the edges, non-sleek 31 year old that I am today instead of the alternative. Just because you don’t flatiron your hair daily doesn’t make you less awesome. Chin up!

  39. Eat the Damn Cake » don’t ever tell me that my friends aren’t beautiful responded on 18 Mar 2013 at 10:44 am #

    [...] that she was the prettiest of all her friends. That includes me, I thought immediately, and wondered sadly why her parents would say something like that about me. Had they ranked me? Was I very low on the list? It felt personal at the [...]

  40. Elle responded on 19 Mar 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    While I was never one for befriending others’ parents, my best friend growing up sure did! She’d go into my kitchen to pour us both waters and end up talking with my mother for an hour haha! She definitely loved everyone’s parents but more out of sheer extroversion than seeking a different dynamic.

    Also, I feel you about the fear of group situations. I remember going to a true teenage “party” (lights out, loud music, dancing, etc) and planting myself to a couch alone the whole night, on the verge of tears because I was so lonely. Another girl sat next to me, but she had a cell phone and texted for hours. Most everyone there was my friend, yet the situation was more than I can handle. Have declined every invitation like that that since!

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