All Lil-lil wants in life at the moment is friends - well milk, TV & friends. Making friends is easy for her, she simply sees a kids she likes and walks over and says "Hello, friend!". So they essentially become her mate whether they like it or not. Most of the time the other child is happy to comply with her and they play. She doesn't even need to know their name, she just calls them "My friend". Sometimes they'll see each other again, most often though they won't.
Wouldn't it be easy if we adults could be like this? I guess there are some people out there who are like that, but I'm not one of them. I'm terrible at small talk, especially with strangers [see my coffee post]. I find it really hard to talk about the banal things strangers usually talk about. Until recently this suited me fine. I'd put up the 'No Vacancy' sign in the friendship stakes a few years ago. I felt I had more than enough people to fulfill all my friendship quotas.
Recently though, as I've had more time at home, haven't been at work for a few years, lost some pals along they way, I thought it may be time to start recruiting again. I was beginning to feel a little lonely, but I couldn't place just why. It's weird though, at 33 years of age I'd forgotten how to make friends. I had to face the fact the most of my friends I'd met through my mum making playdates for me [sad, but true] and through my husband, with a smattering made at work.
Being someone who is completely hopeless at small talk I had no idea how I was going to make new friends. What was I going to do, walk up to some other mum at the park and say: "So, do you come here often?". It felt ridiculous even talking about it with Skip. I don't like things to be forced, so I just gave up on the whole idea. I decided that I did, in fact, have a lot of lovely friends and didn't really need to fill the hole that badly.
Out of the blue, I met someone. She's a lovely girl and we have so, so much in common. I decided to put myself out there and gave her my number. Which all felt incredibly weird. She actually called and we went out with her two girls and mine. As I was waiting for her to show, I suddenly realised that I felt like I was on a first date. I was nervous, the conversation was a little more stilted than when we first met, I kept thinking "Does she still like me?" As we parted she said "I'll give you a buzz soon and we'll do this again". I thought "Will she really call again?" And here I was thinking that as an old married lady, I'd never have to go through all this crap again!
She didn't call again, but she did email. She wrote: "How weird was it meeting, it was like a first date". I relaxed and laughed and we're now firm friends. While I love all my friends who have such different lives to mine, it's wonderful to have someone who is going through the exact same things I am and is on my wavelength. A kindred spirit, as Anne Shirley would say.
So I'm happy to say my two-year-old has taught me some tricks about the world and I'm sure it won't be the last time. So getting uncharacteristically sappy, my thought for the day is: Put yourself out there, you never know what might happen.
Ciao for now.