Sunday, February 26, 2012

New friends, and how to find them

I'm not one who makes new friends easily, at least not outside of work.

I think I am a reasonably good friend to those friends I have already made. With the exception of long distance friendships, which I just suck at. If I can't see you on a regular basis, chances are that after about a year, you probably won't hear from me again.

My friend Mary, who lives locally, and I can go a few weeks without seeing each other and then pick up where we left off by going to a movie, going to the farmer's market, working on knitting projects in front of the TV together, or just sitting around talking. She has two kids, lots of other friends and is working a crazy shift on the air force base right now. She's not a needy friend nor am I, so we get along great. However, I did panic a little when I found out that she was getting out of the air force and moving home to Connecticut. She insists that we will still be friends from afar, but I hope she realizes that she will likely have to put in more than 50% of the work.

So I decided that I better work on making new friends. Don't get me wrong, my husband and I are friends and I love to spend time with him, he's a good friend and he's good for other things too, but a girl needs girlfriends.

I, like many of you, spend the vast majority of my waking hours at work. I get home between 6 and 7 PM each night. I go to they gym, make dinner for my husband and I, clean an area in the house, and all of this is done just in time to fall into bed around 9:30-10 PM. Then I get up and do it all again the next day. I bet my day sounds like many of yours.

So how does a girl go about finding new friends?

I'll tell you. She recruits them...well...sort of.

Were any of you in sororities? Did you participate in recruitment (rush)?

Well I was and I did. I was recruited into a sorority my freshman year. I loved it. A great way to find a whole group of built-in, live-in friends. For the next 3 years I participated in the recruitment of new classes. Let me tell you, I sucked at it. I got very few girls to join my sorority. I didn't know what questions to ask, how to find commonalities and how to get someone to open up to you and like you. I even remember asking "if you were a character on friends, who would you be?", how cliche, right? I think the girl looked at me cross-eyed, put her brain on auto-pilot and, afterwards, pretended like the last 15 minutes or so didn't happen.

Anyway, now that I am in a medical profession that includes quite a bit of sales, my skills have improved. I am quite adept at getting people to open up and to like me, for...get this...who I am!!!!

I'm honest, I'm worldly (sort of), I have varied interests, and I am honestly interested in them.

When I'm not talking to people, or doing work, my brain dwells on infertility, finances and how to get a baby, and if I'm not careful this information leaks out my mouth and pours onto other people, including my male co-workers. I'm not subtle about my infertilty, in fact, I'm as far across the library from a closed book as you can get.

Therefore, I must work harder to find commonalities with regular other people. Find a topic that you have in common and get the other person talking. People love to talk about themselves, the more they talk about themselves, the more they like you! It's weird but true, everyone loves a good listener.

So, I talked about her before, but we didn't become friend's back then. A patient of mine, an infertile like us, and I became friends. She came back in to see me and we talked about the fact that we should hang out. We found each other on facebo.ok and she and her husband had us over to dinner. Our husbands even get along. AND infertility was a topic of conversation over dinner. She had me over again to bake together. We just have so much in common, she knits!!! and paints!!! and has 5 dogs too!!! Also, she's now pregnant with twins from ART after 4 years or so of infertility, and she's one pregnant person that I couldn't be happier for.

She has this blog address and might be reading, I don't know. How could I not tell her about you guys?!?

The end of this post has taken a different turn than I planned as I just found out yesterday that she went into pre-term labor at 28 weeks. She'll be in the hospital for the next 5+ weeks or until she delivers. She could use your support, thoughts, prayers and hope. I was thinking of asking her do a guest post, but I'm not sure she'd be up for it (and we've only been friends for 2 weeks or so).  Given that I've known her for such a short period of time, I'm not sure how to support her, ideas?


  1. Sounds like you've made an awesome friend. Chances are if she's at the hospital she could probably use a knitting partner to help her pass the time! Hospital time dragssssss...I'd bet she'd be all over some nightly knitting sessions or just hanging out in bed watching a show on a laptop :)

  2. Are you in a position to go visit with her? Something to just take her mind off the intensity of the moment would probably be very welcome. I agree also with the knitting stuff. You could bring her some crafty magazines or books. You could ask her if there are any items on her "get ready for babies" list that maybe you could help her cross off? I think ultimately just being there for her is going to be the best thing you can do. She sounds like a great friend :)

  3. If she likes to read or is alone a lot in there, audiobooks and a CD player can be great. You can check out audiobooks from the library for her.

    Also, with regards to making friends in general, is there any way you can connect with alumni from your sorority? I know every chapter has a different culture, but there would still be things you would have in common with sisters from other chapters that may live in the area.

    ICLW #6

  4. Ah, making friends in real life is tricky at this age :) but glad you have found each other and having more than one thing in common helps. I hope she can keep these babies safe until it's time for delivery. And you'd be a great 'auntie'.

  5. You're so sweet- I hope yur friend and her baby will be ok. I would go visit her, bring her magazines, books, knitting supplies, snacks- just be there for her. And I'd ask her to do a guest post if she is up for it and then print all the comments for her to read.

  6. I agree with everything above. Go visit her and bring some stuff to pass the time. You could knit with her or play some card games too! I couldn't hurt to ask if she would like to do a guest post.

  7. Here from ICLW...and I'll agree with everything else up above! Especially because hospital time can be so monotonous and lonely, but being infertile, then pregnant, then in a very precarious position, she is probably even more terrified and just wants time to pass.

    Our first son died. After he died, I think the thing that really helped me the most was the constant attempts at connecting with me. Even if they didn't work out because I wasn't up for it or ready or whatever, it meant so much to be continually pursued...I know that sounds weird, but my point is...even if she seems as if she may not be interested in something...she may not at the time, but may welcome you or something you do for her at another time. Praying for her and the baby!


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