Let's be friends

I am a total loser who reads fabulous blogs and steals inspiration from them. I was reading Jonniker's recent post about making friends as an adult, thinking the entire time, "That's me! That's me! I am an uncomfortable freak and seemingly obsessive psycho when it comes to making friends!" For instance, would I actually email Jonniker to say how much I enjoy her writing? Hells no!

I know for me to write about this in the shadow of Jonniker's post it's like a gorilla painting with its own feces as compared to Caravaggio, but I need to take inspiration as it grabs me. Otherwise I'll just sit here looking at a blank screen on Blogger wishing I had something...anything to say.

I didn't have many friends growing up. A quick glance at the limited number of friends on my MySpace (yeah, shut up) page yields almost the entire contingent of my friends throughout my life. That's even with my brother and various bands padding that space. I made no friends in college as I was a commuting student who really didn't have much time for anyone in my classes. I *finally* made friends working at Large Chain Bookstore, most of whom I am still in contact with more than 5 years later.

Once I moved to the UK, my distinct lack of friends and friend-making ability became readily apparent. I made one friend through my job, and that was only because she's a rather forceful, outgoing personality who is hard to not befriend. I adore my other co-workers as well, but they are all in their early to mid 50s, and much as I love them, it would be too strange to hang out with women my Mom's age outside work.

I wouldn't know where to even start on this whole friend-making venture. How do you make new friends outside work when you are an adult? For whatever reason I think of a dating tip I have read on far too many occasions - meet a member of the opposite sex while grocery shopping! Bond over a common love of nearly ripe mangoes or orange juice without pulp! I think of making platonic friendships the same way. What, when I'm shopping for a new pair of jeans do I compliment the woman standing next to me on her stellar taste in denim? Is a friendship really going to be forged over a mutual love of Gap apparel?

The internet, thank fuckery, almost puts this touchy subject to rest for me. I have friends! Real, live, breathing people who think I'm a cool person. They think I'm occasionally clever and witty! No, really they do! I send emails to people in which we have long conversations about babies, music, movies, celebrity gossip and even s-e-x. I won't tell you who I talk about that with though, lest her (or his?) cover as a buttoned up old prude be compromised.

I suppose the internet doesn't completely avoid that uncomfortable will-she-think-I'm-one-step-away-from-wanting-to-wear-her-dirty-panties-on-my-head-if-I-email-her situation. There have been many times that I have sent emails to bloggers I admire greatly, proofreading what I've written 10 times and pausing before I hit "send". I have a great fear of seeming a bit too friendly, which is frankly absolutelyfuckinghilarious given my real life persona of detached, anti-social mute. Yet in initial emails, I'm terrified of coming across as a) simple or b) like I am fully ready for some action.

I think this arises from my girl crush from the previously mentioned Large Chain Bookstore. I blogged about her before, long story short - hot girl, funny, smart and lovely, Pru has a very sapphic-influenced dream about said girl, and as such got all stuttery and nervous around hot, funny, smart, lovely girl. She was surely freaked out by me, since I was doing my best impersonation of a pubescent boy who has never gathered up the nerve to talk to a girl before without his voice cracking or getting a slight boner.

Six years later and I'm still suffering from this paranoia. I sometimes want to spontaneously email a blogger that I've never contacted before, but I don't want to come off as a sociopathic fangirl. I do wonder sometimes how I've managed to make so many wonderful internet friends who don't think I'm a complete freak, unless they are freaks too of course.

If I do ever decide to email you out of the blue to say how much I love your blog and your writing, rest assured that I am boner-free and have the very best of intentions. I don't even want to wear your dirty panties on my head.


Anonymous said...

Well, first of all, you don't make new friends by moving to the UK. I am pathalogically outgoing and I am having trouble.

You can email me, call me, or wear my dirty panties on your head, although I must admit I only buy the boring white variety.

electriclady said...

I just made my first new (IRL) friend in like seven years. I was walking in the park with barely-two-months-old Bat Girl strapped to me and ran into another woman with a baby in a sling. We practically humped each other, we were so excited to meet someone else going through postpartum hell. Exchanged numbers, and when I called her a week later to see if she wanted to go for a walk my palms were all sweaty like I was in seventh grade calling my crush. I still get nervous emailing her sometimes, like she's going to suddenly decide I'm a big loser and she doesn't want to hang out with me anymore.

PS I don't mind confessing to you now that I was totally excited the first time you ever emailed me in response to a comment, and got all nervous to email you back. I think internet friending is just as hard as IRL, just people can't see you sweat. :)

Major Bedhead said...

I have always had a hard time making friends, too. The other day, my 12 year-old was having some drama with one of her friends and she said "Well, what did you do when your friends did this?" and I had to say "Um, I didn't HAVE any friends." Which wasn't quite true - I had one friend and I was so desperate to keep her friendship that I let her shit all over me.

Anyway. I digress. I prefer to think of myself as selective rather than a freak (which is what I am). It's a balm to my easily-bruised ego.

I have made one friend in the last few years and I still get weirded out to call her. Email is my preferred means of communication because then I don't have to feel like I'm being brushed off.

This is a good subject. I might have to blog about this, too.

Anonymous said...

Clearly we in the infertile blogosphere have something in common besides our effed up (insert word here: ovaries, uteruses, sperm, etc.)

I am a complete dweeb IRL. So much so that the only reason I was even able to talk to the man who became my husband was bc I was completely blotto when we met. (That and he's the sort who could talk to a brick wall.)

Sometimes I prefer talking to even my "real" friends via email rather than in person. You know, because it's important to do as much as you can to protect and distance yourself in those close relationships.

I've always wanted to meet a fellow blogger (or 10) but fear I'll come across as even more socially retarded than I do on my blog (what's left of it... must update one of these days).

Anywho- great post.

Bittermama said...

Wait, does that mean you aren't really ready for some action?

Oh well, I guess I like you anyway.

And yes, I'll call myself "selective" too, thank you Major Bedhead!

Anonymous said...

Ew. Loser. I bet you call P your widdle bitty baby too.

Nico said...

me too. Yup, that's me. Mmmm... that too. I'm your clone in this department!

Anonymous said...

Listen, Pru, we need to clear up a few things:

1) All the cool people drink their orange juice WITH pulp. It's better for you. Slide on down the aisle.
2) We know you're a complete freak...that's why we love you. Don't change!

It's hard to make friends as an adult. I admired Real Live Infertile from afar for months. Finally I just asked her if she'd like to get lunch one day, forwardness be damned. Now she's one of my best friends and we see each other twice a week if not more. So I guess my advice is: take the plunge. You're moving to Canada soon anyway, you can afford to burn a few bridges in the name of practice! Besides, there's not a person on this planet who doesn't crave acceptance and other's admiration. Telling someone you admire them, even out of the blue, is a great ego-stroke. I'd be much inclined to like anyone who did that to me.

Anonymous said...

You don't want to wear my panties on your head?
Well then fuck you!
I think that many of us who are comfortable with the written word have become so out of relative discomfort with, um, real life. Or at least that was the case for me.
I'm gregarious and confident in a way, but an extreme introvert.
I have a concept of myself as an overeager, annoying, overly needy person, and I get paranoid when my puppydog side comes out.
There, you have it, my dirty panties.

Shannon said...

I am the same way. I guess I'm a big old dork because sometimes I WILL email someone to say that I like their writing or I'll comment on their blog.

If you'd like another myspace friend you can add me. myspace.com/shadiva. I'm really boring and there are tons of pictures of my kid, but it's worth it to see the soap afro, if I do say so myself.

Anonymous said...

If you can't get a boner for my panties, then I don't want to be friends anyway.

I'm totally cool with e-mailing bloggers and stuff online, but IRL I'm completely socially inept.

Lut C. said...

Good question, how does one make friends as an adult?
I can't remember when or where I made the last friend in real life. I had a great time meeting fellow blogger Nina though. :-)

Hayley said...

Making friends - online or IRL - is HARD! I am pathologically shy, or rather, I suffer from low self esteem, so to make up for this, I become Motormouth. So people probably think I am crazy.

I have people I think of as friends, but are they really friends? The only friend I've had for any real length of time is my best friend, who I've been friends with since I was 7 (I'm now nearing 22).

I've met some great people online, and find them much easier to relate to generally, but a) they're not local, so there are no pub trips for me, and b) it's REALLY scary meeting them for the first time.

Would it help to say that I'll be your friend, and I live in England. I know you live in Brighton which is about 1 1/2 hours from me, but that's a relatively short trip for an American - right?

Oh, lordy, now I feel dumb.

Anonymous said...

See, I would have loved such a note, because I am just as dorky! And I SEND those notes all the damn time! ALL THE TIME!

Nothing dorky about that. Then again, we've established that I am a huge, huge dork.

Other than that, well ... obviously, I quite agree with you. But generally, in my experience, I love when people gush to me as dorkily as I would to them.


Hetty Fauxvert said...

I wouldn't have any IRL friends as an adult either, except that I cheat. I joined Mensa many moons ago (looking for hot, smart guys -- HAhahahaha!) and it's chock fulla dweeby types like me who made straight A's in school but couldn't get a date fer nuthin'. Mensa has been great every time my husband and I have moved -- we just look up the local Mensa chapter and voila, someone to talk to! We have only lived in this town for 5 years, and one of our Mensa friends arranged a HUGE baby shower for me back in February. I couldn't believe I was friends with that many people, but I was. (Okay, this sounds like bragging, but remember, all my friends are dweebs too! :)

I do realize that this post will completely rule out your wanting to get freaky with my panties anytime in the future. Darn. ;)

Anonymous said...

You said panties.

PiquantMolly said...

Umm, OK.

So why did you ask me to send you my panties last month? I'm confused.

Luckily I'm in a graduate program, or I'd have few to no friends. It's fantastic.

Oh, hey -- I get to see you in 9 days.

Shinny said...

I so agree with you that it is very hard to make friends IRL as an adult. I have lived in this town for 6 years and only since buying my house have I actually met people who I do stuff with and talk to more then in passing.
And really? You don't want my panties? ;) Come visit Wisconsin, I will be your friend.

Yoli said...

Just found your blog and I love it.


Tim said...

who was the girl-crush on at the bookstore? I gotta know that!

tonya said...

I can so relate. I am constantly wanting to make more friends, but have a hard time trying not to sound like a total doofus. I think emails are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

AMEN. I am an incredibly out going person, for gods sake I am a recruiter by profession. BUT....but....I have only 2 friends from college - one of whom I married - I have not friends from high school. My high school german teach once told us about how we may have lots of friends now (i didn't, I was in band) but as we get older we will have fewer but closer friends. I remember him comparing it to a triangle sitting on its base. He was wrong though because my friend shape could NEVER constitute as a triangle, I don't this it even exists in shape land unless you include the "lopped off" shapes. What this whole things had to do with german I have no idea, but other than my pretty good grasp of the language I remember it well.

PS - who is the panty wearing looser now since i have not actually posted on your blog since the holiday card exchange??!!!??!!