It is a truth universally acknowledged that, when you are a woman in her thirties who has four kids and has moved to a new city, making new friends is a challenge.**
Here are 10 steps I’ve taken in the last month to make new friends in a new state.
Step 1: Tell life story to the check out lady at the grocery story. Kick myself as I leave and apologize for talking her ear off.
Step 2: Sit on park bench. See young mom with small children. SCORE! Try to make small talk.
Me: Aww, she is so cute!
Me: How old?
Woman: 18 months.
Me: I have a two year old. Also a four year old and two nine year olds. Do you come here often?
Woman: (silence) ::walks away::
Me: Good talk!
Step 3: Go to the pool. Wade around baby pool while keeping two year old from drowning and stealing other kids’ toys. Attempt to make small talk through intense brain fog.
Wonder how small talk was accomplished and friends were made in previous decade of life.
Step 4: Try to join a book club via Facebook. Request still pending.
Step 5: Meet cool woman at the playground who has three boys. Remember how to make small talk. Decide to be facebook friends! Make plans to play at the park again! YES!
Step 6: Loose all good feelings from new connection. Cry for two hours into husband’s shoulder about how I am so lonely. Feel extremely negative and down in the dumps.
Remind myself that we have only been here for 3 weeks.
Step 7: Resolve to “get out there” and go to an Air Force Spouses craft night at a local coffee shop.
Debate not going 4 times.
Debate putting on make up.
Decide to go because husband is so encouraging.
Arrive at coffee shop. Stand like a statue in the doorway looking for “crafty people.”
Refuse help twice from wait staff.
Cautiously interrupt a meeting of women to ask if they are “Crafty People.” They are not. Blush furiously.
Ask wait staff about the Crafty People Group. They have no news.
Wander some more.
Feel extremely stupid.
Order ice cream and eat it alone while texting Virginia friends. For an hour.
Make friends with a sheep.
Step 8: Go to pool again. Reconnect with women I met last week. Connect with new women. Make new Facebook friends (which is important if I am ever going to 1. Remember their names, and 2. Make plans to see them again).
Feel a little better about life.
Step 9: Engage in inner debate about starting my own book club. Remember that Jane Austen has been very good to me in the past.
Take a deep breath and put myself “out there,” at least on Facebook.
Discover that lots of other Air Force wives love Jane Austen too!
Decide on a date. Decide to read Pride and Prejudice because it is the absolute best.
Look forward to meeting new people in a new setting, in a new city.
Step 10: Resolve to keep moving forward. New acquaintances will soon on their way to becoming new friends. It’s a truth universally acknowledged.
**paraphrased from Pride and Prejudice (of course). #JaneAustenForLife