Having just moved to a new town in North Carolina and becoming an *official* practitioner of housewifery – complete with baby bump AND a daily-used KitchenAide – I have had to recalibrate many aspects of my life. Not working a typical job is a big one, but I’m not complaining because my husband is beyond awesome and always makes me feel gratified for the things I do around the homestead. Yesterday I made him Pretend Bibimbap, which consisted of rice, sesame oil, an egg, and some zucchini and he indulgently said, “I’m back in Korea!” No, sweetie, you’re not; that’s like eating a pepperoni Hot Pocket and saying you’re back in Napoli. Thanks for the appreciation, though.
But no matter how awesome B is, I need some female pals. I mean, I’m pregnant in a town where we have no family and no one I can really talk face-to-face with about Bebe and pregnancy and everything else going on. The blogosphere and social networking sites are good to a certain degree in making you feel a part of a kind of community, but you sometimes just need a face to talk to.
So. Making friends in Fayetteville. Humph.
My mobility is decidedly limited because we have only one car and public transportation doesn’t service where we live. This means that on Mondays and Wednesdays, when B is at work literally ALL DAY, I am essentially stuck at home. That is, unless I want to walk across the street to the local middle school and creepily troll the schoolyard for lonely twelve year olds or walk to the nearby CVS and buy M&Ms for $4.
Err, just to clarify, I don’t want to.
“Why don’t you just drive him to work and have the car all day, then?”, you may ask. Let me stress the rural-ness of where we live. B commutes 45-55 minutes each way to his place of work, a college smack dab in the center of the next county over. When we were shopping around for our NC homestead, we totally ruled out the option of living close to his school because it is seriously Mayberry without the charm. Seriously. On his way to work each day, B drives past several of the negative-example “Food Inc.” locations. No joke.
We chose to live in Fayetteville, which at least offers some variety outside of Walmart. So, if I drove him, that would be at least three and a half hours of me in a car, two days a week. So, no. Not doing that.
It’s hard for us to get together with B’s coworkers and form relationships with them. Many of his colleagues at the school are in the same boat as we are in that they live in more full-service towns within an hour from the school instead of the school’s town itself. But they live in the opposite direction as us, such as in Wilmington. Wap-waaaaah.
I tried the whole Meetup thing online, but most of the groups I was interested in joining either met in the morning when I don’t have access to the car, met in the evening which is Married Time (and I like to keep it that way), or set up outings that were out of my price point.
What’s a girl to do?
I’ll tell you: grow a backbone, stop making excuses, talk to strangers, and make some friends.
And that’s exactly what I think I may’ve done!
Yesterday I hit up Target for all the after-Halloween markdowns. I was browsing some Halloween-themed nutcrackers (for the schizophrenic holiday lovers in all of us) and I spotted a lady with an infant wrapped cozily in a pretty moby. I think, What the heck, and ask her about it. We ended up talking shop (ie, pregnancy, babies, Fayetteville, the difficulty of making friends as a grown up) for nearly thirty minutes, surrounded by bags upon bags of fake cobwebs. And it was so nice. We ended up exchanging information and promising to get together soon for coffee or lunch.
I should’ve guessed that Target would be prime territory for spotting that very elusive thing: a possible friendship candidate for a woman in her late twenties. But I could not have guessed how exhilarated I would feel throughout the rest of the day simply because I had a face-to-face conversation with a person other than my husband or a salesperson. Imagine that. People actually need each other.
I keep asking myself, Is it lame that I just blogged about how happy I am to have met a stranger at Target who has the potential to become a friend?
I’ve concluded that I don’t really care. If it’s lame to feel happiness in the small things, I am one contented geek.