Yesterday was the first day of the fall session of storytime at the library. Since I’m not feeling overly confident right now about my appearance, I worried about what to wear, fretted over my hair, and actually put on make-up. Nothing in my closet looks good on me anymore, I’m still wearing some maternity clothes. I also felt really anxious about making conversation with the other Moms, since I’ve yet to make one friend since beginning storytime a year ago. I was hoping that it would be different this time.
I’ve read several posts lately about different kinds of Moms and making friends with other women. Before Carson was born, I naively assumed that he’d be my ticket to easy, ready-made friendships. I dreamed of going to the park, meeting other friendly Moms who were just like me, commiserating over our Starbucks grande mochaccinos, easily making conversation and having loads to talk about since we’d have so much in common.
This, obviously, has not been the case. And I don’t really know why I’m surprised. And I wish wasn’t always disappointing myself.
Yesterday’s foray into the world of Gap Moms, Alpha Moms, a sprinkling of crunchy mamas, and several women who made it very clear they were uninterested in having a conversation with anyone left me feeling rejected and disappointed yet again. I immediately realized that my much fretted about outfit was completely wrong. Most of the other Moms were in their color-coordinated work-out gear with ponytails and sun-visors. My children weren’t even dressed correctly since I refuse to allow Carson to wear jon-jons and Ella wasn’t wearing a smocked and monogrammed dress.
My conversation attempts were just that, attempts. Most of the other Moms seemed to know one another (presumably they work out together?). I asked people how their summers had been, only to get one word responses, “fine,” they’d say. The other Moms easily made conversation with one another, telling each other how Mary Claire and Riffington had a wonderful time at Helen Brannon’s birthday party. And how little Mary Elizabeth and Margaret Ames* had had the best time playing together at the park.
I felt sad and jealous that Carson and I have never been included in any of these birthday parties or playdates.
I don’t really know where I fit in with these women. Honestly, I kind of wish I was more of a Gap Mom or Alpha Mom. I want to look put together or look like I’ve been working out. I want my kids to look the part, too, with the “right” clothes. I drive the SUV, I live in the brick house. I wonder, does my husband not make enough money? Is it because I’m a “Yankee?”
I don’t feel like I’ll ever fit in with these women. What I really want is for these Moms to want to know me.
I’m tired of always being at the edge of other’s conversations, smiling and nodding like a fool, but never having anything to add. I’m tired of making the effort to be friendly and my attempts never reciprocated.
Why is making friends still so difficult? Where do I fit in?
*I changed the names of the children in storytime, however they are based on real names. It’s very common in the Deep South for little girls to be called by their first and middle names.