Sunday, June 14, 2009

Making Friends

A couple weekends back I did something I normally do not do. I struck up a conversation with a perfect stranger while waiting for my husband to get his hair cut.

The woman looked to be in her 20's and her stomach was bulging with new life. Her husband seemed to be a spirited young man who filled the place with laughter. I watched her walk in with two Baskin and Robbins cups, handed him one, sat down and proceeded to have a quiet but apparently funny conversation with him as he immediatley began to laugh at the words she was saying. Logan, the curious little boy that he is, walked over to her smiled and said hi. She smiled down at him and whispered something to her husband who immediately got up and ran out the door. A minute later he was back with a smaller cup and spoon which he handed to his wife. She scooped a couple of spoonfuls of her ice cream into the smaller cup and handed it to Logan. I thanked her for her generosity and proceeded to strike up a conversation with both her and her husband.

Minutes later my husband's haircut was complete. He came over and jumped into our conversation as if we were all old friends instead of just meeting for the first time. Needing to head out and continue on with our filled day of running errands we smiled and said goodbye and goodluck on their new baby to this wonderful couple.

I have lived out here for three years now. In those three years, we have not made one single friend. We have met other couples in restaurants, at the fair, and while running errands. My husband is usually the one who strikes up a conversation with them talking about their kids, their careers, etc. Before we part he says how lovely they are and how it would be great to get together, luring them in with riding horses at the ranch and so forth. The other couples usually get excited looks on their faces and say how much their kids would love to do that. My husband exchanges business cards, usually with the husband, and we leave; never to hear from or see that couple again.

I, in a few desperate acts, have overcome my shyness and called a few of the couples up to discuss meeting for dinner sometime and get our kids together. However, in each of these attempts I have been shot down with how busy they are right now and maybe in a few months or so when things slow down they will give us a call.

And so this vicious cycle continues. My heart sinks each time I hear the words "too busy" and "we'll call you"; knowing from too many experiences that these couples will never pick up the phone to dial our number.

Making friends for me has never been easy. I was always the queit shy one who sat in the back of the class; even my teachers would forget I was there! And this life that my husband and I chose does not make the situation any easier. Luckily we still keep in contact with a few friends from college, though we are not able to see them regularly it is still nice to hear that familiar voice on the other end of the phone.

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