Saturday, January 16, 2010

Socially Retarded

As a follow up to the last post, cuteness does not equal having friends. Complete strangers are ridiculously nice to me but when it comes to having friends...I feel socially retarded. I was never the one to have a BFF or even a group of girlfriends. The Sex in the City experience is not one I can relate too. I can think of several reasons why.

First being the twin sis. Don't get me wrong, I love her to pieces and we are the best of friends. I wouldn't trade her for anything, but when you are a little kid with a built in playmate of the same age... making friends isn't at the top of your priority list. Especially if you are the fat kid. Twin sis and I were never allowed to be in the same homeroom class together, which was fine, but somedays I wished we had been. Protection and all that. I can still recall the humiliation of an indoor recess one day in 5th grade. The girls had their cliques and they were giggling and whispering and the boys were drawing on the chalk board. One drew a HUGE circle, stood on a chair to do so in fact and then he drew a tiny circle at the top and four little sticks for arms and legs. It was me. I cried, no one came to my defense and when I said anything I was taunted with the words, "Don't make her mad or she'll sit on you."

Ugh.

Second is obviously the weight. It's the rare few that look past pounds, especially when you are younger. I can't imagine what it must be like to be an overweight teenager these days especially with the media going on and on about it. At least in the 1990's I was something of an anomaly and while I felt pressure to lose weight, I didn't feel ostracized by society like I suspect some do now. High school wasn't all bad, no one teased me at my boarding school and we were all able to find our niche. I found mine by hanging out with guys. Hanging out is probably giving myself too much credit... I managed the football team and it was job I loved and so I worked hard at it. Best.manager.ever. a guy called me all these years later when I friend req'd him on Facebook. In a dorm full of girls I never had a best friend and every year I had to be assigned a new student because I couldn't find someone who would want to room with me. I was the one all the girls asked about what the boys on the team thought of them. Trust me honey, you don't want to know.

Third is again, the weight. By time I got to college I was a pretty outgoing person. I'm sure lots of heavy people can relate. You smile a lot, makes jokes (at your own expense often) and are about as pleasant as you can be. My most favorite job ever was at a local coffee shop. I worked 5:30-noon for years and cultivated my ability to make chit chat. When I finally quit a loyal customer told me how much he was going to miss my own personal brand of sunshine. I was at my heaviest while I was at that job (I've still never met a pastry I don't like) but that was pretty much all I did. My sheer size physically kept me from getting out and doing things with people. I would always worry about fitting in the booth at Chili's or at the movies. I'd make plans and cancel on the few who gave me a chance. Living in one of the most active cities in the country people all around me were always going up into the mountains to hike or ski and I was just sitting in my apartment letting life pass me by. Even when I did start taking off the weight it was very much a solitary process. I'd pass women walking the bike path together happily chatting and think, "I want that."

All that adds up to me wondering now how at 33 I find a way to make friends or be more social with the "friends" that I already have. I'm not shy by any means, I know how to hold a conversation, I'm bright and approachable. How do I translate that into something meaningful I wonder? Maybe I want too much? Maybe I am just reacting to a ridiculous trial schedule and lack of husband in my world? A twin sis who is making something with her man?

However at the same time, I know that I thrive on interaction with people, I'm pursuing a career where I will work directly with individuals because I know that will make me happy. But in my personal life I feel like I have missed my chance at making friends. Most of the women my age are having babies and loving mommy hood. Kids aren't even on my radar currently and while I would love to hang out with the girls I've reconnected with via FB, I don't think I'm even considered because of my lack of wee ones and the fact that I live in the city. Boarding school friends were from all over and I went to college in a different state. Even making friends on the internet baffles me. Blogher? Seriously, how and why do these women find each other? Again, maybe I am expecting too much, but some people to go out with every once in a while would be nice. I hate to say it but I'd give anything to be part of a clique.

6 comments:

Lori said...

Oh Sarah, I can still feel the hurt from those kids coming through in this post. I know it well, too.

I would love to hang out with you if we lived near each other! Not having kids puts you in a different place, I think. Seems like everyone I know has kids and my husband and I chose not to.

Beckett said...

Sarah,

I could have written this post myself, well except for the whole twin part. I know exactly how you feel! When you become an adult and your only real source of interaction is work, where and how does one find friends. I asked my husband this question just yesterday Wish that we lived closer! Good luck with the thighs, keep looking!

Aimee said...

I find it much harder to make friends as an adult than I did when I was younger. And since most of the people I know now have kids and I don't, that makes it even more difficult. I don't think you're expecting too much!

By the way, I'm new to your blog, I'm enjoying it. :-)

Sarah said...

Thanks Rebecca. You too Lori, your words were very helpful this afternoon.

I don't work currently, I am lucky enough that my husband is supporting me while I am taking classes. I made one friend that I have kept over the years from the job that I did have. She's fabulous, I love her, but she's much older than me. Other than that I had acquaintances in the office but I certainly was not the girl the office through a wedding shower for or took out to lunch on her birthday. Most of my work "friends" were men, always found them easy to chat with. I just come in a different package now and it took me a moment to realize that men were not interested in being just my friend anymore. That's a whole other post.

I'm going to actively try and make some friends this semester in my classes and see how that goes. Last term everyone already had study groups or people they did homework with since we had all pretty much been together since general chemistry but I had my husband to rely on first semester so missed out again. This Spring I am taking three 1 semester classes I hope I can find at least someone who shares some common interest. I need to make an effort.

Thanks for the encouragement. Losing weight isn't just a physical process, it's mental one as well. Even 5 years post loss.

Moltalb said...

<3.

<3, <3 <3 <3.

I hope I never hurt you. I really and truly consider you a friend.

Melting Mama said...

I am 31 years old and I have no real IRL friends. Woot. Lots and lots of aquantinces.