Ok, now I know some of you will relate to this.
You know the feeling. It happened to me in junior high, again in college, then when I was new to Portland and went to my first care group meeting, and now here in Africa. Standing in a sea of people and wondering: Where are they?
That feeling of being in a crowd of people, scanning and looking for someone who looks friendly (and about the same coolness, or better, but not too much better)…..like looking for a date, but perhaps more important cause this person might end up being one of your “girls”. The ones you shop with, whine to, try and work out with, get pedicures with, do favors for, hopefully swap kid sitting with, borrow butter from, go to coffee with, trust their opinionabout if the jeans make you have an 80’s butt or a “hot” butt, the one’s who really know you and get you a sweet birthday gift. You get the drift.
I found myself friend shopping in church a few weeks ago. I was looking around at all of the possible women aged 25 and up. Some of the best friends are older women with time and energy to spare. And then I caught myself and realized what I was doing and that I hadn’t had to “friend shop” since moving to Portland in like 1998. That’s 10 years folks. And then I realized that I really wasn’t in the greatest “friend shopping” form. I’d need to spice myself up a bit, be aware of my scowl/frown line that is developing on my forehead from too many Eli corrections, and put on some good fun lipstick and some less “mommy” clothes.
I must have done ok, cause last Sunday I found myself with a lunch invite for the family for this coming Sunday. The prospective friend’s name is Anne. Is she only doing it out of pity and the fact that we have the same name? Or perhaps because Eli has permanently attached himself to here sons and made sure to get their phone number the first day he met them (yeh, I thought it was a little forward too for a first meet), or perhaps….she is friend shopping too!
And, just for the record girlfriends back home….these are simply “back-up” friends until our friendships can be reinstated in full, in person with all of the benefits. ***Insert big sigh here***