About a year ago, the Daddy and I started talking about moving our family from the little suburb of LA that I grew up in and had lived in (on and off!) for 25 years, and heading about an hour southeast to the place where Daddy spent his 20’s and coincidentally, close to where I was born.
It’s certainly a more modern area, peppered with tons of stores and amenities, and sprinkled with some good old-fashioned history. It’s safer than where we lived. The schools are optimistically one of the best districts in Southern California and are a definitely huge step up from what we could have provided our children from the lovely public education offerings in our prior town. Apparently, putting 4 girls through K-12 private school just wasn’t an option unless we both worked 2 full time jobs. And, then, what use would kids be to us at that point anyway?!
We have been living in our new home for exactly 3 months now. And I have yet to find a “friend” down here. I still occasionally see friends from the great north – they came by a time or two to check out the new digs and spent a hot day in the community pool with us. I also happen to have one of my besties close by, who lives 10 miles away, but our mutual relocations out this way were just a fantastic and awesome coincidence. Back in my old ‘hood, I have over a dozen good friends (with or sans kids) that I still hang out with regularly (with or sans kids), and many many more that I connect with at events or parties or group activities (such as the fun twins club events!) a couple of times a year. Certainly with social media like Facebook, I can connect with hundreds of friends and acquaintances whenever I want. But making play dates with people who live an hour away is difficult, especially when you have little nappers to be cognizant of, or preschoolers who are in class a few days a week. Oh, and that pesky job of mine will occasionally get in the way of an opening on a friend’s calendar. (Seriously, though, I have the coolest job ever and I usually only work 1 – 2 days a week anyway.)
No, I’m talking about new friends. A mom friend. A friend who has kids that my kids could socialize with. Someone I met at a park or at the grocery store checkout lane. Maybe through a group play date, or through the tennis and soccer sessions that we struggled to pinch enough pennies to send the girls to for a few weeks at a time. Maybe someone at my gym or in my neighborhood. Someone maybe with kids close to my kids’ ages, who would share a few hours with us a few times a month for a play date or trip to the neighborhood pool.
I really like making new friends, especially if they have a handful of preschoolers and maybe a set of twins thrown into the mix, but I’m not terribly picky about that. Picking up “Mom Friends” used to be SO easy for me. And ever since I moved, it has been an epic failure.
The first week we were here, I took my girls to Disneyland and met another mom in line for a ride. We really hit it off and our girls had a massive giggle fest together. She asked if I was local (oh, my heart swooned!) and I said YES! But we were each 20 minutes from the Happiest Place on Earth in opposite directions. I guess that made me geographically undesirable. We chatted another minute or two until we reached our destination aboard It’s a Small World. I never saw her again.
Ever since my heart was shattered on that small plastic boat-that-goes-around-the-world-in-15-minutes, I’ve tried again many times to find a local mommy friend who might want to spent time with us. I have walked the neighborhoods and met other moms; but we just don’t hit it off. Maybe she has a new baby or her 4 kids are already in elementary school and junior high. I’ve gone to public playgroups in an effort to meet new people. I think I’ve connected with someone… but they never ask if they can call me or offer to include me in a future event. I had “mommy cards” with my name, phone number, and facebook link printed out, and I have given them to several of the mommies I’ve met along the way, hoping one of them might give me their digits in return, or later reach out to me and call, or “friend me” online to get a glimpse of what I am really like without having to commit upfront to 2 hours at a park.
But I got nothing in return. No calls. No emails. No friend requests. Not a single bite in 90 days.
Is “The OC” a harder clique to break into than I thought? Are 4 preschoolers too much baggage for another mom to embrace for a possible friendship? Is it ME? Do I come across too needy? Too clingy? Too obnoxious? Too rich? (Yeah, I threw that one in for laughs.) Too good looking? (No, seriously, I need to stop….!) Or, maybe too plain? Too fat? Too unusual?
Or is it possible that picking up a good Mom Friend is even harder than finding a husband?