Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"I feel like I'm interviewing People to be my Friend"

The title is a quote from a cool cat, and it resonated with what I've been doing for the last three years.

Basically, this is how it all went down: I was in St. Paul where I had a very supportive group of friends. There were my ol' Catholic school friends, the vengeful sluts (they weren't really vengeful but I needed an adjective to make the noun "slut" sound a little polite).  And there was the cadre of  women that I met that time that I carpooled in a minivan to the suburbs to have lunch with a bunch of Christian housewives. I thought it was a total joke based on all the verbs and nouns in that sentence, but seriously, that time I carpooled to the suburbs in a minivan to have lunch with a bunch of Christian housewives kicked off a segment of my life that is only rivaled in greatness by every time that I ever sat in a London club and let my eyes roll to the back of my head.

I had the brilliant idea (due to extenuating circumstances) to leave all my friends in St Paul and move to hell, Colorado. Some people call it the suburbs, but I'm sticking to the moniker, "hell". Hell was horrible. HORRIBLE. I'm a pretty gregarious person, and I was at a total loss to make even one friend. Then, The Man lost his job, and we kicked off a year of depressed and friendless hell together in the oppressive place of hell. There were about five people (at the very most) that even deserved a second conversation in hell, and those second conversations were delayed or postponed or whatever due to the ominous cloud of existence that occurs when you're living with one of the long-term unemployed. Additionally, almost everyone (except three or four people) I met was worse than me, and I am an asshole. If I'm the best person in the relationship, it's really a problem.

I went through everything in my head. I ran through all my friends' demographic details in an effort to analyze what I required in a friend. As far as I could figure I had friends that didn't believe in evolution, friends that weren't that smart (not the same person, ironically), friends that loved church, friends that were prettier than me, uglier than me, eschewed meat, had kids, didn't have kids, and on and on and on. The only demographic thing that I could extract from all the analysis was that I had no black friends. So, maybe that was my criteria. Maybe, I just needed to avoid black people, but I knew that wasn't really the case because I have always wanted a black friend so we could braid each other's hair and read aloud passages from The Color Purple and sing Tracy Chapman songs together (that's what black people do all day long, right?). That's actually, what I used to do with my Jewish English friend so that's nice that some things are color blind....

Then, we moved out of hell to live in Fort Collins which according to my reckoning is the best place on earth, or very nearly close to it. First of all one of the vengeful sluts moved to Colorado so that was great, and after a year, I started doing this glorious thing called making friends. It wasn't always perfect. I tried to start a conversation with some women, and they just looked at me as if "Hi. My name is Minger, and my kid smells like a flatulent old dog" was not a normal way to start a conversation. I estimate that it is their loss besides their hair looked as if they had woken up in 1994.

Despite my inept and awkward first conversation with her, I have had my affections returned by the most amazing twenty five year old in the world. I am an age-ist and I usually resonate more with the post-menopausal crowd, but I serendipitously stumbled upon this woman whose maturity has been shaped by tragedy and who is probably the only twenty-five year old I have encountered lately who doesn't need to check her texts constantly. She's great. We have a garden together (shared effort, shared produce), she tolerates my kids, and she looks like a more fashionable, younger version of me (and the narcissist in me loves that).

Lately, I have met two women who make me want to tip my head to the side and drink in their awesomeness. One was an accidental and random encounter. The other is in a group with me, and I used to sit and stare at her and think, "she is so cool." Then, she asked me to go somewhere with her, and my head went "whoosh" (that's the sound it makes when it metaphorically explodes).  I am utterly besotted by both of them and by the whole world as a result of meeting them.

I'm a person that needs friends. Two years without identifying any potential kindred spirits (as Anne calls them) was HELL. Maybe everyone needs friends, but without them I'm lost. I need to love people, and even though I'm not the nicest bitch in the world all the time, when I love people, it's pretty total and absolute and nice and super and great and super great and super great awesomeness superness.

1 comment:

  1. You're on a roll! And I'm very happy for you.
    Incidentally, your Uncle G is now reading your blog, so keep it clean. Or not.