Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Something To Talk About

I'm not a girl's girl. I don't have a gaggle of girls that I like to hang out with. My best friend is my sister and my next best friend is Cathleen, Bella's best friend's mom (got that?). Most women get on my last ever-lovin nerve.

I've always been that way. One friend at a time. Low maintenance friends at that. Except with my sister, it is required we email/call every day or every other day. She helps keep me sane.

Tomorrow, I'm meeting some new women. Cathleen is making me do it. OKAY, she's not making me. It is an organization of stay-at-home moms who have playdates for their toddlers. But they also have a Girl's Night Out. Before Cathleen even finished her sentence about the GNO, I shot it down. Why?

It is far easier for me to mingle with moms when I have my kids with me. I feel like the focus is off of me or something. I don't think I'm all that but when I'm around a bunch of women, I feel like the intense white light of interrogation and judgement is upon me. But I have no idea what I think they are judging me on!

Granted, alot of women are snippy, catty and clustered together in their little groups with an invisible shield up for no intruders. I've seen this at Bella's gym class, her school and on the playground.

But that's me judging them, isn't it.

For whatever reason, when I enter the vacinity of a group of women, I get all verklempt. If all eyes are on me when someone asks a question, I turn bright red and words dribble out of my mouth like I'm on heavy medication.

I guess you could say I'm socially inept with females. However, I can hang with my husband's friends or socialize at his work functions like a superstar. I enjoy mingling with his co-workers or laughing at the endlessly retold stories by his friends. And I have no problem when those friends happen to have a girlfriend that week.

So what's the deal? Increasingly I hear how important it is to have women in our life. That it is supposed to keep us grounded to have that GNO.

Am I missing out on this big secret to happiness as a woman? Am I unfulfilled and didn't know it?

I know that I'm smart, funny and delightful to be around. My mama tells me so. Now that I'm a mama too, do I have to start being a girl's girl?

** UPDATE **

It went well! I really liked the "host mom" and a couple of others. When it got too gossipy I would just take Ava over to play with different kids. Bella was a bit sensitive but she only knew one child and overall she adjusted really well with a complimentary toddler fit when it was time to leave.

I have to say though with the way those 10 kids could tear up a house, I don't think I'll volunteer my home just yet!


louann said...

Hmmm...interesting. Has this been the case even when you were single?
In my case, I can relate on a few points, like although I can do a GNO, I prefer to go out with just a few girls. I am not into big big ladies groups. I feel uncomfortable. I like it when I have 3 or 4 really close girlfriends and that's about it. Given a choice, I prefer hanging with my bestfriend of 17 years and who happens to be the Mom of Josh's bestfriend.
And may I agree with you that yes, girls have a tendency to judge. And because of this, we put up our own wall a lot of times to protect ourselves.
But I hope you would be open to the idea of letting loose a bit and enjoying that GNO. Try it and if it just doesn't work for you at least you can say you did it.
Let us know how it goes! :)

I'm Just a Girl said...

Jenn, I can so relate. I don't necessarily get totally verklempt around women, but I am much more comfortable in the company of men. Maybe it's because I have four brothers and no sisters and just grew up learning how to deal/live with men, but not women. When I was a kid girls scared the shit out of me. I had a few close girlfriends, but in school if a girl teased me I'd go home crying and stressing about it for weeks. If I guy teased me, I'd punch him in the face. Oh, how I wish I could have punched the girls, too!

Seriously though, a lot of it has to do with maturity. We often joke as women that men never mature beyond the age of 11. And in many instances, we're right. But if Spouse has a "fight" with a guy friend, they not only make up, but they MOVE ON. They don't let the old wounds/problems fester, like women do. We hang onto shit from years past and it can eat us alive. We regurgitate the same drama over and over with our friends, never actually solving any of the problems, always too timid of one another, let's not step on toes because she might get mad at me, and then she'll tell so-and-so and then so-and-so won't like me, either, etc. It's all petty and catty and 7th grade. Talk about not maturing...and then there's the judgment, the gossip, etc. Why are we like that?!?!?!

Most smart women (like me and you) figure this out at some point and become very selective when choosing friends. I hope that you enjoy your GNO, they can be fun with the right group of people. But you'll probably know right away if any of these ladies have friend potential. If not, at least you can say you braved the world of the unknown. Good luck!

T-girl said...

TEN KIDS! Pffft not in my house!!!!

So, when did I write this post and you stole it???? I am SO with you! I would LIKE to be one of those Mom's, they seem to have fun but the fact is... I am not! It takes one time of someone asking/saying something stupid and me snapping back something rude since they were rude, and I am persona non-grata! Also, I like gossip BUT I don't like meanness! My SIL and I got in a fight once and she accused me of over gossiping and saying my opinion on it too much which I found funny since she is the town crier! So yeam, I don't do well with other Mom's myself! I would like to but I don't! I keep Joci's playdates to small little intiment groups of people (ie ONE Mom! LOL) I know and it works out better... for all! Yesterday she came home EXAUSTED from one little boy, whom she loves! LOL

Jennboree said...

My whole reason for even getting involved in playgroups is to get Bella used to groups of children. I could tell at times she was intimidated and unsure of herself. I was always terribly shy as a child and I'm hoping that by being more social it will in turn help her to be. Hoping. :)

Eve said...

My sister is also my best friend, but I have a few cherished others who remind me that, no matter how difficult and complicated female relationships are, they are SO worth it. There is something about dear girlfriends that is so precious and intimate and rare, and as great as male friends are, they are just different.

But I also find that it's hard to make real friends in mommy groups. Parenting is such a personal and emotional thing, and it's impossible to find someone you agree with on everything. Too much judgement and comparisons... sadly. I do it just for the kids as well.

Though, I often wish we could have playdates with many of the blogging moms I've gotten to know online- like you! :)

Jennboree said...

Thanks, Eve!

I agree. I'd definitely love to have my mom blog friends here for playdates and GNO :)

Chaos Control said...

I can't do mommy groups. I don't fit in. I feel judged. I don't drive the right car, carry the right handbag.

Fortunately, I've made friends with two moms from V's pre-school that are MLM (moms like me). I was so excited to find them!!

T-girl said...

MLM! SO going to use that from now on!

Boby J is shy also but I think that is just her nature. I use to worry about it but then one day I was at my gf's house who has two older kids (6 & 10) and every kid in the neighborhood was over and I watched her cling to the her two kids at first. About an hour later I was laughing because SHE was ruling the roost! She was riding roughshaw all over those kids and I had to laugh. That is when I finally thought "maybe I shouldn't worry so much about it, she OBVIOUSLY has what it takes to lead!" She had those kids totally jumping, seriously I kind of was jealous... what is her secret? LMAO

T-girl said...

Man- I am batting a 1000 tonight! BAby J and roughSHOD! LOL And I forgot to say I heard ya'll are having some rough weather down there, hope you all are staying dry and safe, be careful and don't go too crazy with all the rain and little people stuck in side!

Kandace Groenewegen said...

Completely understand.

I actually stuttered today while spending time with a new SAHM friend.

kristi said...

You are sooo right. I have worked with an office full of women, and boy have I learned some hard lessons. Very few people in that office do I trust.