Monday, July 27, 2009

So pleased to make your acquaintance

Friend-making on the That Girl Front is making progress. We're moving out the front lines, conquering the desert frontier, bravely facing every skirmish with a smile. Battle tactics are subversive. The opposition - UNKNOWN FEMALE - is an impressive foe. Mysterious. Coy. Plotting. Strict follower of the Making Friends Handbook.

I somehow missed that book in middle school.

It's different in Brazil. Down There, you just ARE friends. There isn't any ice to break - any rules to follow. You state your name and - bam! - friends. No social faux pas, no silly mannerisms or facade to keep up. These people have no tact, and no secrets. Everyone is everyone's best friend by default.

I forget that it's not like that Here.

I got invited to the pool the other day (so! so! excited! okay, That Girl, calm down, play it cool, don't act as desperate as you are ....) with two other ladies. Collected, chic females with masters degrees in the Handbook. Plenty of light banter and polite conversation. I had trouble eating that night for all the times I bit my tongue. (No! don't gush too much about how grateful you are for the invite ... No! don't tell them how much your feet sweat here ... No! don't tell them your children's birth stories ....)

Frank. That's my new name.

(I think I came on a little strong.)

Truth is, there really is structure to this whole Friend thing. You can't be clingy. Weird. Open. Snooty. Dirty. Gross. Crude. Fake. Shallow. Scary. Shy.

image here

Maybe that's why blogging lends itself to friendships so easily. We have no walls. We are who we are; we read who we read.

And we just ARE friends.

31 comments:

Kazzy said...

Yes, we are. :)

rad6 said...

and the amazing thing that I have noticed is that in that world of the friend handbook, someone may be your friend and then with the break of one rule they might be gone. I have decided that in life we only have a few TRUE friends. They are few and far between, you know, the ones that you really are yourself with all the time, even when self is a stupid thing to be. And they love you no matter what and you talk about EVERYTHING!!!! Not many of them out there. But hey, I think that could be because we don't need that many. We only need a few, then we can turn around and be friend to someone else.... it is a chain reaction thing, but not always a two way street.
Ok, did any of that make sense?????
You are fun to read! Love your realness... just keep it real and all will be right!

Tamsin said...

If you lived in Spanish Fork, you could just be my friend and tell me about your sweaty feet to your heart's content. We'd probably eat strawberries too.

Tobi said...

I wish the Brazilian friendship rules applied here in America. I'm starting to think we (Americans) really are cold.

Making friends is really tough for me. I always come on too strong. Here in blogosphere, I have many friends. I just don't actually get to see them and talk to them in real life. =)

Christa Jeanne said...

I think you're every bit as delightful in person as you are in the blogosphere, That Girl. I seriously WOULD NOT have survived sophomore year without you and your roomies (I mean, I recall usurping your living room to watch movies over there - I don't remember things being that bad in good ol' #76, but if I had to chill in your living room and watch movies all by my lonely self at your place... that must be saying something...).

ANYWAYS - if I lived there, or if you lived here, we could swap crazy stories 'til the cows came home. Well... except there are no cows in Phoenix or the OC, but you get my drift. ;) I've never been good at that social game. It's so exhausting. I am who I am, I'd be happy to be best friends with everyone I meet, and I think life's too short to be shrouded in inhibitions. The Brazilian way sounds delightful!

Erin said...

Having moved last year, I know/remember that feeling. Where I live, I still haven't felt like I have "clicked" anywhere. Most people have lived here for years and years, and have their friends they had in elementary school. I hope and pray it is a bit easier for you!

Oh, and thank you for being my friend (hopefully I don't sound desperate or too clingy or anything.)

gigi said...

I'm proud to be your cyber friend.

Joni said...

I'm infamous for info-vomiting upon first hang-outs. I just can't stop myself. I get giddy with the prospect of new friends and sometimes scare people off.

Glad to meet another Frank.

We're so hanging out some day.

InkMom said...

When my husband started school in Memphis, there was one other LDS guy in his class. They moved in a few days after we did, and we went over to help unload some things into a storage unit. H., the wife, was pregnant with her first (who was the first baby I ever loved, but I digress) and since we were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, she convinced me to just sit in the car with her and let our husbands do all the work. (It didn't take much convincing.)

After 15 minutes, I felt like I had known H. my entire life. I knew more about her from those 15 minutes than I knew about several of the people I lived with in college. Her openness was so refreshing that it forever changed the way I look at friendship. And to this day, she is my dearest friend in the world who is not also related to me.

On that day, I decided that if you can't love me with all the garbage out there to look at, then I don't have time to censor myself into a completely different person just to bask in the glow of your presence.

Sigh.

I think you're great.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I can so relate to how you feel. We've lived in our neighborhood for over 7 years and I'm finally starting to make real friends. I didn't get my copy of the handbook either. And I think you're great! Who needs friends in real life when we have internet friends?! Although it would be hard to hang out at the pool with me being a state away and all. Too bad...I look so fabulous in a swimsuit! *sigh*

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Thanks for being my blog friend.

Brittany Ann said...

Yeah, we are buddies. Do you want to go to the pool with me and my kids tomorrow? We'd have to go here in Idaho, but that could work, right?

Deb said...

It's hard to make new friends for me, too. I have to say, I like hearing that it's not just me. For goodness' sake, I live in the town where I grew up and I don't have many friends! It will happen! I'm glad you're making progress,

Kathy @ Real Mom, Real Life said...

I am really nervous about making new friends too... My mouth has seriously stretched from me putting my feet into it. In my old neighborhood, people were used to it. Now... are they going to judge me???

Hey -- but you don't fool me for a second. You are adorable and fun to be with. You will have a bucketload of friends in no time... Just relax and be Becky. Cuz she is pretty cool!

Lara said...

Okay, first of all, I have to apologize for losing your blog for so long! I had forgotten to follow this new one. Sorry. Now I have repented.

I so wish it were easier to make friends with adult women in real life. I don't know why it has to be such an issue.

Just today I took my kids swimming and my 6 year old made a new best friend. They were so cute and gave each other rocks to remember each other by and even said a prayer that someday they would meet each other again. All kinds of hugs and holding hands was thrown in there too. I just remember watching them and wishing it was just that simple as an adult. :)

Becca said...

I am lucky I only have one kid right now. I have been volunteering to help teach Enrichment Days how to cross stitch, take meals to people that are in need, help pack and move people (though granted that's not the best way to make friends). They make me feel social. And isn't that the most important thing?

jess said...

I remember boldly approaching people after returning from Brazil.. they gave me funny looks and probably thought I was crazy!! But to plead my case... in Brazil if you approach someone they kiss you on the cheek and it's done you are forever friends!

If you ever visit Utah I suggest a big meeting with all your "friends" that adore your blog and will accept you instantaneously!

Tamra Watson said...

May I remind you that you are the one that taught me to walk up to someone and say, "we're going to be best friends."

I've been able to identify a BF every fall semester since.

Honestly people enjoy the brasilian code more than you think; lay it all out there, it they have problems: tough. You'll find your fellow kindred spirit. We didn't have any problems laying it out the first night we met. I recall Father Joe sending us to bed. he he he.

Melanie J said...

So, so true.

Thank goodness for blogging or I'd be an emotional, friendless mess!

Kimberly said...

I have to admit, I'm the same in person as I am on my blog and sometimes? It totally freaks real life people out. Not only do I not know the rules in that famed handbook, I break EVERY single one of them. My closest friends are the ones who just roll with my frankness and even, perhaps just maybe, come to enjoy it.

Although, I am trying to introduce new people to the "real me" in smaller doses. There've been some casualties along the way after all...

Tessa Nelson said...

so then you look at all these comments and we aren't the only ones!?!?!!! Why can't we just be real and say, "do you want to be my friend? No matter what?" I have given up on the pretenses, it's exhausting! I am who I am, take me or leave me. I find that I make more friends w/ that attitude then I ever did when I really "tried" hard to make friends... Love your blog and good luck making friends:)

kerri said...

Amen sista friend. Or should I say minha amiga? Hooray for progress, though.

Melissa Bastow said...

Ooh ooh, I have no tact - let's be friends!!!

MommyJ said...

So. Inkmom thinks you're great. And inkmom is my sister. I think she is great. So what she thinks must be so.

Which means you are great. :)

I am way better at making blog friends than I am at making real friends. It's much easier to shake the middle school mentality online.

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

I think my hubby must be brazillian at heart- since he is a - put it out there, come be our friends- kind of guy. My missionary son is that way naturally too- he must just fit right in there. 7 WEEKS and counting for his return to the US-

Megan, Peter, and Benjamin said...

This makes me so sad! You are such a wonderful person and I love listening to you tell stories or your going-on's of your life that I can't imagine anyone else not giving you the chance to share what you have - a big heart and care for anything and everything! I have lived in Canada for a year and almost 7 months and still don't feel like I have many friends. I don't talk on the phone for hours and I don't have someone who calls me almost daily to see how I am doing or what I am up to. I am glad that I have the membership to the YMCA so that I can at least be doing something for myself, but it would be nice to have a friend there to experience it all with me. I miss the days that I could just walk down to your apartment and enjoy your wonderful spirit! I also miss the days of Rexburg where I was able to talk to neighbor galore and had many people to talk to at church and at school. I just don't feel like I connect with people here like I did while living in the states!

I am sure you will find friends soon! It is probably the fact that you don't have furniture in your house yet....they are scared that you are an illegal immigrant! ha ha! Plus, that accent is throwing them off! Love ya! ♥

Rocketgirl said...

I tried to post on this a few days ago but it didn't work. I will say moving to Arizona was the toughest move I ever made. I also know you are also awesomer than I am, so it shouldn't be as rough. One thing I did notice about people in AZ was that they were all polite, but it took them a long time to warm up to me. I guess since most of them were from the area they already knew everyone they needed to? Even transplants started acting that way eventually. Once I proved myself awesome enough, people were flocking to me. But I had to prove myself, weird that. They do all want to be your friend, they just might not know it. I say riding the cart down the aisles is just the way to do the proving :)

The Motherboard said...

I'm either a born again Brazilian or I missed the "how to be a friend memo".

So I'll play it safe...

Will you be my friend?
___ YES

___ No

___ Only if you share silly sweaty feet stories and tell me ALL your secrets.

charrette said...

Love this!

JustRandi said...

I don't know if this is happy or sad, but my blogging friends have pretty much become my best friends.

My husband would definitely say sad.
But hey, at least i HAVE friends.

Hilary said...

And sometimes it's an emotional minefield out there . . . which is probably why I'm so happy to just count my sisters as my best friends and not worry much more beyond that. Does that make me lame?
I do love a bunch of blogging buddies though, it is SO much easier to find people you can get along with and mesh with when you're not limited to a few streets in a single neighborhood!