I've been quite the social butterfly this week.
And I have to say that it's about dang time.
We moved here to The 'Ham back in November 2008. That's nearly 18 months ago. I know it takes a while to get to know people and to finally begin calling a place "home", but I was beginning to get a little discouraged. A lot of times, if you didn't grow up in a certain community, or if your granddaddy isn't on the city council, then you just don't have an ice cube's chance in hell of ever fitting in or having people bother to get to know you. We've lived in a couple of places where I felt like this. Where people were smiley and welcoming on the exterior but they never made any effort to spend any time getting to know you and your family. I seem to have finally found some sort of pinhole in the space-time continuum here and I am starting to get to know some lovely people and their families.
Recently (in an effort to further my own cause) I coordinated a dinner outing for my fellow Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) members. I'll shamelessly admit that my initial motive was to make a new friend for myself, but also hoping it would foster budding relationships between other members. This past Tuesday was our third outing. I believe that, as a result of these outings, I've started making a new buddy.
Then, all of a sudden, I've been inundated with invitations. Wow. I gotta say that I'm a little blown over.
Tuesday was Mom's Night Out at Mellow Mushroom with the fine ladies of my MOPS group. I laughed and giggled and he-heed and ha-haed until my cheeks ached. I believe that as we spend more time together where we can laugh and cut up and share stories, we'll grow and develop friendships that will go with us no matter where life takes us.
Friday night, I went to a different sort of gathering. The volunteer coordinator for Poodle and Slick's school organized a get-together for a new Bunco group. There was yummy, munchy-style food (ohmyword, the buffalo chicken dip and the baked potato casserole were positively to. die. for.) and there were several tons of laughs. It was almost as if we were tapping into that long-lost teenager that still dwells deep within the recesses of our memory. There was giggling and snickering and peals of laughter that can only happen when there is mutual level of comfort that's shared by all present. It didn't hurt to have us all dressed up like white trash (on purpose, mind you) to serve as a sort of ice-breaker for our initial meetup, either.
While I was at the Bunco thing on Friday night, a guy from our Sunday school class called me (twice) and wanted to know if my family would like to join his family in an afternoon of grilling out and watching the A-Day game. He called first thing Saturday morning to make sure I'd gotten his message and to see if we were going to head their way. Sure enough, I grabbed some lettuce, a few tomatoes and a gallon of tea from Publix and headed over there early Saturday afternoon. We made hamburgers and homemade dip and cookies and watched the football game. All in all, it was a lovely day and I was glad to spend it with adults rather than sitting here in The Yellow House.
Today, we got to go to church as a family. King Waffle had a (rare) Sunday off. I was glad to have him sitting beside me in Sunday school and in worship service this morning. That was unusual in and of itself so it made the day seem a little more special. We capped it off with yet another social interaction: after-church lunch with a different couple from Sunday school. It was totally impromptu and unplanned; King Waffle just ran over to their truck as they were getting their kids loaded and said, "Hey, wanna grab a quick bite?" They obliged and we had yet another chance to get to know our peers just a little better.
I am exceedingly grateful for all the opportunities I've had this week. I could only dream about this type of schedule in some of the other places we've lived. Like I said earlier, some places were just "closed" and didn't appear to want/need any new social members, some were just plain snooty and stuck-up, some places seemed to be filled with people just like us who wanted to meet new people but just didn't know where to start. I'm glad we're now in a community where people are willing to reach out to others and to not only make them feel welcome, but to include them in their plans and in the inner workings of their day to day lives. It's how friends are made. I'm hoping any one of these new relationships will blossom into deep and lasting friendship(s).
After 18 months, it's about time. I'm ready to include people in my life and have them include me in theirs. If I've spent any time with you this week, and you know who you are, I'd like to offer you a very heartfelt and sincere "thank you" for making an effort to include me/us. I really, really appreciate your efforts.