Monday, February 9, 2009

Playdates For the Socially Awkward

Perhaps it's my crippling social anxiety disorder, but it's becoming clear to me that making new friends after college is surprisingly difficult. It's like asking someone out, but with the added pressure of ensuring that these people don't think that you're in any way trying to actually ask them out. (Don't even get me started on the nebulous world of dating and intimacy. It should be clear to every single one of you that Birv has "special needs" in this area.)

I've recently met two women who I think are boss (yes, I'm totally bringing that word back), and yet I am finding it hard to naturally spark a friendship with either of them that goes beyond a work acquaintance, or being a "friend of a friend". The best way I have come up with to ask if they want to do something sometime is this:
"Do you like to do... stuff? Want to do stuff... with me?"
What's the deal? Why is that difficult? Jesus, all I want to do is go shopping or something, and yet I feel flustered and nervous at their potential response, the same way I felt when KT and I called up THE BOY in 8th grade and played Stairway to Heaven to him over the phone. (Thank god we did not grow up in the era of caller ID and cell phones.) Even to me, my apprehension and giddiness on trying to make a new friend is totally and completely lame. But there it is.
Does a friendship happen naturally? Think of your most recently formed friendship. Who asked who "out"? I know I can't remember... it's as if those friendships just always were there, just waiting to be plucked from the ether.
Perhaps as we get older, our lives become set. It can be trying, to say the least, to add something new into your routine, and adding another person into your social schedule just seems like a hassle. I know I feel like I can't be bothered most of the time. And yet... here I am, hoping that these ladies will find me cool enough to hang with. It's like being 13 all over again. JOY.


caitlin said...

I know how you feel! It is really hard to make new friends. I usually try to find something in common with them, and "strangely" enough, build a web relationship first (I guess that's becoming more commonplace though, nowadays). A good way to get your foot in the door is to organize some sort of mass get together, such as a party or maybe an office "girls get together" or something. Or whilst you are talking to them, casually mention you HAVE to get some new shoes, and maybe they will agree, and you will say "Hey, we should totally get new shoes together" - well, you know, don't say it so lame...something more like "I'm going to this awesome new shoe store/mall/clothing store a friend told me about, do you want to come with me?" Or, if its a friend of a friend, have the friend invite both of you out to lunch, and ask for a "date" then! :) Of course, there is a chance that the people aren't interested in making new friends, which is totally dumb, why not make new friends? But you never know. In that case, I wouldn't worry to much about it, there are cooler people to hang out with in that case (like the person that is writing this, for example) :|

Joanna said...

I hate making friends at this age. It's totally tough. I just try to let people realize on their own how fucking bad ass I am and ask me out on a friend date. hahahahaha.

kt said...

hahahah...i just pooped myself with laughter. to this day i still don't get our reasoning for the "stairway" call? how would an anomymous phone call win his favor? it's a good thing we still have each other as friends because clearly both of us are lame as fuck.