Looking for My People

We had some people over for dinner tonight, and by “some people” I mean “friends of Otto’s” and by “dinner” I mean “sort of a barbecue where we all hang out on the porch for most of it.”

The house is not “done” by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s close enough that we were able to take the unopened boxes and shove them out of the way, more or less, and after I vacuumed and Otto finished pulling down the painter’s tape waaaaay up high that’s been there for, um, three weeks (shut up) it almost looked like we live here for real.

These were all people I’ve met before, good and nice and funny people, but the entire thing made me feel somewhat melancholy because in spite of that they are not MY people. They are Otto’s people.

I vaguely remember, now, this phenomenon of marriage where you start classifying your friendships as his, mine, and ours. And because I moved away from everything that was MINE, right now there is only HIS.

“But they can be your friends, too!” says Otto. “They’re great people!” And they are, and maybe some of them will become OURS, but none of them will be MINE, because they are, primarily, HIS.

Maybe this isn’t an important distinction to men. But to most women, I think, it is. It definitely is to me.

It has been not quite a month since I left home (“This is home,” says Otto. “It will be,” I reply), and the painting is done, the moving is done, the damage control with the kids is… well, I won’t jinx it by saying done, but it’s well under control, let’s say, and now is the time when I look around and realize that I am lonely for my girlfriends.

Tonight after we ate I stood in the kitchen with a couple of women—friends of Otto’s—one of whom just had a baby a couple of weeks ago. She looks amazing. I mean, simply PHENOMENAL. She is skinny, she is well-groomed, she looks rested and happy. I made the mistake of complimenting her on her apparent miraculous recovery from birth and first-time motherhood.

“Oh, well, I made a decision, you know, that I wasn’t going to be one of THOSE women,” she laughed. “You know, the ones who say they haven’t showered all week because they can’t manage it. What is that? Life goes on, you know?”

“I have friends who after they have babies, that’s ALL THEY CAN TALK ABOUT,” the other woman responded, “and it freaks me out. You give me hope about having kids and still being NORMAL.”

And so I listened to these two young women continue talking about how becoming a mother doesn’t have to change anything and I suddenly felt SO OLD and unhip. Not that I ever actually feel hip, you understand. Maybe I felt even less hip than normal. Whatever. I actually DID manage to shower every day after having a baby, but I also generally spent that shower standing in the water SOBBING, and this conversation made me feel like I had been stupid and weak to find motherhood overwhelming.

Then again, I had never been as self-confident and gorgeous as either of these women even before I had kids, so there’s that.

Not My People.

Last night I went out to a movie with a new acquaintance; I suspect the invitation was a southern kindness, and I’m grateful for it even if no real friendship grows out of this association. I was actually nervous before we left; I jokingly said to Otto, “I hope what I’m wearing is okay! I hope I don’t have to put out!”

“Oooookay,” he said, “I don’t know if I’m comfortable with this.”

We had a nice time, and I feel stupid feeling nostalgic for my movie outings back home. (Hey Heather, did I used to complain about you asking questions during the movie? I totally missed that last night.) I also feel like my mind was in overdrive, analyzing every comment, every mannerism, trying to determine if this woman might be one of My People.

I had a nice long chat on the phone with a friend tonight, and she wanted to know if I’m settling in to married life okay. There are so many things about it that I love; now instead of a nightly phone call and then going to bed alone, I get to proclaim, “Now is the time when we sit on the couch and eat ice cream!” That is definitely far superior. Dinners are, in general, much more fun what with another adult at the table, and also the dishes magically take care of themselves most nights, which is handy.

The problem is that Otto can’t—and shouldn’t—be my whole world. (Duh.) I need friends, LOCAL friends, not just my old pals on the phone where we pretend we’re chatting like we always did, right up until the end of the call when we get sad because we realize that instead of seeing each other in a day or two it will likely be months before we get together again.

I know My People are out there, here near my new home, but I’m not really sure how to find them. I’m trying to be patient until the kids start school and Otto goes back to work, because then I’ll actually be able to get back to a normal work schedule and then the idea of getting out on my own won’t seem quite so overwhelming. (Right now, even going grocery shopping by myself feels like an ordeal. Don’t ask, it JUST IS.)

In the meantime, I guess I will just have to keep baking things. Maybe My People will have an easier time finding me when my ass has expanded to roughly the size of Atlanta. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

83 Responses to “Looking for My People”

  1. 1
    Krisco July 15, 2007 at 11:12 pm #

    My dear Mir. I so understand. You are lonesome! And homesick! Even with your sweetie. I guess (not that this helps) it will help you understand what your kids are going through too.

    And I know – just as you know when you assure them – that you will get through this, and find your people, and forget all about (well, at least it won’t feel so ACUTE) ever feeling this way.

    Hang in there until then. At least you have us – your Shiney Internet In Your Head Friends. : )

  2. 2
    Deborah P July 15, 2007 at 11:16 pm #

    As you already know, no matter how much you wanted the move, how much you looked forward to it and how wonderful it is to have all of you together under one roof, the fact is that you’ve removed yourself from your comfort zone and gone to another country. Yes, I was born, raised and still live in the South – I can say that. It’s no wonder that you are having these feelings. My wish for you is that this “transition” period goes quickly for all of you and that soon, Your People will appear and you will be blessed with all sorts of new friends in addition to the ones who live elsewhere.

  3. 3
    meghann July 15, 2007 at 11:19 pm #

    We may be moving to Georgia next year. If so, then I’ll gladly be one of your people, especially if you bake. :-)

    I won’t even get started on those “perfect” moms and what they said about life after having a baby.

  4. 4
    jenn July 15, 2007 at 11:20 pm #

    “One of THOSE women?” What a bitch.

    Sorry, pretty and judgemental makes my inner fat girl (and my outer one) get all up in someone’s face. I’d have probably knocked her on her well-groomed butt.

    I wonder why I don’t have more friends…

  5. 5
    Jodie July 15, 2007 at 11:24 pm #

    Man…I consider myself a pretty confident woman, but put me in a room full of women and I get all sorts of nervous. I ALWAYS size myself up with how skinny, how pretty, how bright, how everything…and then I am just transported right back to middle school.

    You’ll find your people. It is an important distinction…and they will come out of the wood work. Thank you for your honesty with some icky feelings during a happy time.

  6. 6
    shannon July 15, 2007 at 11:36 pm #

    My husband had the same issues when we moved to Oregon from Kansas. Now he’s got more people than me…what’s up with that?!

    I guess what I’m trying to say is: It will happen, but the waiting sucks. Don’t worry, YOUR people are out there.

    (that would sound funny, out of context)

  7. 7
    Chris July 15, 2007 at 11:45 pm #

    Aww, I know you will find “your people” soon. What’s not to like? I already like you and have never even met you. Your sense of humor alone will snag you some people.
    Good Luck, don’t stop looking bc they are out there. Your people will find you. ;)

  8. 8
    chris July 15, 2007 at 11:45 pm #

    Damn, I am still one of THOSE women and my baby is 2.5 yrs old.

  9. 9
    Chrissie July 15, 2007 at 11:52 pm #

    Holy cow can i relate to the My People thing. I moved 3000km away from My Two People 7 years ago. I still don’t really have any people here. My husband and my kids=my whole world and it’s hard on all of us sometimes.

    Thankfully, I do work outside of the house part time so I have some semi-people there. But I sure can relate.

    Oh and I was one of Those Women too. I did manage to shower every day, but usually not til after my husband was home from work… it was a real accomplishment if i was dressed before he came home too… :)

  10. 10
    Zee July 15, 2007 at 11:56 pm #

    I’m sure those women seemed gorgeous and with it and everything, but my guess is that it’s primarily an act and they too sob in the shower. They probably have stretch marks too… ;-)

    I’m not a mother and have no plans (at this point) to be one, but I have to say, it’s a little bit disconcerting when someone has kids and says “it doesn’t have to change things.” Um, hello, you’ve created a new little person who is entirely dependent upon you! And aside from the tremendous responsibility, my guess is you’d have to be awfully cold-hearted to not have your own child change your outlook and perspective even a little bit. My point is, would you WANT to not have your children change your life? My guess is no…

    Anyway, what others have said is in line with my experience – you will find your people, it just feels like an eternity while you’re waiting. It took me a good 6 months of day-to-day living in Boston before I finally felt like I truly lived there, had some semblance of a life, and it was no longer an ordeal to go to the grocery store!

  11. 11
    Dani July 16, 2007 at 12:11 am #

    I’m coming out of a very looooong lurkdom to give you three letters you already know….

    P – T – A

    Once the kids are back in school, you can jump right in (I’m sure the need a newsletter sucker… err… chairperson. ;) ) and you’ll make all sorts of friends that are just like you.

    I moved 100 miles from “home” with my DH 13 years ago. Now this IS home. It will happen in time.

    Good luck.

  12. 12
    LuAnn July 16, 2007 at 12:23 am #

    I so hear you on this, Mir. Three months after our marriage, my husband and I moved from Utah to Texas. I have lived in Utah with MY people for 27 years. Now I was near HIS mother’s people. After 8 months in Texas, we moved to Kentucky, again near HIS people (this time HIS father’s).

    When we moved to Texas, I made DH drive EVERYWHERE for like the first month or so. There were so many people and I didn’t know any of them. :/

    Don’t understand those young’uns who thing motherhood doesn’t (have to) change you. Outside of a personal audience with deity, I cannot imagine a more profound change in a woman’s life.

  13. 13
    Karen@FamilyBriefs July 16, 2007 at 12:26 am #

    Having a baby sooooo changes your life – those “perfect” moms are in denial. I so do NOT shower every day – I have better things to do with my time :) Besides, we go to the water park every other day – doesn’t that count as getting clean :)

    I hate that you are lonesome and homesick. I have trouble meeting new people, being the introvert that I am (it’s so much easier on the computer, too), so I really don’t have any advice for you (not that you asked for any).

    I do know it’s easier to meet people when the kids are in school and participating in extra-curricular activities – I’ve met more NICE (normal) moms at Tae Kwon Do and tennis (except for Hooter woman that I’ll blog about soon :). Give it some time. Slow down on the baking or you’ll be meeting people at Jenny Craig :)

  14. 14
    Jean July 16, 2007 at 12:28 am #

    Here’s a secret — we are all THOSE women. And the sooner we realize that we all come with flaws, the sooner we could stop comparing ourselves, and like ourselves and each other.

    Little Miss Perfect… isn’t.

  15. 15
    Jan July 16, 2007 at 12:32 am #

    When you figure out how to find some people, please let me know. I suck at it and I always have. If I work very hard at it, I make acquantances, but they rarely turn into friends.

  16. 16
    Anna July 16, 2007 at 12:33 am #

    Who are THOSE women kidding? No person is normal after having children, even THOSE women. Apparently, there are good at keeping up appearances and showering ofcourse.

    I can only imagine the sensory overload you are experiencing and finding your place and your people. Until then we will be you surrogate people.

    HUGS TO YOU -

    Anna (One of THOSE WOMEN – with teens)

  17. 17
    kmbr July 16, 2007 at 12:36 am #

    As someone who has moved plane flight distance from “home” a number of times, both alone and with an SO, I can tell you it takes a year to get comfortable with the new routines, and find “your people”. Establishing the “keepers” takes about 3 years.

    The sweet young moms? Do they live near their own moms, or people they’ve been friends with forever? It makes a HUGE difference if you are in the vicinity of family or familiar trusted friends when you have babies. Without that support, new motherhood is miserable lonely time (except for the baby part, mostly), and too emotionally fraught to be looking for new “people” objectively. They could try being grateful for their resilience, because the new moms sobbing in their showers sure as hell don’t need the judgement. They’ll need those arms they’re breaking patting themselves on the back, later, when the hard parenting kicks in. One cute, fat healthy baby is an exotic pet–Two toddlers is where it starts getting interesting.

    I have to agree with the newsletter suggestion. That finally got me in where I’m at now (and I was able to pass it on to someone else after a couple years). If the school doesn’t have one, start it. If they do, improve on it.
    You’ll get there, regardless.
    kmbr

  18. 18
    Fold My Laundry Please July 16, 2007 at 12:44 am #

    My People are all people I’ve met on the internet. My family and I have moved at least once a year since my husband and I got married almost 7 years ago. We’ve yet to live anywhere long enough for me to find any People. And we’re moving again in about two months. Sooooo, I just make friends with people I’ve met through blogging and hope someday to meet them in person. Maybe life will settle down in the next few years and I can find My People. I really miss going to lunch or the movies with actual real people. *sigh* Enough with the pity party…let’s make with the ice cream!

  19. 19
    jean July 16, 2007 at 1:05 am #

    I think that you need to give yourself a break. Forget about meeting your new future best friend. It will happen. I moved just a few towns away and it wasn’t until my son went to school that I made friends. I even tried to join the town ambulance corp., just to meet people (talk about desperation!) Become class mom, be one of the moms who gets to school early and hangs out talking with the other moms. Then stay afterschool and hang out again. Smile. Invite people over. Smile some more. Except for THOSE women, most moms want the same thing as you. I am very shy but I have met some very kind women who made me feel so welcome. Having kids makes this easier. Oh, and getting a dog would help too. Long walks every day gets you out of the house and you’ll meet even more potential BFFs. It’s going to take time and lots of smiling but you’re a strong woman with a lot to offer so hang in there.

  20. 20
    Laura July 16, 2007 at 1:18 am #

    I totally remember that feeling. When we moved from Massachusetts to the Seattle area my husband went off to work and found his new people right away, but it took me longer- and therefore it took awhile to feel connected to my new home. I’m sure it will be easier once the kids are in school. You’ll see one of the other moms rolling her eyes at the same time you do…your eyes will meet… Okay, as my daughter used to say “that sounds a little tre-mantic” but you know what I mean.

    You have such a great personality, it is only a matter of time before you find a really good girlfriend- and that will make all the difference in the world.

  21. 21
    theotherbear July 16, 2007 at 1:44 am #

    Mir, I can relate to what you say about having your own people, but from the other side. My husband moved from Canada to Australia when he married me 8 years ago. All our friends are still my friends. I cheered when he called recently to say he will be late because he is going out for drinks with people after work, and I am so excited that he has invited a friend who I don’t know to a party in a couple of weeks. Make sure you make some of your own if you can because it is stressful being my husband’s whole world and worrying if he will ever have ‘his people’ – although hopefully these latest few steps will lead to some of his own people.
    PS that woman with the baby sounds like a judgmental bitch.

  22. 22
    Angel July 16, 2007 at 2:33 am #

    Mir, her baby is 2 weeks old? Just *wait*. Babies start to become, well, REAL babies about then. She will be eating her words and sobbing like the rest of us in the shower.

    Did that sound too spiteful?

    (((((((Giant hugs)))))))) You are SO very hip.

  23. 23
    Cele July 16, 2007 at 2:35 am #

    The baby lady is really a Steppford wife…beware and leary of any woman who does not talk about their baby incessantly. They are missing some jeans.

    I wish you physical friends soon Mir.

  24. 24
    Trish July 16, 2007 at 3:34 am #

    I totally know how you feel. I just moved too. Where the heck are my people?!! And hey, I bet that chick cries in the shower too. She just doesn’t want to admit it. Or if she hasn’t, just wait until her baby turns two, or learns to ask “Why?”. Muwahahahaha!

  25. 25
    ann adams July 16, 2007 at 3:44 am #

    Just saying hi, Mir.

    I lost track of you somehow and then spotted your link on The Motherhood (which I just joined even though I don’t exactly qualify). Or do I?

    Enjoy your new house and repaired pool.

    Ann

  26. 26
    Linda July 16, 2007 at 5:24 am #

    I know everyone else has said so, but it happens…eventually. Our family moved from the South to New England, the third move in 5 years (military). Each time, I remember comparing myself to all the other women I came into contact with and finally realizing that they may be just as nervous around me as I was them. It took me quite a while to call this place HOME. I do get nostalgic for the South every now and then, but I also feel so very lucky to have kept in touch with most of MY PEOPLE from each of the places I’ve lived.

    We just returned from visiting our family and friends in the South and I was quite surprised to find that I missed being HOME. I couldn’t wait to get back.

    So like everyone else said…it just takes time. Also, I’d like to see that same mother in about 3 months and see how many showers she’s missed then. :)

  27. 27
    Anne July 16, 2007 at 6:43 am #

    Just wait until they have their second kid. THAT is the true test to see if you’re going to become on of “THOSE women”. When you’ve got a toddler running around and an infant fussing and both needing 120% of the time, it’s very hard to find even 3 minutes to get a shower!
    Anne

  28. 28
    Brigitte July 16, 2007 at 7:29 am #

    That woman’s struck a chord with a lot of us! My baby shrieked non-stop whenever she was not attached to my breast, so showers were a rare thing. (Of course, I was always offended by all the articles about getting my pre-pregnancy figure back, they all assumed I’d had one!)

    Like Jan, I’ve never even really had PEOPLE, but I think your skills are greater than ours. Sometime during the next school year, you’ll be sure to run into some like-minded moms, and become friends.

  29. 29
    Leandra July 16, 2007 at 8:27 am #

    When I had my first child I went into complete shock. I had thought I was going to breeze through motherhood — I was good with kids, I had read ALL the books. Boy was I in for a shock. I remember I used to sit on the sofa with him all day and watch all the TLC shows one right after the other — two or three episodes of “A Wedding Story” followed by two or three episodes of “A Baby Story” never putting him down the entire time. Ah, good times, good times. THOSE PEOPLE, indeed.

    As for the friends, everybody else has said it, but they will come. I remember when we moved to Savannah I knew no one. I came from a small town with a big family and I was accustomed to not only knowing everybody in town but also being related to half of them. I can still remember how excited I got when I saw someone I knew at Blockbuster.

  30. 30
    Sara July 16, 2007 at 8:35 am #

    Took me awhile to find my people here. (Having a pushy mother who goes around telling people her daughter just moved here and needs friends helped…)Now I’ve had my people 8 years and the thought of leaving them scares the bejeebers outta me. Thank goodness, I don’t have to think about that very much! Here’s hoping you find your people in a hot minute.

  31. 31
    Melisa July 16, 2007 at 8:43 am #

    Amen to the comment fron Jean #1.

  32. 32
    Melisa July 16, 2007 at 8:44 am #

    That’s FROM, not FRON.

  33. 33
    Woman with Kids July 16, 2007 at 8:48 am #

    I think you get points for not kicking that woman. May her ass spread as wide as, well, as mine, and her child vomit on her dry clean only clothing.

    Your people will come. If you bake, they will come.

  34. 34
    Leah July 16, 2007 at 8:50 am #

    This entry really struck a chord with me. That was so hard for me when I moved away from college and into the real world. Finding friends is suddenly horrifyingly hard comparatively.

    And I usually get all Judgey McJudgerson on women who say things like “don’t let the baby change you” – wtf? You want to create a new life and keep everything the same? Gross.

  35. 35
    Megan July 16, 2007 at 9:05 am #

    18 moves and I’m STILL not good at finding people. Doesn’t help that the last move was one I didn’t want to make but had to and stuck me where I swore I’d never live again. So… yeah, just to spite life I haven’t gone out to find My People since as far as I’m concerned My People are all at Home where I left them. Fortunately true My People come and find you anyway sometimes – thank goodness for ‘em.

  36. 36
    Aubri July 16, 2007 at 9:10 am #

    Poor Mir! I have to agree with most of the other commenters… I live in an area (college town!) that is vastly populated with youngish married couples, and so babies and pregnant ladies abound. I’m sorry to say that I’ve met several of the Southern Idaho versions of that “I don’t want to be one of THOSE women” lady. Grrrr. My great friend just had a baby, and she’s borderline one of those ladies… she delivered on a Thursday (a rather interesting delivery… not entirely easy) and made SURE she was back in church by Sunday.

    And about your people, you’ll find them! I went through the same thing when we moved here… keep that old Girl Scout song running through your head, “Make new friends, but keep the old! One is silver, the other gold!” We all love you Gorgeous One!

  37. 37
    Randi July 16, 2007 at 9:12 am #

    You’ll find your people – and they’ll kick people like that skinny new mom’s butt…

  38. 38
    Chris in NY July 16, 2007 at 9:28 am #

    “…. it takes a year to get comfortable with the new routines, and find “your people”. Establishing the “keepers” takes about 3 years.”
    This was exactly the timeline of my experience- so hang in there.

  39. 39
    Chewie July 16, 2007 at 10:15 am #

    dang. I totally hear you. I’m so weird that it has taken me years to find my people even though I didn’t MOVE! I just grew up.

    Those were not your people…at all. I hate when someone opens their mouth and I just have to get out my big mental marker and put an X on their name…so sad.

    Chew

  40. 40
    Kathry Jaehnig July 16, 2007 at 10:18 am #

    OK, Mir, I’m also delurking to offer a wee bit of comfort and some more advice about finding Your People. At 58, I’m old enough to be your mom and I’ve lost and found Some People more times than I care to remember. I finally settled down in one place and SURPRISE! My Person MOVED! She wasn’t supposed to do that — I’M the one who goes.

    So I found this book by Marla Paul. It’s called “The Friendship Crisis: Finding, Making and Keeping Friends When You’re Not a Kid Anymore.” The condensed version: You can. And you’re right — it’s a lot like dating. Just like you don’t fall in love all at once, you don’t find Your People all at once. There’s a lot of tentative to-and-fro-ing. My Person left two years ago, but I’ve got some good People-In-Training. I know it’s going to be fine. And it will be fine for you, too.

    Chins up, Little Lady!
    Kathryn

  41. 41
    Stephanie C July 16, 2007 at 10:30 am #

    I feel sorry for the child whose mother’s life doesn’t change after giving birth. Maybe you should adopt it. :)

  42. 42
    Andrea July 16, 2007 at 10:31 am #

    I have made 2 big moves in the past 5 years, so I can totally and completely understand what you are talking about. And I do think it’s a woman thing. Now that we’ve been here 2 years, I have some “people” here in my neighborhood and school worlds, yet my hubby only has people at work. It takes time, it does take work and it’s not easy. You sometimes have to put yourself out there.

    I agree that once school starts you will get more connected (if you don’t want to dive into the PTA you will surely meet moms at the bus stop or carpool lines). Also, a church (with mom’s group or women’s small group if you choose those routes) will help a ton. That was my saving grace in Virginia when we moved with our then 2-year-old. Several of those friends are keepers for life! Hang in there even though it’s lonely now. :)

  43. 43
    julie July 16, 2007 at 10:34 am #

    My husband and I moved to a new city when we first got married, 6.5 hours from my home, 15 from his, with no friends here or anything (we came for grad school). We were on a level playing field but I’m more outgoing, so we quickly developed a network of “my” friends and then, slowly, a network of “his” friends. We even had that all-important “our friends” couple that we could spend gobs of time with.

    As happens when you do grad school, everyone else graduated and moved and left us here. We’re the last to move and in 2 weeks (!!!!!!!!) we’re moving 15 hours east to my husband’s home town area. More than when we moved here I’m just gutted thinking about having to make new friends yet again and this time with the homefield disadvantage. I’m always the valedictorian of making friends for us….I’m totally unsettled with my role as “here’s my wife…will you please be nice to her and be her friend?”

    Good luck. As I’m sure you’re telling the kids “this will all get easier and you’ll make a million friends when school starts.” So, too, you’ll make a million friends (even a few you like) once you get involved in a few activities like PTA, a church, classmom, choir, etc.

  44. 44
    Colleen July 16, 2007 at 10:41 am #

    {Big Hug} You will find your people…hey you found us and we love you. :) You are an awesome person IRL too.

    As for you dinner guests..those women are out to lunch. First I remember many a days it took a few days to make it to the shower let alone eat a meal sitting down..and I didn’t even give birth to ds. Those women aren’t ones I’d want to be my people either..:) Colleen

  45. 45
    Aimee July 16, 2007 at 10:42 am #

    Laura’s right — and she’s my sister, I should know. I had the same difficulty moving to San Diego. You will find them, though. You’ll start singing in the choir, or you’ll bond with one of the moms at school. In the meantime, I hope you have free nights and weekends on your cell phone — that saved me when we moved.

  46. 46
    becky July 16, 2007 at 10:45 am #

    mir, you are too fabulous NOT to find your people. they will come. especially once you find a church that fits you. hang in there.

  47. 47
    Nancy R July 16, 2007 at 10:53 am #

    I know you’ll find some gal pals soon. In the meantime, you have us – your imaginary friends. Heh.

    Will Chickadee and Monkey be taking TKD classes? Maybe that would be a jump-start on finding other moms. Or, go play at their school’s playground to see if other families do the same? Or, hang out at the book store near Joshlyn’s book and stalk the people who go to purchase it…

  48. 48
    Summer July 16, 2007 at 10:59 am #

    Mir, I’m sending you good wishes that you’ll soon meet a few of Your People…. I’m picturing you taking the kids to school on their first day, walking them to their classrooms, and outside of Monkey’s classroom, you spy a mom dropping off a little boy. She is wearing AMAZING shoes, and you are compelled to say, “wow, those are amazing shoes.” She giggles a bit and says, “I got them for $8!” Before you two have made it to the parking lot, you’ve already made a date to hit her favorite discount stores.

    Your People will come, Mir. You will know them by their fabulous heavily-discounted shoes.

  49. 49
    Ani July 16, 2007 at 11:20 am #

    Mir:

    I, too am one of THOSE women, and I also moved to the South, and it took me years to find My People. Bacuse I had a few, but they were from work, and in a fit of PPD and, well, being one of THOSE women, I stopped working when I had my first child.

    Our People tend to hide in these environs…the Stepford wife expectation is hard to break through. We exist, and you will find yours, but beware: the PTA, the ladies’ group at church, and the neighborhood women’s group. You may be disappointed. Stepford is alive and well there!

    Oh the other hand, try the library for discussion groups, or the coffee shop, or the kids consignment store. Our tribe hangs out off the beaten path.

    Good luck.

  50. 50
    Elizabeth in Atlanta July 16, 2007 at 11:22 am #

    Welcome Mir,

    I’m afraid that I am ” one of those women” I stayed in my nightgown for at least three weeks after my daughter was born. I considered it bonding time and nothing in my schedule was more important than getting to know my daughter and developing a natural rhythm between us. That was precious time and I will never forget or regret doing it. Becoming a mother does change everything…they’ll see. Getting back to you and finding new friends…I live in downtown Atlanta, work at home ( photographer) eat ice cream too often (fav food) and late at night! Although I’ve lived all over the world and still travel whenever I can, I have been root-bound in Atlanta for the past fifteen years so I can show you the town or give you a sense of direction should you need it. A good friend of mine would describe me as someone who would rather ask forgiveness than permission and I once bought a new car based on a coin toss done in the bathroom of the dealership. I did a two out three toss to go on to purchase a mini-van that I loved and still remember fondly. I met my current husband (the traditional way these days) on the internet and I hate to shop, but love a great buy. If any of this behavior resonates with you then reach out because this town is full of people and some of them just might be ” your people too!”

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    Jessica July 16, 2007 at 11:37 am #

    The women who act so darn put together are the ones who are standing in the shower sobbing at home… Either that or they are the ones who are going to fall the farthest… lol. Sorry. That was petty.
    I always figured that if I got out of the shower without curling up on the floor I was ahead of the game.

    As for your peeps? They’re there, you’ll find them, probably when school starts and you have a little more time to yourself.

    Good luck finding a new rhythm.

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    ZooMom July 16, 2007 at 11:50 am #

    It is sooo hard to find real “people.” My hubby dragged me away from normal people to a neighborhood filled with sweet ‘teenagers’ who all are so into their one and only baby (and being perfect, too!) I, poor slob, mom of many, and ten years anyone’s senior have to contend with “wow you have ?? children! You don’t look it. (What exactly am I supposed to look like??? Don’t answer that one, on second thought!) Am still searching for my people…. Just wait, the perfect mom of one will grow up, though. She just sounds very emotionally young.

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    Tamatha July 16, 2007 at 11:51 am #

    You must be feeling a little windblown right now. You’ve found your tribe, the peeps will come with time. It will probably help when school starts up again soon-that’s always been my experience, and we’re coming up on something like move number 17.

  54. 54
    Jessica G. July 16, 2007 at 12:04 pm #

    I’m coming out of lurking on this one…not to give you any advice, because, really can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said (except for, maybe, a recipe for an awesome flourless cake). I just wanted to send you a fan letter! Your blog is so fun to read and I get all tingly when there’s a new post. Love your writing style and your sense of humor. I am in awe of how you take a simple situation (like missing toilet paper) and make it so completely hilarious! You are fabulous.

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    ScottsdaleGirl July 16, 2007 at 12:33 pm #

    I don’t even have kids and I don’t shower everyday!!!!!!

  56. 56
    ScottsdaleGirl July 16, 2007 at 12:33 pm #

    um, on weekends sometimes, like on Sunday, when I sit on the couch eating junk food and drinking…those days I don’t shower. I am fun to be around though. Even if I stink a little.

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    My Buddy Mimi July 16, 2007 at 12:44 pm #

    Just wait until her baby gets the stomach flu and throws up on her ten times in one day. Everyone has THOSE days!

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    Laura July 16, 2007 at 1:17 pm #

    I understand. I’ve had this come up everywhere I’ve moved as an adult – it’s just harder to make friends. Is there a local library branch you can loiter around in? Farmer’s Market? I’ve found it helpful to attend dorky events that only people like me would attend – poetry readings work for me. I know you’ll find your people. I wish you luck.

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    tammy July 16, 2007 at 1:20 pm #

    I don’t think her epidural has worn off yet.

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    Sheryl July 16, 2007 at 2:29 pm #

    I know exactly how you feel, as I’m sure many of us do. This is the good part about the internet, we’re here, even when you move. I hope you will tell us about the new friendships you make. I’m interested to see how an extrovert navigates this dilemma. Sorry you’re lonely.

  61. 61
    Christina July 16, 2007 at 2:34 pm #

    That reminds me of something my bil stated when his daughter was all of 2 months old “Why didn’t you guys tell me the hardest part was the first 2 months?” . Now, I know the first 2 months can be tough and life changing, but does he have any idea what it’ll be like to be the father to a teenage daughter???!!! He’s not one of my people, but I married his brother :)

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    Kelly July 16, 2007 at 3:52 pm #

    Hi, Mir!

    I live in SC just a couple hours away! If you want to have a just far enough out of town friend, come on over! I’ve lived here for almost four years now, and it wasn’t until last year that I found ‘my tribe’ again. (All transplants, interestingly enough!)

    Also, I am most definitely one of ‘those women’ and proud of it! (Anyone can dress well and look pretty, but will your teenager come home and tell you about all the shenanigans at Governor’s school? That’s when all those hours with the baby, toddler, 2nd grader, etc… start to pay off!)

    E-mail me if you like!

    Kelly

  63. 63
    Wendy July 16, 2007 at 4:10 pm #

    If you keep baking, I might show up on your doorstep.

    I have no answers. I have lived in one city my whole life, we have moved around a bit, and still only have maybe one friend. People still look at me strange.

    Good Luck

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    Dawn July 16, 2007 at 4:22 pm #

    Argh! You’re me 26 years ago. Except I had no kids. And my Otto was from my home town, so I didn’t even have “his” people to make do with until I found “mine.” Moving far away is hard. But you will be fine. Because you’re just too durned pretty not to!

    As for “those” women, looking “perfect” is more important to them than their babies. How sad is that? Besides, you need real people as friends. You know, the ones with flaws like the rest of us.

    Hang in there. One day you’ll look around and *poof!* you’ll find that home arrived while you weren’t even looking.

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    Janis July 16, 2007 at 5:34 pm #

    Your People will come in time but what about a new hairdresser? I advise getting recommendations from anyone you run into with hair you like (helps break the ice, too) but hold out for a fab-u-lous guy stylist. There’s nothing like a chatty gay hairdresser to quickly orient you to new surroundings. Plus your highlights will totally rock.

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    daring one July 16, 2007 at 5:41 pm #

    I’m glad you miss your people because it means you are not some kind of cyborg or bot but an actual living breathing My People type of human. I hope you find your people soon. This last move it took me about 6 months and now I’m considering moving again because that was SO EASY, right? When it’s over we become forgetful about how hard things were at first. That’s the only way I’m able to deal with change over and over again.

    Oh, and I didn’t shower regularly for about… um well I won’t say how long after I started having kids. You’re a champion of hipness in my personal hygiene book.

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    danelle July 16, 2007 at 6:14 pm #

    I joined a women’s group I found on craigslist. We do stuff frequently, we even went away to the mountains this past weekend. You could start your own group and post it on craigs..do it!

  68. 68
    Sheila July 16, 2007 at 6:56 pm #

    Mir,

    WE ARE YOUR PEOPLE.

    Worry not: the whole Southern population is soon going to find out what we, Otto, and your kids already know: that you are a gem, and a friend indeed. In the meantime, you’ve still got us.

    And when you find Your People? We’ll still be here, too!

    Can’t wait to virtually meet all your new GBFs (Georgia Best Friends, that is). They’re out there… you won’t have to wait too long.

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    julie July 16, 2007 at 7:44 pm #

    Oh, puhleez.
    I didn’t get the baby and myself both dressed in the same day for three weeks. So being the good momma that I am, who do you think went without a shower sometimes. Nobody’s perfect, Mir.
    But you sure are pretty…
    And you WILL find some people, sug.

  70. 70
    Ladanea July 16, 2007 at 9:12 pm #

    Look at all the great support! If you’ve got this many people here, the hidden Georgia people will solidify soon enough. And until then, it might comfort you to know that some of us still sob in the shower. ;)

  71. 71
    Kristen July 16, 2007 at 10:05 pm #

    There is nothing to say here that has not already been said. God love her for looking spectacular 20 minutes after having a baby.

    they didn’t notice how long they spent talking about how their lives weren’t going to change, huh? That’s about right.

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    Fairly Odd Mother July 16, 2007 at 11:07 pm #

    Ever since I’ve had kids, I’ve been trying to find “My People”. For some reason, I feel closer to my high school friends who I don’t live near and haven’t seen regularly in years, but can’t get that same closeness from anyone in my town (and I don’t live in the south). Things are improving a bit, but it really bums me out at times.

    Don’t worry; those women will be Botoxing themselves into frozen oblivion in a few years in a desparate attempt to stay young looking.

  73. 73
    Heather July 16, 2007 at 11:32 pm #

    Me, ask questions during a movie? Never.
    I am very impressed you have already gone out on a girl’s night. Good for you! Was it the woman who said the brownies she was going to bring over were still in the box? She sounds like someone we could’ve added to our little group here in NH! Glad to hear you took the advice about VBS too. That’ll help the kids feel involved too.

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    Tree July 17, 2007 at 12:00 am #

    A childrens’ song comes to mind: “Make new friends, but keep the old….one is silver and the other gold. Circle round, that has no end…that’s how long I want to be your friend.” Don’t worry so much about the new ones to be discovered. Take comfort in all the ones who know and love you and their encouragement will shape your new relationships. Don’t despair. We wind up older and wiser before we want to. It sucks but it’s life and it doesn’t diminish our importance in this world and in the lives of those who know and love us (and who matter most to us). Don’t, for one moment, let someone’s ignorant opinion make you feel inadequate and unhip. Hip is pretty fickle. Don’t try to chase it, it is totally unimportant. What is important is your new life and so, so many people who so obviously love and support you, many of them more miles away than you would like….but just know that they (nor you) will ever be the same whether those miles apart ever diminish. Ya can’t change the impact you’ve each had on the other. It’s way cool. And look forward, but don’t ever forget to look back regularly. It’s the best you can do, and you’ll do it well.

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    angelfeet July 17, 2007 at 10:26 am #

    I couldn’t even hear myself crying in the shower over the wails of my first baby. Those skinny women will crumble, you mark my words. They are delusional if they think life is ever gonna be the same after having children – that’s what makes kids so great, they change your life and there’s no going back.

    The new real friends, they are just waiting round the corner to meet you.

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    Jen July 17, 2007 at 9:10 pm #

    That woman only had her baby two weeks ago. What she said is HUBRIS and it is going to BITE her.

    I hope you find your people soon. :D

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    MomCat July 18, 2007 at 6:35 am #

    I agree with Stephanie C – I pity the child whose mother won’t change. I am one of THOSE women, too. My daughter’s needs come first. But it isn’t that woman’s weight that is the problem, it’s her ignorant attitude.

    After my daughter was born I got judged by complete strangers for being thin. She was a 24 week preemie. When she was about eight months old, a woman in an elevator looked at my tiny, seven pound daughter asleep in the carriage and looked me up and down and said, nastily, “Some people have all the luck.” What do you say to that, honestly? I just gave her a look that spoke volumes of pain for what we’d been through and she didn’t say another word.

    Mir – I’m sending some Your-people-finding Karma. You are pretty and hip and your people will find you!

  78. 78
    mimi/pz5wjj July 18, 2007 at 8:01 am #

    Oh, I so hear you! When my DH and I got married we moved to England to be near his family. We had his friends and his family. I know they all loved me and accepted me, but still, they are HIS. He spent the time getting to know them in college, early 20′s… I was the adopted child in the relationship. I love them NOW, but it was hard!

    When we left England we moved to Atlanta where we knew 1 person (my Best friend) and now we hardly see her — she lives about 45 minutes away (over near where DH works). It took time. I had those few friend in the beginning that I just knew wouldn’t pan out, but they were necessary for me to find my friends I have now.

    We’ve been here 5 years and it’s taken a LONG TIME to find friends, but I have found some… Rich is still looking (work takes up too much time for him! LOL)

    And those ladies you were talking to — they have no idea! Wait until she has baby #2 who cries all the time with a toddler running around getting into everything. She may get her shower, but it may not be until 10pm!

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    kate setzer kamphausen July 18, 2007 at 4:05 pm #

    You could put an ad on Craigslist.

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    kate setzer kamphausen July 18, 2007 at 4:11 pm #

    Oh. Er. Someone already mentioned this. I was kidding, in hopes of someday being brilliantly wry & funny like the Mir – but I guess you really *could* post an ad on Craigslist!

    (Next time I *will* read all the comments – and damn, y’all are funny too!! – before posting mine. Ahem.)

  81. 81
    Jenifer July 18, 2007 at 10:32 pm #

    Well, I’m one of those Mom’s that complains I don’t have time to shower sooooooo….

    Does that make me your people?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Woulda Coulda Shoulda » If it were fiction, you’d scoff - July 17, 2007

    [...] (Oh, these cookies? Tammy brought these to me today, possibly because she is the very most spectacular human to walk the face of the planet, and also a little bit because she read my WAH WAH WAH I HAVE NO FRIENDS post and correctly surmised that if she brought me chocolate chocolate-chip cookies from the good bakery that I would declare her to be my new best friend. The part where I was so moved that I actually petted her arm a little scared her a bit, I fear, and also my dorkocity level spiked up to 11 while I tried to explain that really, I think she might be one of My People but I don’t want to be all needy and pester her all the time while I’m busy being overwhelmed with life and such and she’s one of the few people I know here. But. Still. COOKIES!) [...]

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