I was wondering through a bookstore a couple of weeks ago, looking for a new book to celebrate my birthday, when I found it… it was out of place, sitting there on the shelf with it’s front cover exposed, and it caught my attention right away with it’s hilarious and ironic title,
Women Are Scary
I laughed out loud, “You BET!” Picked it up and leafed through it to see if it would be any good. Two little cake pops on the cover with female heads looked like they were fighting; one had bitten off part of the other’s head!
This book… is the one!
It’s been a funny read, cataloging the author’s awkward journey to understanding female friendships, especially other mom friendships. She’s socially a little awkward (who isn’t?), she’s got her own weirdness, and she’s had a lot of disappointment and heartache in trying to have women friends over the course of her life. Her journey is an interesting one to read, I laughed, I underlined in the book, and I even cried when it came to the stories of betrayal or loss of friendships the women in the book had gone through.
I understand, I’ve been there, too. I’m lucky to have found my niche so to speak with getting to love women and mommy friends who are in our weekly life, but I haven’t always had this, quite the opposite at times! I’ve been the enthusiastic, extroverted, crazy girlfriend, and I’ve been the socially awkward, weird one out because I couldn’t find anything to connect to someone with. I’m sure all of us have had experiences like that – where you just click with some people, become immediate friends, or where the friendship never even gets off the ground because you’re too different.
In high school and college, I was a social butterfly. I had friends that were gothics, friends that lived in mansions (we lived in a rich area), friends that lived in trailer parks, male friends that played video games and listened to Marilyn Manson, and a close female friend that was the Co-Captain of the Cheerleading squad. I was always just a little bit weird though, and even I thought it was odd that I could connect with so many different kinds of people… like a sign of my weirdness.
With mom friends, anything goes now! I have never had so much fun connecting to women of all sorts! We all have our pasts of what we were in college, and it really doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how willing you are to open up, be yourself, and be extroverted at least in the moment it takes to find someone new to talk to that could end up being a great friend!
Here is an excerpt from the book that I thought was especially cute. For all you mommies out there looking for a sweet, easy read or for ideas on how to expand your inner circle:
“So for you, who are your people? If you’re looking for moms with whom you can go running, let’s get you out on trails chatting up girls about their jogging strollers. Do you love baking brownies? Let’s find you a friend who loves eating brownies. Do you struggle with confidence? You need a friend who excels at encouragement.
Finding friends also means learning how to be a good friend, so we’re also working on our own stuff too. As we seek to encourage and support the moms around us, we become exactly the kind of friend we want to have.
Where are you going to find your people? The library for story time, a “mommy and me” class, the preschool pickup line, a young moms’ group at a church, or the sidelines at a soccer game. Moms are everywhere, and most of us are a little bit lonely and starved for adult conversation. If you work outside of the home, you may spend time with other adults professionally, but yu stil need other moms to talk to. Stay-at-home moms just need people to talk to, period.
My favorite relationships are the ones that start out bonding over our kids but transition to talking about books we’re reading, our thoughts on different issues, or just straight up laughter about something absurd. I love coming together with other women over coffee to solve the world’s problems while a few feet away, our children learn how to share. My girlfriends make me a better mom, a better friend, better wife, just… better.
I’d met Martha through another friend and really liked her. She was pregnant with her fourth child and looked like a supermodel. No, seriously. Picture the hottest pregnant chick you’ve ever seen. She was always draped in something fabulous, and her third trimester looked better than my six months postpartum.
One day I was crying about my dog, and I needed a friend. I should mention that at this point Martha was a cat person. But something made me call her and invite myself over. She is gracious and kind and makes hospitality look effortless, so I rang her doorbell.
I quickly learned that even though she had four kids, Martha was a voracious reader who had delightful opinions about everything and was going to change the world. As I got to know her, the phrase, “just a mom” catapulted out of my head never to return.
I drove back to her house again and again, and she helped me decorate my messy new place. We talked of books and writing and faith and events and ideas. She showed me that as a mom I can still take interest in other things besides my kids. Isn’t that a relief.
We have different friends for different aspects of our personalities. I have my sci-fi-loving friends for movie watcing. These are my “get my references” friends. And I have the friends I call when I’m cracking down the center and need someone to pray for my brain.
So figure our who your people are, then start trolling (for moms).”
(Quoted excerpt from Women Are Scary by Melanie Dale)