[ This week, I've invited a few individuals to post on The Gui Girl while I try to get a handle on my new career and life. Today's post was contributed by Kim Oja, the author of My Business is Your Business. I've known Kim for a little over 10 years. TEN. YEARS. FRAAAAAK! How the hell did that happen?! Anyway, Kim is a writer who moonlights as an agent of the insurance underwriting industry. She's also one of the more hilariously outrageous humans I know. And she's perpetually tan with virtually little effort, for which I will be pastily, perpetually jealous. I will now affix this Lee Press-On Nail to my pinky so I can slap dat bitch with my strong and mighty pimp hand. ]
It kind of snuck up on me, like the holiday season or the charms of Al Roker– friendlessness.
This is, of course, a loaded word– I have friends. Lots of friends! I am very popular! My MySpace account can confirm this! In my prime, I ran with a pack of friends– in college, our lunch table was the place to be. But the strangest thing happened– when I came home from North Carolina, where I went to graduate school (and had friends! Many, many friends!), all my Ohio friends had dispersed across the country, and when I went back to North Carolina, I found that those friends had done the same.
Now, this does wonders for my travel options– a bed in every state!– but it’s not so great when it’s ten o’clock at night and I want to go to Walgreens to buy cheap makeup and bags of Munchos, and find that my husband, shockingly, is not particularly interested in this proposition. (Why anyone, male or female, would take a pass on ten p.m. Munchos, I have no idea.)
And it cannot be said that I haven’t tried to make new friends, per the old Girl Scouts adage (although it might important to note that I survived in Girl Scouts only one day; upon learning that the sit-upon I was sewing was to keep my butt relatively ant-free at Girl Scout camp, I bolted out in tears). I have attended countless Tastefully Simple parties, and even attempted to make a scrapbook page or two in an effort to impress upon other potential friend candidates that I am just like them, and very much enjoy decoupaging pictures cut from magazines onto my birth control container.
But alas, it was not to be, and aside from a few carefully cultivated local friends (one of whom is actually an old college friend, so luckily I didn’t have to wow her with my scrapbook layout skills), my husband and I have discovered ourselves adrift in the local sea.
This was always a major concern of mine– no matter where I went, whether it was high school, college or grad school, I automatically assumed that I would be unable to make friends. I planned for this, and spent many evenings imagining myself in all black, eating rice cooked in a small potpourri crock to avoid the humiliation of the cafeteria, listening to the music of The Cure and writing long poems with recurring themes of horse skeletons and broken clocks. Luckily, this never came to pass, and, surrounded by friends, I was spared the task of having to find a word that rhymed with “dessicated corpse.”
Even now, I’m never really friendless, because I always have my husband with me (and even if I can’t force him to play Rock Band with me until three a.m., he’s still the best friend anyone could have). And I have lots of long distance friends that are only a phone call or an e-mail away. But sometimes you just need that extra element to supplement a Saturday night– someone that you don’t have to fall asleep with at the end of the night, unless you’re kinky like that.
This past Saturday was one of those nights– Ben and I found ourselves at the local bar, watching the women’s Olympic marathon and contemplating whether the leader of the race had peed her pants, as we had heard that marathoners will sometimes do. At the table behind us, a group of about eight friends debated what country she was from.
“ROM. That’s Rome, obviously,” they said of the Romanian runner.
And right then, we were happy to be friendless.