So, this weekend we have stuff planned! With other Army couples! Like, hanging out and BBQs and going to lunch! HOORAY!
And in case you were wondering, yes, I am totally welcoming the distraction from thinking about wether or not I'm going to be a failure as a parent and precisely how we are going to get Kid A back on track. But I digress.
Yes, Army Friends! In all this time I've been with Swiss, our living apart hasn't really helped us foster Army Friends. Sure, we went to social functions with co-workers, sure we stopped by his ROTC boss' house for a beer or two now and again... but we really haven't been able to cultivate the kind of friends who you have BBQs with and hang out with regularly. Finally, we have.
I find this process, the one of finding folks you want to hang out with outside of work, to be utterly fascinating. We've all heard of (or maybe lived) the horror stories of folks that seem cool but are actually crazy and then won't leave you alone and you have to sneak around just to hang out with other people. Not fun. And, I think, when you get older and have your friends established, it makes it harder to reshuffle and make room for someone new... especially when the ones you have are already so amazing. Am I wrong?
I've also found it interesting that the hubs has asked me why I'm so hesitant to make friends here, and instead choose to rely on my old (I say that lovingly and with no implication of age) friends and internet buddies for banter, consolation, and general discussion. My response to him was twofold: First, I've always been- in my natural state- one of the girls who doesn't have a TON of friends. I have superficial acquaintances, a couple of friends, and just a small handful of folks who reside in my inner circle. So I never have had the huge drive to be Miss Popularity and be doing coffees and lunch dates and what-have-you with just anyone. I already have the awesomest friends, thankyouverymuch. Second, cultivating friendships is HARD. It takes time and it is a delicate process to navigate. With my old friend and my internet buddies, it is just EASIER. We've already done that stuff- so we can get on with the fun stuff like a night of pedicures, Indian Food and movies (Hi Shari!), or a day at the pool with the kids and a BBQ on the new deck (Hi Emily!), or hanging out on the kitchen counter or deck drinking wine and eating cheese laughing at how awesome her kids are (Hi Val!) or watching copious amounts of basketball while eating Chipotle after a day of shopping for new shoes, a new kitchen and David Bromstad approved lighting fixtures (Hi Beth! MISS YOU!!!).
Also, the beauty of the internet friendships I've built over the past few years, is that all that awkward stuff has already been covered. We've gotten to know one another over time, we've shared incredibly stories via blogs or networks, we've become a part of each other's lives. So now, when we do actually get to hang out in real life, it's like we skipped dates 1-7 and are already comfortable hanging out. (Thanks Amy, for that super analogy, and yes, hanging out with you was totally like date 8, so glad we did it!) This is why I never had any hesitation when a few internet MilSpouses wanted to get together for a weekend, I already felt like I knew them. And this is how I was able to add another amazing, talented, wonderful gal into my inner circle of bestest friends (Hi Brittany! Love ya!) But, again, I digress.
The point is, making new friends at new posts isn't ever easy. It isn't easy to identify the folks that you think you will want to hang out with. It isn't always easy to gauge how interested those folks are in making new friends or welcoming a new couple into the fold. There is a certain leap of faith you must make, a certain amount of risk you accept, and hopefully after a night of BBQ and beers and the Pioneer Woman's BBQ jalapeno poppers (my contribution to the night's festivities), you are still willing to spend a few hours of your weekend with these folks. And, if a good friend is the end result? Those risks are well worth it.
So, here's to new friends and making the best of a PCS. And to BBQ. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!