I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but I have found it ridiculously hard to meet people and to make friends post-graduation and pre-baby-having.
Domi and I both are blessed with some of the most incredible friends. It just so happens that the majority of them don’t live in the same state, or, as a matter of fact, the same country as we do. And if you’re not going to make a ton of friends at work, where do you make friends?
Our answer? Force yourselves on unsuspecting victims at cooking classes…I’m kidding…mostly…
Earlier this year we decided to go and take a cooking class with my parents. It sounded like a fun family outing on a Sunday. We arrived at the class and there were about six other couples there that would be cooking with us. At the beginning it’s all kinds of awkward because you’re working in teams with people you don’t know at all and no one knows if they’re really allowed to crack jokes or if they should be taking things very seriously. It’s just altogether uncomfortable.
So, we were cooking in our team of four, when I caught sight of a seemingly cool couple across the cooktop. They looked about our age and I had seen a glimmer of an engagement ring, which led me to believe they were prettyserious about their relationship. Domi caught me staring at these people and nudged me with a baby-you’re-staring nudge. I quickly looked down at the thyme I was supposed to be removing from its stem and whispered, “but they look cool and I think we should be friends with them.” (I had decided this from about 10 minutes of an analysis of how they interacted with each other, totally weird and creepy? Probably. Did I care? Not really.) Domi said out of the corner of his mouth, “I know, they do seem cool…but what are we going to do about it?”
Hmm…I thought. I had no idea how to approach a couple on a date and ask them to be friends with us without having made some kind of conversation first and I knew while Domi also wanted to be friends with them he was not going to be the one to make it happen. So, I bravely and more loudly than I expected, exclaimed from my side of the cutting board, “you have a beautiful engagement ring!” My heart was pounding. I was so nervous. She giggled a little and said, “thank you so much, yours has been blinding me all night!” And I knew we were on the path to friendship!
During the class we randomly introduced ourselves to our cooking neighbors, whose names turned out to be Angela and Mike. Over dinner we chatted a bit more with them, every minute us falling more and more for their awesomeness. All of the sudden it was time to leave. We said our goodbyes and headed for the door. Domi looked at me flabbergasted, “What are you doing?? We need to be friends with them!” I answered in a hush, “What do you want me to do? I tried! We’re leaving!”
His answer? “Well, try harder!!”
Well, okay then…I had to think quickly, we were just paces from the door. We walked outside and I told my family to wait there for me. I walked back into the store and straight up to Angela and Mike and said, “Hi, this is so, so creepy of me, but my family really likes you guys. Would it be okay if I gave you my number so maybe we could go on a double date or something sometime?” I was already horrified that I’d asked. I was trying to think of ways to backtrack. It felt so uncomfortable and strange. Angela laughed out loud and I thought for a second, “oh good lord what have I done??” She then said, “of course! We were trying to figure out how to ask you guys for your number too, but neither of us was brave enough.” Oh my gosh! I am a brave person! The thought had never occurred to me that what I was doing was considered brave! Holy moly we made friends, people! We exchanged numbers and the rest is history.
So, basically what I learned about friend-making post-college and pre-baby-having is it takes bravery and a leap of faith. It takes a lot of belief that even if you might look really, really stupid and beyond creepy, you just have to be brave and dive in. If they are your people they won’t find it weird at all and you’ll have new incredible people in your life like Angela and Mike. And if they aren’t meant to be your friends and they think you’re a crazy person for asking, you probably won’t ever have to see them again, so who cares? Be brave. Make a friend.
Happy weekend friends! Xoxo