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At the risk of wearing out my welcome

September 10, 2010

I’ve talked a little before on this blog about my challenges finding a community of women where I feel at home.  My misadventures at MOPS and in some church activities have been discouraging at times.  I can honestly say that as far as I know, I’m not entirely socially awkward.  I’m a covert extrovert for the most part, which means that in a new scene I lay low until I’ve sized everything and everyone up, and once I’ve surveyed the land, I generally set out to conquer it.  I have a foot-in-mouth disease that can get me in trouble from time to time, but I think I’ve matured enough to the point that those spells are infrequent and preventable if I take the time to learn about my audience before jumping right in.

I am also a people collector.  When I find someone I like, I tend to commit to them and try to fold them into whatever social circles I have going on at the time.  I’m big on setting people up in friendships if I know they will get along. And I keep my people forever.  I know which of my friendships need more regular maintenance and which of them can pick up where we last left off, even if it’s years between our visits or chats.

I also have a "going to the mall wookiee," a "tea-swilling wookiee," a "Bible study buddy wookiee," and an "indy bookstore wookiee" (not pictured)

In my desperate quest to find other BNBs like me out in the world, however, I’m concerned I may be entering into perilous territory with some of my social media friends.  We all know that we have certain people in our lives following us and reading about us without our knowledge because while we haven’t talked to them since high school, we’ve linked up with them through social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, or FourSquare (which in my experience is more for bar-hoppy single people.  Yo Internets, I’m at Target.  Me and three other moms are vying for mayor.  I’m only losing because I sometimes go to OTHER Targets. End of story.).

And I’m fine knowing that some girl or guy I knew back when I was working at a movie theater might be looking at my current line of work and asking themselves, “WTH is she doing now?!”  I’m even okay knowing that my Facebook friends are looking at pictures of my gorgeous gregarious goofball children.  Because they’re awesome and honestly, I want every person who looked at me as an ugly nerd to know that, like the mothers of Julia Roberts and every other famous beautiful person, we can turn out some good-looking, smarter-than-yours babies.  But I digress.

What is troubling to me in this new world of social media is that the same old rules of reciprocity apply.  Rejection still happens.  People “clean out” their friend list and all of a sudden, you’re no longer seeing whats-her-name’s status updates in your feed.  In my zealousness to connect with acquaintances and long-lost friends who, like me, enjoy talking about their faith, their kids and culture-at-large, I worry I’m becoming obnoxious to women who haven’t quite decided yet if they like me as much as I like them.

In most of these situations, I’m just making a comment here or there.  I’m not sending some long personal message or email asking them to be my BFF or some crazy, Becky version of Single White Female.  But after I make a few comments, if I don’t get a response, I tend to pull back into that shell I created when I was 11 or so and hole up until I feel it’s safe enough to venture out again and tell my friend her photos of those handmade Halloween costumes were insane.

Is her baby wearing the SAME EXACT corn cob outfit I made!?! That's just creepy.

I don’t want to come off as needy, but dangitall, I am needy.  I need friends to tell me that I’m not ruining my children because I yell at them sometimes.  I need friends who are honest-to-goodness funny and who think I’m a hoot, too.  I need people to pray with me, encourage me, and hit me with a big ol’ truth stick if I’m getting out of bounds with them, Jesus, or anyone else we both know.

So if you’re one of these moms I’m sorta stalking, I guess I’d just like to beg your patience.  I promise if you put up with me and my smart-aleck posts long enough, you’ll see I’m a keeper.  And if, in your judgment, you decide to unfriend me after all, no harm will come to your bunny, your boyfriend or husband, and your children will be safe (at least from me, I can’t vouch for those other friends of yours).

**And speaking of stalking, if you read anything I write anywhere, you’ll eventually learn I have a girl crush on Sara Groves.  I just know if she lived in my neighborhood, we’d be hair-braiding, poetry-reading, babysitter-sharing, clubhouse-occupying BFFs.  That said, here’s a song that she wrote that I often think about when I get lonely enough to want to rent a conversion van and kidnap all my cyber-girlfriends—and maybe a couple of their kids and husbands—for a giant group sleepover.

Every Minute by Sara Groves

I am long on staying • I am slow to leave • Especially when it comes to you my friend • You have taught me slow down • And to prop up my feet • It’s the fine art of being who I am

• • And I can’t figure out • Why you want me around • I’m not the smartest person I have ever met • But somehow that doesn’t matter • No it never really mattered to you at all

• • And at the risk of wearing out my welcome • At the risk of self-discovery • I’ll take every moment • And every minute that you’ll give me

• • And I can think of time when families all lived together • Four generations in one house • And the table was full of good food • And friends and neighbors • That’s not how we like it now

• • Cause if you sit at home you’re a loser • Couldn’t you find anything better to do • Well no I couldn’t think of one thing • I would rather waste my time on than sitting here with you

• • And at the risk of wearing out my welcome • At the risk of self-discovery • I’ll take every moment • And every minute that you’ll give me

• • And I wish all the people I love the most • Could gather in one place • And know each other and love each other well

• • And I wish we could all go camping • And lay beneath the stars • And have nothing to do and stories to tell • We’d sit around the campfire • And we’d make each other laugh remembering when • You’re the first one I’m inviting • Always know that you’re my friend

• • And at the risk of wearing out my welcome • At the risk of self-discovery • I’ll take every moment • And every minute that you’ll give me • Every moment and every minute that you’ll give me • Every moment and every minute that you’ll give me

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