Sangria and Cupcakes

I used to have a best friend. Not too long ago, in fact. She was somebody who I could call no matter what, somebody who I shared everything with and somebody who got me. This last part was kind of a big deal. See, I have a confession to make: I don’t have a ton of friends. I’ve always found it hard to open up and people generally make me a bit uncomfortable. It’s not that I don’t want friends, it’s just that I’ve never really figured out how to make them. I’m too shy to really make an effort and I usually feel that people just wouldn’t be that interested anyway. I have quite a few casual friends; y’know, like Facebook friends (yes, I’ll “like” your status update…sure, I’ll comment on your family photos…) or people I see in groups when somebody’s having a birthday get-together or that kind of thing. But true friends? Not so much.

Anyway, back to this best friend. We were carefree single girls in NYC – going on trips together to places like London and Paris, doing a summer share at the beach together, even getting accidentally high together (be warned: if somebody jokes about serving “hash cookies”, that may not be a joke. oh, and don’t eat 5 of them.). When she had trouble with her boyfriend, we’d commiserate together; when I had trouble with the guy who eventually became my husband, she’d talk me out of my funk without completely ragging on him – something most people couldn’t or wouldn’t do. Eventually, her relationship fell apart while mine was getting stronger. Can you sense where this story is going? Well, I’ll give you the brief summary: I got married and had a baby, she moved to a different city. Nothing has been the same since.

It wasn’t sudden, more like a gradual shift away from what we had always been. I understand that some of this is inevitable. Life changes, priorities shift – especially with a baby. When you’re single, you don’t really want to hear about changing diapers or teething…it’s just not interesting. When you’re married with a kid, as much as you may want to live vicariously through your fun single friends, after a while, that life starts to feel like a distant memory; one that you may not be able to understand anymore. And as hard as I tried to keep up with her, I felt like she was leaving me behind. The emails got fewer and farther between; when asked about what was going on with her, the details got pared down to the most basic of facts rather than the feelings and the experiences. Nothing seemed to be shared between us anymore.

Right after I got married I was proud that while I loved my husband immensely, I didn’t consider him my best friend. I never wanted to be one of those women who didn’t have much of a life beyond being in “a couple”. But my best friend drifted away from me and that makes me really sad. I miss her and I guess I feel that there’s a divide between us that may be too big to be bridged. If we had some big blowout fight, I think that’s something we could get past. Apologize, make amends, get through it. But there wasn’t any big disagreement or misunderstanding. There was just…life.

As for my daughter- the most important person in my life – she’s only met her once. She visited me a few days after Peanut was born but I have to admit that I was too tired and emotional to really spend any time with her or even appreciate her visit. I wish I could’ve made it clearer how much it meant to me that she drove 5 hours to come see me and how badly I felt asking her not to stay overnight because I was a strange combination of sad, scared and just overwhelmed. I sent her an invitation to my daughter’s first birthday party and was really hoping she would come but she didn’t. Instead, the next day she was on a flight to the Caribbean, off to an adults-only resort. I don’t mean to sound bitter or jealous, though I admit to having a certain amount of envy at her ability to just book a spur of the moment vacation. Really, there are few things in life I want more than for her to be happy. I just miss her and wish that we had the closeness that was once there.

So, here I am: I have an amazing husband and daughter – I know that I am truly blessed. But there are times that I’m really lonely. The kind of lonely that only a female friendship can fix. You know, the kind of lonely that is magically cured after a girl’s night out with sangria and cupcakes, gossip and laughter. And I have no idea how somebody like me -well into adulthood and a bit shy and insecure- goes about making new friends. Anybody have any suggestions? Or better yet, anybody want to meet up for some sangria and cupcakes?

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18 thoughts on “Sangria and Cupcakes

  1. I think so many moms feel that way. Life gets in the way and you don’t know quite where you stand any longer as just “you”. I was actually feeling quite a bit of what you’re feeling the last few days. I mention being a mommy as the most rewarding but also the most loneliest career in the world. Cheers to sangria and cupcakes? Crumbs cupcakes?

    • Valerie, Crumbs cupcakes are my favorite! Though I’d pretty much never turn down a cupcake from Magnolia or Buttercup either. Ok, I’d never actually turn down any cupcake!

      • I never actually realized how hard it is to meet mommy friends. Not only because being a mom limits you in so many ways, but like someone mentioned, it’s like dating all over again but with moms and their kids and the last thing you want to do is waste a day with someone you realize you are never going to connect with. With that said, if you’re in the city, I’ll go out on a limb because OMG Magnolia… *Drool*. But if you turn out to be bat shit crazy, I’ll probably have to kick myself so please don’t. I do enough self kicking on a daily basis. Red Velvet? Wanna???

      • Great. I just commented a novel for you and I don’t know what happened. It posted as “by slug” which explains my last comment. Point was, Magnolia? Red Velvet. Wanna???

  2. I feel the same way about making new friends. I have a best friend who THANK GOD still lives close enough to me to hang out on occasion (but that’s probably not gonna last forever). We’ve been friends for almost 20 years (met in the 8th grade). But it’s really hard for me to make any more really good friends.. I’d say I have a few really good friends but none of them live close by so we hardly ever get to hang out. So, I feel your pain. It’s really hard to make new friends and to be able to TRUST them. Sigh.. the life of a shy person.

  3. I thought I was the only one with this problem. It’s good to know that there are others who feel the same way. I wish I could join a mommy group or something but it’s hard to find one in my neighborhood in Brooklyn.

  4. I would love to be your friend–I think we would get along well since we have daughters the same age and similar senses of humor. But sadly, I live in Chicago and I think you live in New York. I am a very shy person at heart, but I’ve forced myself to come out of my shell to develop strong friendships. Try to push yourself to get out of your comfort zone… I think there are a lot of women out there who would really value you as a friend. You could meet them through weekend mom’s groups, at the park… I know it is hard to strike up a conversation with strangers, but it is easier when you are side by side pushing your babies on the swings…

    Anyway, I could really relate to what has happened with your friend. My best friend since 1st grade drifted away from me when I got married. She is single and never dates…I think it was threatening to her that I finally settled down at age 40. I called her from the hospital the day after my baby was born, left her a voicemail…and she never called back. I have called her a few times since then but have only heard from her on Facebook. It hurts a lot… I know it is her own issues that are hanging her up, but it makes me angry that she can’t be a true friend to me.

    I wish you all the best on your search for good friends. I’m am truly sorry we are not in the same city and don’t have the chance to get to know each other to see if we could be friends.

  5. This makes me very sad. I’m 21 and I have a boyfriend and a good little group of friends, but I definitely know how you feel to some extent. Some people find it so easy to make friends and they just have a natural knack with people. I’ve always been a little awkward and sometimes it is a bit hard to really open up to others. It’s easier to just stick with what you know. This post makes me feel a little guilty for sometimes putting plans with my boyfriend in front of plans with my friends, it makes me want to go out for a big girly night, and it makes me want to cherish the friendships I have more than ever.
    Thank-you for waking me up a bit. I hope you find the very best of friends.

  6. sigh. I’ll be your friend in Florida! You could have friends in lots of different states. 🙂 I met one of my closest friends in lamaze class. Our boys were born three hours apart and are like brothers. I don’t know what I would have done without her. Try to go to some mom groups. It will take time but you’ll gradually start to meet people. It may not be at the same level as your former best friend, but it will be different, and different can be good. As Peanut gets older, it will get a little easier to meet others, too. I have a dear friend who does not have children-a little by choice, a little by circumstances. It has been a challenge to stay connected, but now that my boys are older, it is easier. I’m able to get out more sans children to hang out.

    I have a cousin who lives in Brooklyn. I’m trying to get up there this year to see him. When I do, we can definitely go grab some cupcakes and sangria! What a delightful combination. 🙂

  7. Sometime I really feel as if you are reading my mind! I have been moping around for the past few weeks because I feel like I have no social life anymore, now that my almost 1 year old is here and I’m a full-time working mom. My husband still has plenty of friends, but I feel like mine have all gradually drifted away and it makes me really sad. I have started to research mommy groups in my area in the hopes of making some fellow mommy friends, maybe try that?
    I’m also in NY, where more people are getting engaged/married/becoming parents later and later in life…and at 27, I am the only one of my friends who is married with a child so I guess our priorities are just different now. It’s still hard to realize that you are a completely different person once you become a mom.
    Keep your head up, and I’m sending lots of friend wishes your (and my!) way.

  8. I completely understand having a hard time opening up. What you really need is to find 1 or 2 women to open up to who already have a strong group and then you’ll meet more of those women too. The only thing I can say with regard to your friend is….while I love kids and am very comfortable with my married friends and their kids, and I have no problem just hearing about their lives, I can see where to some this is not as interesting. Yes I still live my single life most of the week, but I can get along w/ those that are married now too.

    However, aside from her not finding it interesting anymore, you have to take into account the possibility that to her, it’s depressing being around you. Perhaps it’s a life she really longs for, and while she’s so happy for you, she’s just going through a period where she can’t being around it. I have this maybe a couple times a year where I pull away for at month or two from all of my friends with husbands and families (which at the end of this summer it will be all of them now). It’s just depressing b/c it’s the life I’ve ALWAYS dreamed up, the life they didn’t even want themselves, and now they’re living it and I’m getting further and further from having it.

    So yes I’m happy for them, and not trying to make it all about me, and I spend countless days and weekends supporting them, I also have periods where I just can’t do it b/c in the end, I go home alone at night and they don’t. That’s hard to take sometimes and you just need a break from it.

    Send her an email with what you want, how you’ve been feeling, how you’d like to pick back up….it can’t hurt. But realize, this may be her time to pull away for awhile.

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