Having recently relocated I have discovered how hard it is to make new friends in the grown-up world. No dorms to push you together, sororities to join, or classes with people to study with at the library. When I moved here I kept trying to figure out where to meet my new girlfriends. Would they be at the gym? No, too weird. Kay tried that on a girl and she definitely thought Kay was hitting on her. Hmmm….how about the library? Wait, unlike the ones in college, you really can’t strike up conversations there. I was getting desperate and nobody was finding me just sitting at home. I had to become proactive. Here is the true story of how I met my first friend in my new city.
I actually went to high school with Liv, but I’m fairly positive we never spoke. Not because she was mean, but because we were in different years and both participated in competitive sports that took us out of the mix. A few weeks into my new living situation, I went to a baseball game with one of my best friends from high school and a group of 15 crazy men from Wisconsin. In the suite I was relieved to see another girl and went over to talk to her – turns out Liv works for the baseball team and was checking on our suite. Of course the guys had captured her and were attempting to work their drunk Wisconsin moves, but we quickly realized whoa, we kind of know each other. Let’s exchange numbers and maybe see each other again.
Now this is where it got dicey. In order for me to make my first new friend I had to do what is acceptable in college, but seems unacceptable in the post-grad world: I had to ask her out on a friend date. If you’ve read my earlier post on how I think people should call if they are interested, I have to admit that I texted her. I had low self-confidence and didn’t want rejection over the phone, so I went with the text. We decided on happy hour. Good, there would be alcohol and people watching, aka no awkward silences.
Happy hour went well and I went home excited. Could this be a new friend? We became facebook friends, which I took as a good sign. I decided to make the next move and invited her over to watch my favorite TV show, The Bachelorette. She said she’s never watched it but would give it a try. I made margaritas and we got to gossip all night. It was fun and we said we would do again. Then I made a decision, she had to make the next friendship move and invite me to something. A few days later I got the invite! She asked me to go with her to the baseball game. I was so excited and yes, still nervous. See, with a guy, if they don’t like you then whatever, you just won’t see them again and you still have your girlfriends. I was in the situation where my girlfriends were hours away and I was sitting at home with my dog. I don’t want to sound desperate, but I wanted someone closer who would go with me to events and watch stupid (but great) shows with me. Could this be the start of a beautiful friendship?
In fact, the baseball game was. We turned The Bachelorette viewing parties into weekly dates and learned that we both enjoy attending fun events. She loves wine and I love craft beer, so we switch off between them and try restaurants known for both. Over the summer we hit up the foodie event of the year, attempted to befriend an Italian restaurateur (epic fail, we couldn’t get him out of the kitchen), met Marines during Marine Week (see Sex and the City Fleet Week episode to get an idea!), and drank too much wine at the zoo. I credit Liv for helping me get my new job at Perennial Artisan Ales as she found the Beer vs. Wine event that led me to meet the brewery owners! Everything happens for a reason and now, a couple months after meeting, she is Bob’s aunt, one of my closest friends, and my future baby’s godmother.
One of the most important things I have learned since moving here is that nearly everyone wants new friends. For the first few weeks I was going crazy and felt like everyone’s friend groups were full. Slowly, very slowly, I discovered that although some people don’t want to make the effort, a lot of people do! I met another great girlfriend through some guys, a third through a part time job, and recently a brand new one at a very awkward apartment party. The party was not really a party, but we were thrown together and what I got out of the night was a fun girl who likes to go out and wants to meet people. These types of people are everywhere, you just have to keep an open mind and always be ready to make that awkward first step and ask for the friend date.