The friends we have tend to be people we've known for a long time. I love the friends we have, and it's nice to say that we've known most of our friends since high school and college. The problem with high school and college friends is that physically, we've gone our separate ways. Most of our friends live somewhere else, mostly in other states.
I've honestly had a hard time making friends as an adult. And I totally blame infertility. This is a hard thing for Mister to understand because it's just not the same for men, but here's the condensed version of how the conversations always go with me and other women near my age.
Her: Nice to meet you. Do you have any kids?
Me: (Count to 3, no physical reactions please, no making faces.....)
Me: No/Not yet/Maybe someday/We're working on it/Just the 20 I send home every day at 3 PM!/No, just the dog right now/We hope we will someday soon (Answer depends on my mood, the situation, the person asking, whether or not she seems to want a conversation or easy small talk)
Her: Oh. I have 3 kids.
Conversation ends here. Every time. I don't even know what to talk about with strangers. As soon as they hear that we don't have kids, I'm not worth their time.
So generally, I'm not really enthusiastic about going to a new place to meet a bunch of new people who will ask me all about my plans for having children but not actually care.
I wasn't going to go to this party. This friend is not really a close friend and she lives kind of far away. We used to work together, and I really enjoyed her at work. She was kind of weird, a little bit dorky, but she definitely got my sarcastic wiseguy kind of humor. Mister had met her a few times and wasn't really crazy about her or her husband. They were fine people to sit with at another colleague's party or wedding or whatever, but I don't think he felt like he wanted to seek them out as friends.
So when she invited us to her party, we both kind of waffled. It's kind of far to go, no one else from my old school would go, so I wouldn't know anyone but my friend and her husband, there are plenty of other things that I'd rather do on a summer Sunday. Well, we decided to go, figuring at least it was a nice day for a drive, we'd be together, and we could leave whenever we want.
And then I got there, and I remembered what it is that I love about this friend. She has a 3 year old daughter who is absolutely not the center of every thought and conversation. This is a lady who has a kid, and to the people with kids, she can talk about kids. But she certainly doesn't feel limited to kid conversation topics with people without kids. So she had some toys and stuff set up in the yard for people who brought their kids. My friend scheduled this party to coincide with her daughter's nap. Why? So she could have a party.
And then my friend shot to the top of my list.
When you go to parties, how do you talk to new people? What kinds of things do you ask them that takes the focus off "I have kids/I don't have kids, but I'd like to and my heart hurts about it constantly"? I feel like I have a fairly strong arsenal of stuff to talk about with guys, but with women it's so hard to find that common ground when their only activity/thought/conversation seems to revolve around small children. What is your common ground with fertile women? (Which totally makes them sound like aliens, I know. I don't mean to make it sound rude or mean, but I'm doing sociological research here!)