Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Internet Is My Only Friend

It's cold out. Finally. I've been waiting for a chill in the air since the last cold snap of the previous spring. The kids are sleeping, the wood stove is emanating heat to every corner of my snug little house. And what am I doing? Staring into the depths of my monitor, connecting with people I don't even know. Blogging for myself and for the feedback. Hoping to reach people I'll never meet, whilst ignoring those folks within my reach.

The Internet is my friend. My only friend besides my husband and children. Yes, I am one of those women. Women who don't have the time, the patience, or the know how to maintain a female friendship. I've made attempts, albeit failed attempts, but I've tried none the less. I have women I call my friends, but I wouldn't even think about picking up the phone, pouring my heart out to them, yet it comes so easily here. Oddly enough, with you, the anonymous, I am comfortable. Put me amongst a bunch of women and my skin crawls, literally. I feel like an amoeba on a slide under the microscope. Being judged, scrutinized, made fun of. Here, in the vast universe of blogdom and women bloggers, I feel like finally I fit in.

I've often envied relationships perpetrated on television. Carrie and Miranda. Kate and Beth. Lauren and whoever she calls her BFF right now. Witnessing these kinds of female companionship in the real world is even harder. College girls who would do anything for their sisters. Friends for life, since Kindergarten, still in touch in their forties. What have I done wrong? What about me says, “This person is incapable of a lasting female relationship so don't bother.” Why do I choose the anonymity of the web over real, concrete, face to face friendships?

My mother thinks its genetic. She too, is one of those women. I can remember one friend of hers, a gorgeous, fun loving girl she met in college, but today they don't speak. After spending the last 10 years as close pals. Granted, she has had her cocktail buddies, her work colleagues that email and bring her gifts (mainly because she is the boss), but aside from that she maintains relationships with no one but family. On many occasions she has sadly observed that I am the same way. I'm traveling the same friendless road. Maybe she led by example, or maybe I have just never had that connection, that spark it must take to like another woman so much that you share your life, day by day with her.

Maybe there is a prototype for friendless women. Some probably just get along better with men. Some are probably too catty and backstabbing to maintain friendships. Others are mostly loners or too shy to make a pal. Some women are so consumed by their mothering and family duties that they neglect that enriching part of their life. I like to think I fall into the latter. Family being my first priority and any spare time I have is spent here. But I could just be in denial, having made the concious choice years ago to not let another woman too close. Out of fear, fear of rejection, fear of hurt, fear that I'm just not that cool. What I crave is a place to use my words to communicate without sending mixed signals with my expressions. Truth be told, I'm intimidating in person, and women just don't seem to like me from their first impression.

I would love to know your take, my blogger friends, on your real life female friends. How long have you had them, is there any underlying issues you've overcome, did you meet them online? Or are you like me, your best friend is your husband, your emotional support group is your kids and your mother, your confidante is your grandma, and your best girlfriends are only a screen name and a picture.


  1. I could have written this, if that answers your question.

  2. I was one of those women who had some friends--quality I used to say, not quantity--but lost touch with them when I moved, a few times and quite far. Now that I am in my mid-40's and divorced, I find that I need female friends, I need the place to vent, I need the valve loosened and I need someone to ask how I am. It seems to me that I have many of my friends today, not because I would have picked them out in some kind of friend dating service, but because they have stayed my in touch. We now have history together, we know (of) our children and how we have spent the last few years.

    Earlier I had a conversation with a friend who moved to the other end of the country last year. She called because she needed to get off her chest something that happened at work. As women who don't do the therapy routine, a "letting it all out" to a friend serves to keep us balanced. Now she's ready again to confront her world--in all of her aggressiveness.

  3. Same way, kiddo. It's easier to open up to people you don't have in your daily "real life". Not as big a chance of getting hurt.

    Also, some women put off....vibes (for lack of a better word) that makes other women uncomfortable around them. Shyness can come off as being stuck up.

    And, there are those of us who simply enjoy our privacy.

  4. I preferred to hang out with guys in highschool- less drama and competition.
    I joined a sorority in college- and they were a good group of girls, we still talk, but none of us are very tight from my pledge class.
    As a new mom, I felt completly isolated but wasn't extremely comfortable baring all for anyone other than mom and Jake. I would make a great connection and then they would move, every dang time.
    Since we've got hooked up in a seeker church, we have a community group that meets weekly. This has been the turning point. They are mostly older moms- which has been a big help when I'm trying to figure out the mothering bit. And with the age comes more maturity, no drama. I can't say that we have these fabulously tight friendships... I've just let that hope go for awhile in this stage of my life.

    So yeah, blog on.

  5. i have like 2 1/2 friends, 2 i have been friends with since elem. and the 1/2 only because i can't stand her 1/2 the time, too needy (i don't need to talk to ANYONE 10 times a day on the phone)i don't make new friends because i compare them to my old friends and no one can be that cool. i talk to b and had most of the time.

  6. awww.. I just want to hug your neck after reading that post... scared you, didn't I?! I mostly had friends that were guys in high school as well. My main problem seems to be linked to the fact that I am deficient of whatever ingredient goes into the design of females that makes them understand all the 'girly' stuff that typically dominates every conversation they have together. You know, purses, jewelery, decorating, shopping and who they are ticked at and talking about today. These (boring) topics confuse me deeply! I always found myself gravitating toward the much more interesting conversations of men --philosophy, music, politics, religion, dirt bikes. Something did change in my 30's. I met some women who talked about more than girls stuff and were funny and loyal and kind. I decided to take the risk and open my heart to them. It has been a wonderful thing. Oh, I also made one (sad and self-centered) revelation about my 'no-girls' years. I am definitely a word-lover, a debater a communicator. I really enjoy considering, spelling, tasting, and arranging words. But to be still (and quiet) and LISTEN to someone else waste them on jewelry or some other subject I could care less about.. well, NOT SO MUCH! I learned that I preferred to dominate communications. Which, by the way, is EASY with a blog. I don't have to listen if I don't want to. I just hit delete and there is no bizarre social posturing to figure out. It is simpler and neater than face-to-face. BUT... I have found great JOY in my face-to-face friendships the last 10 years. Girlfriends have become a HUGE part of my life. Hang in there, the drama tends to settle in the late 20's early 30's for many females.

  7. Wow, what a post. I'm right there with you.

    I used to have friends, many friends and good friends: when I worked. So I don't think I'm unloveable (am I?? AM I??) Now after 9 years of being home full-time with special needs kids, it's as though I'm finding myself stumbling out of a cave, blinking in the sunlight and yelling, HEY? Where'd everybody go?

    You know, it's ONLY been 9 years...

    Sad, I know. There have been a few women who've reached out, and I do have a few good friends, but the truth is I honestly can't make the time I'd like, to go out for lunch or enjoy long phone conversations.

    So yes, Internet is my friend too.

    (Glad to find you btw!!)

  8. You know woman I happen to be your friend in real life as well as on your blog now so I guess I fit in all around lol. I know you well enough to know that you dont take crap off people.You are a wonderful mother to 3 very active kids and there isnt time for all the catty backstabing bs that we have delt with over the past few months with "FRIENDS". It is so much easier to pull up your blog and let it all go and if people dont like you for it OH WELL. You are an amazing woman and I am so honered to be able to call you MY FRIEND. And Im here when ever you need me. You know I do call almost daily but I see where your heart is now lol LOVE YOU SMASH

  9. Maybe we are all conditioned to think that the fantasy of intense female friendship a la Carrie and Miranda should be normal for everyone, and it just isn't. Some people are private and introverted and that's that. I'm just always puzzled by women who hold the floor endlessly and yet don't seem to bore each other. Coming from a big family also has something to do with it. (I'm one of seven.) When you grow up with so much company, you associate leisure with solitude.

  10. Just so you know.
    This is me exactly.
    I got chills reading your post.
    So, if you ever want a friend without serious obligations, who knows and respect your infrequent contact BUT still thinks you are dang cool.
    Let me know!

  11. Girl, I am right there with you. I would love to have "girl" friends, ones that I can talk to about anything, hang with when I need time away from Hubby and kids, and grab a cup of coffee with from time to time. I do have those
    "friends" that we exchange the whole, "Lets get together and have lunch/dinner/play time for the kids" with, but nothing as ever come out of the deal. Seriously...nothing!


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