I was a social butterfly in high school. As the non-designated daily morning greeter, I took it upon myself to grace every student and teacher with a chipper and louder-than-necessary "good morning" and toothy smile as I passed them in the halls. I loved people, life, school and all-things-social. Even in college, I "good morning"ed everyone on their way to an 8am class with my glistening smile. My thought was maybe I was the only one to offer that person a smile that day...so it better be big and sincere. I never really seemed to be super down-in-the-dumps...I was a genuinely happy person; high on life (not drugs!). I thought I had great, loyal friends...friends whom I would share our milestones in life together, laugh until we pee-ed our pants, and offer a shoulder if we needed to cry.
But somewhere in the middle of meeting the guy I KNEW I would marry ( I had to convince him I was a catch!) and being a mama for the past 12 years....I've lost some things. I've lost my love of people, the joy found in all-things-social, and my gaggle of friends. I no longer greet the morning with song and dance (I used to bellow "Good morning! Good morning! It's time to rise and shine. Good morning. Good morning to you!!" all the time...annoying? Heck no...endearing, lovable, and cheerful!!) When informed that I must attend a function, parent meeting, party, military family gathering, I take on an air of defiance, crankiness, anxiety. I don't have any need to meet new people, socialize with others, or painfully make small-talk. The thought actually gives me a negative physical reaction.
I could go into great detail and maybe I will at a later time...but right now I'd like to defend my abnormal behavior. I've been let down...repeatedly. People let you down. It's a fact that I carry with me...deeply rooted in who I now am. My then-boyfriend and I got pregnant in college...unmarried and very young. Very few friends stood by me, offered help, or stayed to share in my adventure. By few I mean 1 maybe 2 that I can remember. I became a mama at 20 (and 3 times more since), sent my hubby to war at 24, and will send him again at 33.....all without a friend beside me or in my corner. My now-hubby was, is and has been my only lasting girlfriend. I don't have a friend to call when something great happens. I don't have a friend to call when something terrible happens. No circle of girlfriends to see the latest chic-flick or grab appetizers and wine. I go shopping rarely because trying on clothes in a dressing room full of little boys is far from enjoyable. These are the things for which girlfriends are made.
With hubby as my only girlfriend, he is the one I ask about fashion advice (I can hear you laughing!), he is the one I talk to when I am sad (or I just deal with it in my own head full of voices), and he is the one I desperately try to have adult conversations with in the evenings (I'm sure he hears mwa mwa mwaaa mwa mwa mwa mwa). As a guy, all of his words are used up by about 4pm...so conversation is dry at best with minimal grunts, ugg's and nods from the peanut gallery.
Even now, I struggle to let potential girlfriends through my defensive wall that has been built up over years and years of friends letting me down. Part of it is my own crazy which is best left for a moment all its own. But part of it is that life is busy for all of us...potential besties and all. So, in my mind, it's better to "go it alone" than to try and delve into a friendship for which neither of us have time. But, I admit, when others talk about outings and events with their girlfriends I get sad, lonely, jealous. I'd love to be lumped into that "girlfriend" circle...but I'm not the one they call. So until I can figure that part out...my posse includes me, myself, and I...and a crew of dudes.