“Seeking Franship with Girls!”

No one would peg me as a socially awkward person. I wouldn’t have either except for this new problem that has cropped up.

I don’t have a female BFF*.

http://bestclipartblog.com/17-girls-clip-art.html/girls-clip-art-7

I could count on one hand the number of female friends I have. I am fond of them and they of me, but our relationship doesn’t go beyond calling up once every few months or chatting occasionally on Facebook.

When I look back on my school days, I realize that I had a different female best friend every year because somehow, ever year, I would be shuffled from one section to another. In college, I did make a couple of good friends and we are still in touch. But as I said, our relationship doesn’t go beyond catching up or hanging out once in a while.

This has never bothered me until recently.

In the last 2 weeks, I have read 4 women-centric books (umm, yes: I do read 2-3 books a week) and all the protagonists had at least one female BFF. A soul sister.  And when I browse Facebook, I see many of my friends and juniors hanging out with their girl friends, apparently having a great time.

And I am suddenly a little wistful.

I wish I had a girl friend I was closer to. Someone with whom I can hang out every now and then without being bored. Someone with whom I can go shopping or to the salon and who can tell me when I am wearing the wrong things or making a perfect fool of myself. Someone to whom I can crib about life and about SR (right now, I crib about SR to SR, and he listens to it sportingly; but a change would be nice!)

How do you go about making a new girl friend when you are in your mid-twenties, married and working? Most people already have their friends in place by this time.

Say you know a couple of girls – online friends, old school and college mates or colleagues – who you like and want to know more about: how the hell are you supposed to ‘express interest” and take the relationship “to the next level”? (Yikes, how tacky that sounds!)

Do you just ping someone out of the blue and ask if they’d like to meet for coffee. Suppose they don’t want to, it might be rather embarrassing; And suppose you do meet up, but the situation becomes rather awkward, wouldn’t that be worse?

The more I think about this, the surer I am that this is more complicated than dating.

So I toy with the idea of going on a women-only trip or a girls’ night out – so many of these happen in Bangalore. Then again, these are temporary, fun things, and that is really not what I am looking for.

For an absurd instant, I wonder how people will react if I put up a post on Put Me in Touch or one of those FB groups “Seeking franship with women.”

😀

Here’s my conclusion: in this day and age, you have plenty of dating options and avenues whatever age you are. But if you are in your twenties and are trying to make new friends – especially of the same sex – well, good luck!

(a) The likelihood of actually making a new friend at this stage in life is bleak, and (b) anything you do would make you come across as rather pathetic if not downright weird.

😦

A question to my readers: Have any of you been in a similar rut? Did you get out of it?

I’d love to know!

*BFF = Best Friend Forever

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Dying Embers

Last week, one of my school friends asked if I wanted to join him and a few other old friends for lunch today. I was thrilled –it would be the first time in years that I would be meeting some of them. I told Sreeram that I was going and he was disappointed because we had previously made movie plans.

I told him that I did not want him to drop me off or pick me up or come in to say hi to my friends. I told him that it would be just like the old times when I was the tomboy and the butt of many jokes and that he would feel out of place. I told him that it would feel the same as it had during my school days, before I grew up, before I got married. It would make me feel absurdly young again, I told him. Shaking his head, he replied, “It will never be the same again…” I was justifiably mad at him and was sure in my heart that everything would be the same.

The friend who had invited me added the 5 of us to a group chat on FB to discuss the outing. He suggested plans and times and places. I replied enthusiastically. No one else did, though. A few did not bother to participate in the discussion. One was flippant. Another was obviously uninterested. One showed some inclination to join in but said that he had made plans to watch the German GP and couldn’t stay long. Until yesterday night, no definite plans were made. The so-called conversation petered down into nothing.

I did not tell Sreeram anything. I didn’t have to. It was of course too late by then to renew our movie plans. So we went for our customary Sunday morning walk. He cooked lunch while I browsed FB.

A girl who I had been to college with pinged me on FB chat. I had never spoken to her in 4 years of college life and another 3 years have gone by after our graduation. But I desperately wanted to feel connected to someone from my past. So I replied to her ‘Hi’. I asked her where she was and she told me. She was working for a famous MNC and I said that was awesome. Then she said, “KK, Bye” and signed out.

In retrospect, I think she may have mistaken me for another classmate who bore my name but was much friendlier and had signed out when she realized the mistake.

I think I had a few last vestiges of …. left (Hope? Longing? Faith?). I pinged an old college friend. We exchanged perfunctory pleasantries. There was silence for more than a few minutes. I wracked my brains for something to say. I asked him if he had seen The Dark Knight Rising. He said he didn’t have any company to go and watch movies with. I asked him if he had considered transferring back to his old location. He said that he had no good friends there either. Again, silence. I thought a forthright statement might help. I told him,

“Wow, we even seem to have run out of small talk.”

He was quick to laugh and deny it. He asked me how I was. I told him that he had already asked me twice and that I had told him I was doing very well. He then very kindly asked after my husband. I told him Sreeram was well too.

Then I signed out.

I don’t have much breath, I think, to try and coax these dying embers to come to life. And no more inclination left either.

Let me try and salvage what is left of this Sunday.