Thursday, August 17, 2006

making friends the easy way

"Mommy, can we make some friends?" asks my precocious almost 5 year old.

I am momentarily at a loss for words; in my adult view, the current situation passing for life could definitely withstand the addition of friends. Could she mean, let's go, get out of the house and make a concentrated effort at finding people with whom to converse? Or is she asking to play a game that requires us to build the friends, the way we feed, water, and groom Trigger-Blue, her "horse"?

"Sure, okay. How do you propose we make friends?"

"Um, I tink it's like making a piñata."

"Oh! Phew. Yeah, okay. We can make a pinata friend."

In my heart, I would still like to make a real friend too. This is, perhaps, the hardest part of assimilating to a foreign culture. I lack the necessary linguistic skills required for holding conversations and languid afternoons drinking coffee, watching our kids play on the playground. It makes me cry. Occasionally. Well, randomly. There's no real pattern to my breakdowns, it's not like I am a mopey person. I do 2 moods: happy and happier; so for me to feel this way makes it worse because I do not feel this way 99% of the time.

Which probably freaks my husband out; imagine you married the freaking happiest person in the world and she randomly, with no notice, becomes so overwhelmed by life that she becomes hysterical. But first, to pass off the admittance that life might make her unhappy from time to time, she starts an argument. She crys. Maybe for an hour. The argument is resolved and the unhappiness in uncovered, dusted off, and put back on the shelf. She then goes straight back to severely happy. Rinse, lather, repeat (every 6 months or so).

I know I sound a bit of a basket case but I am generally an overly positive person. Short tangent straight ahead. When I was working as a restaurant manager, the customers who liked to complain would become upset at my glass is half full, sure-the-waiter-dropped-the- icewater-in-your-pants-but-it's-95-fricking-degrees-outside-and-really-
you'll-see-this- differently-when-you're-outside, resolution with a smile, tactic. It works. It's clinically proven. It is almost impossible to be angry when the other person is beaming a smile up your nose to try and improve social weather conditions.

Where was I?

Oh, right. Friends-none, blah-cry, all better. Heh, heh. Amazingly, my house is the cleanest immediately following an episode. As the tempest builds strength, I start to clean things, vigorously. This is my coping mechanism. I am not a tell everybody how you feel in some football play-by-play manner. That's not my style. I wish it were, I try. Ultimately, I am a get mad at you so you'll drag the shit that's bothering me out, type of lady! And so, I clean mid-argument; the stress and tension along with the grime is vanquished. Clean house, clean soul, ahhh.

1 comment:

Food Mum said...

ooof that must be the hardest bit of living abroad with a child, not having that bonus of life with kids, of chat and gossip at the school gate or toddler group or whatever, that keeps you sane. I don't blame you for the occasional blub, but I'm sure it will get better. Plus there is a world of friends out here in blogdom!