If the worst conditions under which to make new friends were ranked, I’m confident that being childless in your 30s and being a transplant to Michigan would battle for the top slot.
I moved to Michigan two years ago for a boy and a job and was struck immediately by the fact that it felt like everyone in Michigan was from Michigan. Thank goodness this was actually proven true with data which, incidentally, is often my hope but rarely the case. The problem with this is that no one here needs to make new friends — if you are still living near your elementary school friends, high school friends & college friends, you don’t need to make new grown up friends. That said, I really have tried!
Here’s an exciting list of things I’ve done to try to make friends:
- CrossFit — I thought I’d get in shape & make friends simultaneously so I emailed for more information and never heard back. It’s unclear if they were disorganized or if they found out that I never passed a Presidential Physical Fitness Test in my entire life. I actually couldn’t even reach 0 on the “V Sit & Reach.” I like to think of it as the way that my mental inflexibility manifests itself physically.
- Pure Barre — I heard this was “cultish” which seemed like a decent possibility but after 14 classes, I had a 24 year old former MSU Dance Team Captain tell me it was nice I kept trying. #notsomuch
- Junior League — yeah, this was a swing and a miss. Signed up for more information and learned the first meeting involved a “crazy hat contest” and a scavenger hunt. Neither activity seemed ironic.
- Host work friends over for dinner — had a 33% success rate with this and found out another 33% deemed me “not cool enough for weekend activities.”
- Yell at my husband for not having more friends of his own — I felt better after this but didn’t actually make any friends.
- Wine tastings — met a lovely 72 year old recent widower who told me about a restaurant that’s now my favorite, but I am, again, in need of more friends and probably fewer carbs.
- Cooking classes — went solo and ended up having some aggressive housewives take all the good macarons and talk about a trip to France while mispronouncing words.
- Volunteering — just kidding, never did this. Until there are volunteer opportunities for people to make sarcastic asides, I’d rather be lonely.
What’s worse, I’d really like to cut some existing friends loose since I’m trying to reduce the crazy and drama in my life, but if I don’t have a healthy farm system, I feel like that’s not the wisest move. [If you’re reading this, it’s definitely not you].
In the meantime, I’ll be grateful for the wonderful friends I do have (albeit spread across the country) and try to be better about staying in touch with them.