Squeeze Machine

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’d really like to make some more friends, I really would. It would be the cat’s ass to have some friends in my area. But, I just can’t. I shut down around people. The only friends that I have live so far away and I talk to them so very little that it’s like I have no friends at all at times. Except when I have I really bad day, I call my best friend and it’s like she sitting right beside me, grasping my hand. I was at a BMX race this weekend, watching my oldest chipmunk “Simon” do his very first race. He’s only six and still needs a bit of help at the gate, so Hubby is the Designated Gatekeeper. Last time we went to the track for Simon’s practice, the other chipmunks and I stayed close to the gate during the whole six-hour event. Needless to say, the set up with my four- and two year-old didn’t work so well. They kept climbing the wall next to the gate and throwing rocks in the tracks. So this time, I did things differently. I found some shade (because it was an extra warm day and my kids are porcelain-skinned and as SuperMommy, I forgot to bring sunscreen) and set up camp near two trees that I though the kids could play in. I loaded them up with Gatorade and oranges (which they had to peel themselves so it really kept them busy) and everything was fine. The BMX racing is a great community of people, mostly around my age, with supportive moms and dads. The dads are usually at the gate or near it and the moms find a spot where they can socialize while watching the races. Well, we were early to the track to sign Simon up and to get in some practice so by the time the races started, I was surrounded by mothers. Mothers with young children, like me. But guess what I didn’t do? Talk to them. The most I did was smile and nod when one woman attempted conversation with me by complementing the big, beautiful eyes that my “Theodore” has. After that…nothing. Nada. No conversation what-so-ever. Later, a heavy-set woman, scolding her son and eating Cheerios with a spoon, offered up conversation about the weather. I stared at her blankly. Yes, really. She turned and walked away. I don’t know what it is about conversing with people so much that gives me the willies, but at the time they are talking to me, I want to throw up on their shoes. Or hide in a box. Or design a squeeze machine like Temple Grandin that travels with me everywhere. I want to do anything – at all – besides talk to this person. But after they are gone, when I can no longer see them and feel pressured by them, I kick myself internally. They could have been a friend. You know, someone to hang out with on the weekend and let our kids play together? The friends I have now have forced their way into my lives. They’ve called me. Shown up at my house. Insisted we go to the movies. Once I get comfortable with them, I’m fine. Clingy, even. But it’s just taking that first step that’s so hard. Much like anything else.

Kelly

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