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MWF Seeks BFF. Seriously.

December 28, 2012

I’ve written before about how I yearn to make friends. I’ve been told I’d make those kinds of friends in my PhD program. And, though the people in my program are clearly amazing, they’re more like work-friends than kindred spirits. I have a few dear friends from my MA program, and I cherish time spent with them… but I need local people. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m ready to lay down some roots and finally feel like I belong here.

I’m almost finished with the book MWF Seeks BFF and it’s inspired me to be a bit more assertive in reaching out to established friends, sorta friends, and strangers with the potential to be friends. A coffee date yesterday (or, as we call it, “tea and crumpets”–even if we’re really drinking coffee and eating pie, and oh my god, the pie!) with a friend I don’t see much also made me realize how good it feels to have a close-by support system that exists beyond my husband. After a few botched attempts (and, likely half-assed attempts) to make new connections, I think I’m truly ready to pursue local buds.

Women of Chicago (or, better yet, Women of Oak Park!), I’m coming after you. This isn’t “call me, maybe,” this is “call me, absolutely, immediately.” We’re going out for drinks and it’s going to be awkward and I’m going to say things I’ll surely be embarrassed about later (this happens regularly when I drink), but I’m going to make you my friend goddammit. And if you’re a fun lady in Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, or Forest Park, what are you waiting for? Let’s get apps and ‘serts.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2012 9:11 am

    I am horrible at initiating and maintaining local friendships. I don’t know why, but I tend to go into hermit mode a lot. I like being alone and feel like I have to mentally prepare myself to be social. That’s something I’d like to change. Let’s be friends 🙂

  2. December 28, 2012 9:12 am

    Aaand yet again I’m sad I don’t live in Chicago, because we would TOTALLY be awkward/awesome friends. Sigh…maybe someday!

  3. December 28, 2012 12:08 pm

    My cousin lives in Chicago & is married to an awesome guy. She’s @verveychichi on Twitter, if you want to try to start up a friendship? She’s liberal & brilliant & snarky, & I don’t know her that well, honestly, but I WANT to, so maybe you could befriend her & I can live vicariously through your friendship. Ha.

    But really. ME, TOO. I’m going to check this book out. Do you think it will still be applicable to me if I’m not married? I still ONLY know Nathan in New Jersey, so it’s… sort of like being married. And also like being a hermit.

    Good luck!

  4. December 28, 2012 12:29 pm

    I have the perfect person for you to be friends with!! Check out her blog.

    I used to work with her in Chicago and she lives in Oak Park with her husband and dog. You guys would hit if off. I’m sure of it.

  5. December 28, 2012 4:10 pm

    I am the same way with friendships. We’ve been in Mississippi for almost 2 years now and have made no “real” friends locally…at least not friendships like we had back home in WI. If life decides to finally throw me a bone and I get into the PhD program at UofC next year, I’ll definitely drop you a line if we move to Chicago!

  6. Jes permalink
    December 28, 2012 5:47 pm

    I just want to put out a PSA to the Women of Chicago and Oak Park that you’re even greater IRL and that I’m only the most jealous of them that they’re near you.

    Love, Dear Friend from M.A. program who now lives 250 miles away

  7. December 29, 2012 4:14 pm

    I hear ya! And we WILL get together… as soon as I get over this sickness that currently has me bedridden, voiceless, and feeling like death. Ick.

    I’m really sad that the Oak Park Young Women’s Social meetup group isn’t as active as it used to be, because that had been a great resource for me to meet local ladies last year. My friend Jamie (who had been leading the group) has kind of refocused her priorities and stepped back from the group, and the other meetup organizers haven’t pitched in to help out. I’ve considered organizing a book club and some craft nights through the group; I might have to make that happen in 2013!

  8. December 30, 2012 2:31 am

    It’s definitely hard. I remember emailing you about this before. Matt and I wish we had more couple friends too. We joke about going to the library to scope out new friends. “Hey, what you reading there? The Flagstaff Sun? We read that too! Wanna hang out?”

  9. January 2, 2013 3:36 pm

    On New Year’s early morning, my sister and I were sitting in our kitchen, drinking hot chocolate and talking about how we definitely needed friends in 2013. So, yes, I understand completely and now only have to be sad that I do not live in Chicago.

    Happy hunting. 😉

  10. January 4, 2013 5:11 pm

    I’m so crap when it comes to making friends and I’m having the same basic feeling now. The friends I made in grad school were all so amazing and it was probably the first time in my life that I felt this intimate sort of belonging, the feeling that I had “found my tribe,” as it were. I love my best friend and her friends are lovely and all, but they are all so incredibly different from me and I don’t even know where to begin finding my “people” around here. But I absolutely need to start being more proactive about it.

  11. January 7, 2013 6:44 am

    I need to get better about this pronto.

    And this post makes me miss you and wish I lived around Chicago. I wish we could hang out!

  12. wonderlandkat permalink
    January 21, 2013 2:54 pm

    I’d love to hang out with another academicy in person!

    I had a really hard time with that book. I know that she was missing having a besty-best friend in the city but she had SO many friends and got to talk to and see her besties in NY all the time. Coming from a position where everyone I know who moved to Chicago from somewhere else (including myself) can barely keep together any friendships, it was super frustrating, especially since most of her methods wouldn’t work unless you had a pretty active social life.

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