"Fill out the introduction forms and we will then vote to decide if we want you to join our group. Remember, the more you tell us about yourself, the better we will be able to judge you. Don't forget to add a picture! Whether we accept you into our group or not, we'll send you an email letting you know our final decision."
My husband and I recently moved to a small town in South Jersey to be closer to his place of employment. While I love our new house and the town itself, I am beating my head against a wall daily to find a variety of activities to entertain and occupy my almost 15 month old toddler. Most of our days are spent doing things around the house and taking walks through town but I feel we both need a little more stimulation. I need the conversation only humans with a working vocabulary consisting of more than 13 words can provide, and she needs other children to play with.
It is this desperation that brings me to the website I am currently browsing, Meetup.com. Apparently it is a directory of various "mommy & me" groups for any given zip code. Each group seems to come with a different theme or objective. There are the Attachment Parenting followers (I suppose I am one to a certain extent,) "Plus Size Moms and Loving IT!" (I'm not quite there...yet,) Baby has Two Mommies (my poor kid will have enough issues from this mommy, two would certainly traumatize her for life.) The group I am currently "applying" to is titled "Modern Moms." I glean from the given description that they are a mixed group of both working and SAH moms, mostly in their late 20's and early 30's, and have kid-free meet ups once every other month that involve adult beverages. Ding ding ding!
It is only when I realize that I have to somehow impress this group of women via an online application that my stomach turns and suddenly my mouth goes dry. I feel like I am in high school all over again, attempting to get in good with the popular girls. I am a broken legged lamb throwing myself into the lion's den. What the hell do I write about myself to sway a group of strangers' opinion of me? I was never good at this kind of thing. I was never popular or involved in clubs and I never attended social functions. I was the miserable weirdo who shaved her head and listened to angry punk rock. The few friends I did have were just as miserable as I was and I certainly never had to convince them to accept me. I never had many female friends. I was not a "girl's girl." I also was very prone to disconnecting myself from people and walking away without a moment's hesitation. This is not a quality I pride myself in having. I have come to realize in the past year or so that I DO need friends and my daughter needs a positive role model in which she can learn about happy and healthy relationships from. I am trying to set aside my social anxieties which seem to have only been magnified the older I get as my self confidence takes a nose dive. I have made attempts recently to bring Faith to little mommy and me groups. I took her to a toddler time group at the library nextdoor to our new home here in Swedesboro. I smiled at the other moms, I interacted with their children, I even tried to make conversation with one of them who was also sitting by herself. She looked at me like I was insane and all but ran out of the building when the class was over.
I type and delete, type and delete. I give up and exit out of the screen. Maybe I still am just the weird girl with the shaved head.