Now that I work from home, I rarely use my lunch break. My midday meal typically consists of something quick and easy I can eat at my desk while I work on a project or participate in a conference call.
Today, I decided to actually use my lunch break and go out for a bite with a friend.
Yes…I have a real friend in Smalltown. A handful of them, actually.
I say “real” friend, because when I stood up from the table to walk to the car, she was honest enough to let me know my jeans were unzipped.
When I responded with “Oh…I actually ripped the zipper out when I was putting them on this morning, but decided to just wear them anyway!” she didn’t even flinch. That? That is a real friend, you guys.
And don’t worry — I’m not totally delusional. I wore a tank top that was long enough to cover the broken zipper on my jeans so that when it came to my shameful little secret, no one would be the wiser. This would have worked flawlessly had I not hiked my top up during lunch so that I could remove the FitBit calorie counting device I had clipped to my underwear and show it to her.
What? People remove stuff from their underwear and pass it around the table all the time on lunch dates…right you guys?
(Told you she was a real friend.)
I’ve posted a couple of time about how moving to Minnesota and working from home made it kind of tough to meet new gal pals. I was convinced strategies such as wearing makeup to the gym, or flashing my handbag to a table of strangers at a restaurant would be the key to finding my new girl posse.
As usual, I thought wrong.
Want to know what actually does work?
Telling people you don’t have any friends.
It sounds silly, but it’s pretty much how I’ve met all my girlfriends here in Smalltown. As it turns out, I wasn’t alone in my struggle to expand my circle of amigos.
After a few months with zero socialization, I grew tired of spending Friday nights on the couch watching Lifetime Original Movies, and decided to go public with my zero friends situation. Most of my advertising occurred at the gym where I teach group exercise. While conversing with the participants, I would casually mention that I had recently relocated from Seattle.
Their first question was always why in the world I would leave Seattle to come to Smalltown.
Their second question would usually be how I was liking it so far.
I’d simply explain that I really loved it here, but was finding it difficult to meet new people, as I work from home and don’t have many opportunities to interact with women my age. Low and behond, many of them were experiencing the exact same dilemma.
On the other hand, some of these people already had great circles of friends, but decided they had room for one more.
Eventually, I went out on my first girl date. I made new friends, who introduced me to their friends, who then introduced me to their friends.
It seems so simple, but it’s truly worked for me. People aren’t going to give you something unless you ask for it — including friendship. Now that I’m out of college, working from home, and no longer spending the majority of my time in an office where I’m surrounded by peers, making new friends feels a lot like dating. You have to put yourself out there and just ask. Sure, it may be awkward. You might get rejected, and you may even freak a few people out. But eventually, I promise you’ll find someone who wants to be your friend, too.
Remember when I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago? This friend was right there with me. She later confessed that when I bit the dust, she was less worried about me injuring myself, and more worried that I would scratch my beloved Louis Vuitton on the parking lot pavement.
Seriously…If she’s not meant to be my friend, then I don’t know who is.