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Thursday, August 02, 2012

At least someone shook my hand last week.

In college, I often went to church alone. I had great roommates, whether or not they were active/LDS doesn't matter. But I got used to going by myself up the street to our meetinghouse (until I lived with Nikki, and then sometimes we drove her car into a snowbank on our way to church).

Attending church in a singles ward is kind of hilarious. It is common practice to have a ward directory that includes photos and phone numbers of all the members. Which translates into a free catalog of eligible singles in a neighborhood near you!

The thing about attending a singles ward though is that at least when you're there, you can flirt to make friends. I had a lot of casual friends in the various wards I attended before meeting Kev. So even though I often went to church alone, I had people to sit and talk with.

Now that I'm attending a family ward alone most weeks, I find it incredibly difficult to find someone to befriend. There was a nice woman who invited me to go camping at Pineview with the ward (oh, how I would cry driving back through Ogden Canyon) in August, but somehow I don't think I would survive that outing alone with my two-year-old who has never slept anywhere but in a cage made for humans. Maybe we will sleep in the Pink House and then drive up the next morning for the free breakfast...? We'll see.

Anyway. I thought about how easy it used to be to meet people at church when I could just flirt with boys to get their attention/friendship. While I'm relieved I no longer have to hunt the ward directory for my eternal companion (or stalk people in elevators at the Institute building (TRUE STORY FOR ANOTHER DAY)) I'm at a loss as to how I should strike up a conversation with people in my new ward.

My first impulse is to use Aspen's cuteness to lure other moms into my clutches. When they find themselves ensnared by her shining eyes and elfish voice, I'll pounce and ask them if they want to get the kids together at a mutual location so they can be sure I'm not a legit crazy person. So far, that hasn't worked.

Another option is to raise my hand and contribute to the lessons, which I have done. A lot. When there are only seven other people in the room, you feel just a little bit of pressure to help keep the discussion going. But I think all I succeeded in doing is letting people know I have somewhat non-traditional thoughts on the Gospel. Which doesn't always make people want to talk to you.

I signed up to bring a dessert to the Relief Society activity this week, and we'll see if that seals the deal. I'm sure everyone will love my dairy-free strawberry shortcake and want to be my best friend after one bite.

Right?

6 comments:

  1. I hate this part of moving. It's so awkward and you feel so desperate. I'm going through the same thing here in NC. Except I'm with a bunch of military wives and I feel so out of place because most their husbands are deployed and mine works at the commissary (grocery store) as a food inspector. So really I have no idea what they go through and I feel guilty for not having a deployed husband.(sounds crazy right) Having cute kids should help us but it doesn't. I heard once that to make a friend you should do something nice for someone. But that's even more awkward sometimes. In the meantime I'll stay desperate and friendless I guess.

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  2. Yeah moving into a new ward is hard for me too. It's hard to leave a ward where you have friends and feel like you fit in then go to a building full of complete strangers and start fresh again. I've noticed people tend to give you like a 1 month "buffer" before they start inviting you to things. I guess they think you're too busy unpacking and such? Does your new ward have a play group that meets? That would be an awesome way to meet some other moms (it sounds like the RS is super small- are all the moms in primary or something?) But seriously, after having done it a few times I'd say just jump right in. Those people are already in their comfort zones so they may not reach out much. You should just introduce yourself to everyone you can and the first mom you see that looks cool- snag her and ask if they have a play group, you're wanting to get out of the house and meet other moms in the ward. Maybe they don't but she'll get the hint and invite you over. :) Good luck girl. Just know, it's not you. You're awesome.

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  3. I know there are a number of women in the Primary, but the ward itself is very, very small. I'd say 100 people regularly show up for Sacrament. Including the kids.

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  4. I feel that way too! I still have yet to make a real "friend" in this ward, having a baby and being gone 6 weeks didn't help.

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  5. When you find out exactly how to strike up conversations and set up play dates; let me know. I have been in the ward for nearly eight years and I still don't have many friends. I think some people are a bit afraid of my situation or possibly affending me. It is very difficult to attend church alone with the children, but it is doable. Some days are better than others and it helps me that I still have Bodee in Relief Society to not feel so alone, but soon he will be off to nursery. I hope to be a bit more outgoing and make a new friend or two.

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  6. Hated our new ward and I finally feel like after two years I have friends now. Its, hard making new friends. I hope the relief society activity is fun and I'm sure your dessert will be a hit.

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