Sometimes, I really misjudge a social situation. Like today, at a neighbor child's birthday party. Amid Barbie cakes and cheap decor, I decided to make friends. I took a deep breath and avoided the mom who bore a striking resemblance to a stripper I knew in Houston. And stayed away from the mother of one of Nicholas' friends, who is such a 'low talker' all I can do is smile-and nod-and-hope she isn't uttering something of great importance regarding national security or the secret to potty training. I finally found my quarry. My backyard neighbor. I had wanted to befriend her for months; so, I jumped right in. There had never been a better moment to make a new friend. I settled right next to her on the couch, leaned in and told her what I'd been wanting to share for months...how delighted I am she doesn't close her blinds. "Because my husband is usually gone,"I explained, "And I don't feel so alone when I see you puttering about at night." Now, I meant this as a bonding moment, I feel like I know her quite well, having seen her wash dishes every night for the past year; even though we've only met face to face once. "I feel like I REALLY know you," I told her conspiratorially. I thought with such an astute observation and soul searing honesty, she would feel mutually comfortable with me. We'd be instant friends. Maybe we'd devise hand signals to keep each other informed of our evenings; a non-verbal give and take of high-fives and secret sign language, while doing our evening domestic rituals. We could wave back and forth and occasionally hold our wine glasses up in the air as a salute of sorts, so neither of us ever had to drink alone (not that I'm judging her.) After sharing my confidences, I waited expectantly for her outpouring of emotion. She muttered something under her breath that ended in, "....so sweet."
I'm not sure if I explained myself well enough, because tonight, for the first time, ever, she closed her blinds. Hmmmm. Even though I'm sad to be mopping the kitchen floor alone tonight, I am thankful I have learned not share everything upfront. This suburbia-friendship-thing is hard, but I'm catching on. Just imagine if I had told her I made up names for each of her family members and occasionally talk to them, too. That might seem creepy.