Thursday, May 14, 2009

That's too much info for a first date!


We were recently the hosts of an all adult dinner party at our home, a proud accomplishment with four little ones.  It was enchanting for me as I watched my husband truly delight in our guests' company (as did I of course).  You know who you are and since you read my blog and you know I'm going to mention this, you shall remain nameless!

One of our dear friends related an experience she had while attending an event where she knew no one well.  She felt uncomfortable at the level of intimate conversation going on, not necessarily because these ladies were being so rude, but perhaps (in my opinion) because they were not considering her feelings or thoughts being someone who was new to this particular situation and could in no way keep up with the inside jokes, the casual sarcasm, or the flagrant disregard for anything private (it seemed).  Now I'm not lecturing these ladies by any means, there is nothing like a great group of girlfriends, however, when one is invited to be part of that for a time, that group needs to be sensitive to that one new person's needs, instead of just thinking of their own needs as a group.  Someone should to stand up for the little person, the new girl, and it's you...the one reading my blog.

Here are a couple of things to think about:

  • When in mixed (newer) company, there are topics to avoid:  Sex and bodily functions, other people, intense politics, religious differences, and child rearing techniques.  You could also add to that list-insistent opinions stated as facts about any topic.  I will never forget sticking my whole leg (if you will) in my mouth once when I didn't know a family well at all, and talking about how I thought an establishment could do a little better in this area or that, and it turned out they owned it, nice Janine, nice.  I learned my lesson-listen far more than you speak, ask questions about the new person; find out what they're interested in, who they are, where they're from.  Most likely you'll find you will have things in common.  If not, at least you made an earnest effort and tried your best.  If you truly lack for conversation, try The Box Girls they specialize in conversation boxes for different events in your lives, what a fabulous idea!
  • Think of others, not only of yourself.  At times I find that I will talk about my life or doings (when asked) in order to avoid making others feel as though they have to open up, break the ice, someone has to do it!  This is an art; one I have not perfected.  You have to gauge who that person is, how much they like to converse, how comfortable they are talking on "the first date" and subsequent dates, and read their body language and facial expressions.  We went out with friends recently who wanted to know all about a particular topic; they were fascinated by it.  I happily delved into this particular topic, but that's where I tried to monitor (maybe not successfully) talking too much and getting too passionate about my subject versus satisfying them in their curiosity.  We're going out again soon, so I guess they've given me another chance to work on that "art".
  • There's always a way out; in this I firmly believe.  You are never stuck and here are some tips that I shared with my dear friend- some light and comedic, some matter-of-fact, and some- to the point:  "That's way too much information for a first date", "Wow, is it that late?  it's past my bedtime!", "That image is going to be in my head all next week, I'm not sure how I feel about that" (all using comedy to lighten the situation but hopefully get your point across-especially when sex is brought up inappropriately).  Here is another post I did on gossip that gives some great tips on how to handle a crowd when gossip arises. "I have a date with a bubble bath and have to go, thank you for inviting me", "It's been such a long day ('already'-if during the day) I am going to go home and take a breather, thank you", "Sorry to jet out of here so early, but I have a million things to do (who doesn't), thanks for the invite", "You ladies were so kind to include me, it's so nice to see close friends all together.  I have to get going I have_______ to do, thank you" Here I've given you several one liners that tactfully get you out of a situation and allow you to leave.  Make sure you convey your thanks, no matter how saucy the gathering got, to the hostess, not forgetting your manners.
We just have to remember that relationships with women are some of the most enriching (or can be) experiences that we will have in this life, as they were meant to be.  They are not to replace our spousal relationships, or our relationships with our children (should that be your stage or choice of life), but there is nothing like a good group of girlfriends.  For me, most of my girlfriends are scattered all over the place, a sprinkling, if you will.  I adore that.  I have all kinds of close, adorable, sophisticated, loving, kind, women in my life who enrich me and lift me up.  They make me a better person and that's the whole point.  I like acquaintances, but I've learned the difference between a true friend, a passing friend, and an acquaintance, all of whom are valid and okay, just different.  I remember an email coming around saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, and do you know what makes me most grateful?  That most of my girlfriends are there for a lifetime.  I love you all, you know who you are; thank you for enriching my life and making me a better person.  

That's what women are meant to do in your life, so if that's not what's happening, change it up, think about what you're attracting to yourself, and fix it, if needs be.  Make friendships a priority, it's a sad thing indeed when people don't have that in their lives.

Love to all, I'm heading out of town so have a glorious spring weekend!

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Loooove it! Thank you! Friendships are great! I totally agree with you! Thanks for keeping in touch! : )

 
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