Guess what! Guess what! (Drum roll please)
I have made a new friend.
Annnnnd, this time she's not even imaginary!
I suspect that you social butterflies are out there reading this and going, "That's it? That's the big news?" because we all know that you make a new friend approximately every 3.2 seconds, but for me, a social midget who gets hives at the thought of talking to (gasp!) a stranger, this is a MAJOR accomplishment for me.
Of course, to be honest, she is the one who approached me, right there in the middle of our free weights class, when she leaned over to ask me if the woman on my other side had ever tried to correct my form while lifting. (She hadn't, for the record, but I'm assuming this is because I have beautiful form and she could only stand in complete awe of my bicep curl prowess). But the ice was broken, and words had actually been exchanged, and for my part I did remember to smile and make eye-contact and even remember her name the next time she came to class.
And so it goes.
Now, this in and of itself probably isn't that impressive, but after months and months of casually exchanging small talk and complaints about how sore our abs were, I finally got up the nerve to suggest that maybe, you know, if she wanted, we could, I don't know, possibly, totally up to her, sometime maybe do lunch or something after class? (And then I held my breath and developed a brand new appreciation for guys, because ya'll, I have never ever before realized exactly how hard it is to put yourself out there and ask someone on a date, even if it is just a friend date). But she was like, "Oh! I'm so glad you asked! Because I was going to ask you on Monday but then I was like, 'what if she just thinks of me only as a gym buddy?'" and I laughed because I had had the EXACT same thought not two seconds before.
But we went to lunch, and then the next week we had a follow-up outing to the zoo (she has a one year old and I always like the zoo, hence that decision), and I think it's safe to say that she has moved into the tentative realm of new friend. Of course, she's still new enough that we're just beginning to let our guards down, but I don't have that urge to flee! flee! that I do sometimes with other new acquaintances that try to be friends with me. (Plus, she totally cracks me up with the stuff that comes out of her mouth sometimes. If I don't say 99% of the stuff that I'm thinking, she says 110% of hers, and it never ceases to amaze me the kinds of things that she blurts out. Of course, I'm usually totally thinking what she's thinking anyway, but she just comes out and says it, which then means that we can talk about it).
And at the risk of sounding clingy (and maybe a little bit obsessed), I can't tell you how happy I am that I have found a friend. Because I am one of those people who only has a few "real" friends, and by some cruel twist of fate, none of them live locally anymore. Which turns out to be pretty lonely sometimes, especially during times when there's a new gallery open at the art museum, or a romantic comedy showing, and Tony just gives me this look like I must be out of my mind if I think that he's going to go willingly to that stuff. So the new local friend is important. And while we're not yet to the she'll help me bury the bodies kind of friendship, this one is at least close enough where I feel comfortable going, "Hey, you want to check out that new taco place?" and feel pretty confident that she'll go, "Sure!"
And that's nice. That's very very nice.