Why You Should Never Let a Friend Stay With You

As many of you know, I’m leaving the beautiful state of Rhode Island.  Actually, I’ve already left.  Maybe it’s for good, maybe not.  I only know that four years ago, I never would have guessed I’d even visit Little Rhody, much less live there.  But, my friend and former News Director in Cleveland asked me to come…and so I did.  As with almost any new project I take on, or job I start, I was looking forward to all the possibilities… the new station, the new people, the rich Providence history, the ocean.  It would be a lie though if I didn’t tell you that it was also with a bit of trepidation. What if I didn’t make new friends?  What if the people were snotty? I have moved SO. MANY. TIMES. Every time I say the same thing to my husband.  I’ll never make friends like my old friends. And I don’t.  I make different friends.

You know how they say your heart just opens up to allow yourself to love ALL your children as much as you loved the first?  THAT’S how I feel about my friends, but I digress.  I lived in Rhode Island for a solid year…a very lonely year before it happened.  My husband worked out of state and I felt isolated.  Admittedly, I worked a tough schedule to go out and socialize (anchoring evenings), and I’m not really a bar girl, but I finally decided to pull on my big girl panties and stop feeling sorry for myself and go out and make some darn friends.  It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen and these women are amazing.

Heart Ball at Newport Mansions

Leaving for the Heart Ball

Newport Mansions

How could you not feel like a princess here?

My last week in Rhode Island has been one of my best yet.  Maybe it had something to do with my last minute invite to the exclusive  Heart Ball set at one of the majestic Newport mansions.  I should note, when I told my pals I couldn’t possibly go because all my formal attire was packed up, they said they’d find something for me to wear.  And they did.

Great gift baskets

Or maybe it was the fabulous luncheon the aMomKnowsBest contributors held for me the day before, where they put together a much appreciated gift basket for my big road trip.  Notice the gas gift card, wine, and scented lotion.  Let’s face it, when you are piling in the car with your husband, dog, and toddler, for a road trip that includes logging thousands of miles– with no real destination in sight–  gas money, wine, and smelling good are all necessities.  Did I mention how I have the best contributors and friends EVER?  While I didn’t get to connect with everyone in my final week in RI, I did get to spend some quality time with a few close friends.

girls having fun

Now, when I say I got to spend quality time with my friends…I really mean quality time. We had to be out of our house last week, so my friend Elizabeth invited us to stay with her family.  For those of you keeping track, that’s four adults, five kids and two dogs in ONE house.

I cannot explain how grateful I am to Elizabeth’s family and how much we enjoyed our time there. She may never invite us back (watch this short clip to see why) but knowing the kind of friend Elizabeth is, I think she will.

 

 

How Social Media Makes Saying Goodbye a Little Easier

As I’ve moved around quite a bit in the past few years, moving from Virginia to Oklahoma to California to Illinois to finally Rhode Island, I’ve had to say goodbye many times to good friends.  Unfortunately, it never seems to get any easier.  This time I happen not to be the one moving, but our good friend and owner of amomknowsbest.com, Allison Alexander, is the one moving.  It’s very sad to see a friend moving away, but at least as technology has progressed over the past few years it is easier to keep in touch.  I would always say, “Let’s keep in touch!  We’ll write each other and call,” but everyone knows that is easier said than done (unfortunately).  Moms are busy, both working and raising kids, and day to day life in the new place becomes all consuming.  You make new friends, you move on, but you do always hold in your heart the friends you had in other places.  Now technology is giving us the chance to keep up with friends easier!

(Part of the AMKB Contributor Crew with Allison, Owner of AMKB)

The greatest thing now is the expansion of social media.  I created a Facebook profile in 2006, and have connected with many friends and family through that outlet ever since.  It’s such an easy way to keep in touch and see what friends are doing.  I have been able to connect (and even reconnect) with friends from all the States I’ve lived in.  It makes it so you can actually say, “Let’s keep in touch!” and truly mean it.  Our group at amomknowsbest.com will use social media (Facebook and Twitter) and other technology available to keep in touch with Allison on a very frequent basis.  I’m sure we will be Skyping her in at meetings!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Friends I keep in touch with from Illinois through Facebook!)

Technology is always advancing and bringing us new great ways to communicate.  My parents, even in their 60’s and 70’s, are using tools to commute with us!  We just spoke to them from their Alaskan Cruise, via my father’s iPad 2 to my MacBook Pro, using Facetime (the Mac version of Skype).  It’s just really amazing how much technology has advanced even in the past 10 years.  One of our AMKB contributors, Joanna Stepka, was able to view her child’s crib on her phone from the restaurant we were eating (see her article).  Now that’s some great technology!   I guess we’ll see what they think of next!

(Skyping with my kids while my parents were babysitting them)

 

Allison Alexander, we will miss you here in Rhode Island, but we know you will be just a mouse-click or Skype call away!

*  How do you use technology to keep in touch with friends?

 

 

Kristin Wheeler

The Pick Up Artist: A girl looking for girlfriends

Photo by Bob Packert

I rushed into my husbands’ arms when he came home from work, planted a kiss, and announced,  “Honey! I picked up a woman at the zoo today!”  Now, I know what you are thinking, but please don’t judge me, it was a moment of desperation.  You see, we had moved to a new state a couple of months before, neither of us knowing a soul.  We enjoyed exploring on the weekends together, but during the week, while he went to work, and engaged with other adults, I was keeping company with our 4 year old, 2 year old and 3 month old.  The most sophisticated conversations I had in a typical day contained words like boo boo and sippy cup.  As you might imagine by the time my husband walked through that door in the evening, I tackled him with pent up conversation, plans to go out, or threw the screaming, kids at him, and hid.  I knew that these were not the greatest receptions from long days of work.  I also knew what I needed.  Girlfriends.

It had been much easier to make friends in school, at work, or in playgroup, but as an adult with none of the outlets listed available, I found myself at a loss.  That day I had been at the Zoo with aforementioned children, and noticed a woman at the Terrapin tank.  She was pretty, and fashionably dressed, but what attracted me to her, were the two children by her side.  They looked to be similar ages to my two oldest, so I made my move.  I walked away from my children, and sidled up the Terrapin tank (not unlike a bar, sans hair flip), then called them over.   “Look, it’s a Diamondback turtle!” I exclaimed, sounding a bit too loud and excited, but sure enough, my children rushed over, and the other kids looked up at me.  Their mother now noticed me too.  I took my opportunity, and struck up conversation.  It turned out we only lived a few streets apart, and as our kids began to chatter about the turtles, we exchanged numbers to set up a play date. I was elated! I had a friend!

Years later, I have friends here whom I cherish, and feel like I’ve always known, but I think back to how I got to this point, and remember that void . The process seemed not terribly unlike dating, Searching out another soul looking to connect.  Wanting, no, hoping, to be attractive, and interesting enough for them to want to see you again. There have been good play dates and bad.  Women along the way who were charming, but turned out to be just like those charismatic bad boys who had once seemed so alluring.  Hurtful, and untrue. There were women who I met already with a close-knit group, not looking to add friends to their lives. There were also pleasant surprises, finding the most genuine, funny and caring friend I could wish for in someone who had flown under my radar.    I joined all the playgroups, book clubs, and parent teacher groups I could, and through it all friends with common interests filtered through and filled my life in a way that only good girlfriends can.    Now if my husband is pounced on when he gets home from a long day at work, it is more likely a joyous child, than a disgruntled wife.  A more welcome reception indeed .

 

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