Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Isolation In The Suburbs

I thought moving to the suburbs would be filled with socializing, kids playing in the streets and backyards, and meeting all sorts of great people.

I imagined it would be the way it was during my childhood.

I'm not outrageously outgoing, but I don't have a problem starting small talk with a perfect stranger.

So, to that end, I have met people while living here for the past 5 years, but haven't connected with anyone to the point where I can consider calling them for a spontaneous gathering.

It seems that people are so absorbed with their children's extracurricular activities that they leave very little time to simply gather together over drinks and a simple dinner while the kids run around in their pajamas playing together. They book their time so that they're too exhausted to do anything else.

I feel lonely to tell you the truth.

It's especially difficult when living in a climate where going outside means dressing from head to toe and staying outside just long enough to avoid frostbite.

So going to the park is out. Anyplace indoors costs an arm and a leg and with 3 kids on differing schedules, it's virtually impossible doing anything during the week.

My kids have playdates with their friends (which is another issue....what happened to a kid spontaneously knocking on the door asking if anyone is available to play? It's all so planned anymore and don't tell me times are different nowadays. No one is more at risk for danger than they were when we were kids), but parents use it as time to get things done rather than gather and chat over coffee, cocktails, snacks, whatever!!

There are a lot of demands and obligations that having a family imposes, but there are times when a casual gathering isn't so out of order.

This isn't a criticsm, persay. Every family has their way of living their lives and doing what's best for them.

I guess I'd like to find friends who are laid back and not so planny planny.


  • Hell Shannon, I'm in the CITY, SINGLE without kids, in the prime of my life and even I can't find friends like that. They're all so planny-planny, and act like once you get married your life is over. Seriously in PJ's by 5pm. BLEH! I'm actually semi-jealous of my sister with kids b/c at least she has play groups and neighbors who come for a glass of wine or help watch the kids together.

    Late last night I joined a Meet-Up group in the area along with another club b/c I realized I only have one real friend in the area now who I ever get together with without planning weeks in advance@

    I need new cool friends here! At least kids can distract you from the fact that you have no life. :)

    By Blogger Amylia, at 2/12/2008 5:52 PM  

  • That sounded cruel, Shannon. I didn't mean to imply that YOU had no life. I was saying that I feel like *I* have no friends here--no social life.

    Came out wrong!

    By Blogger Amylia, at 2/12/2008 5:53 PM  

  • OMG, LOL....I wasn't offended at all!! But now I get that "you" didn't mean me.

    I wish I could meet people like who your sister hangs out with.

    To hell with the planny planny people!

    By Blogger Shannon, at 2/12/2008 5:58 PM  

  • Shannon, ask someone for a spontaneous gathering even if you don't feel like you know them well enough. They just might be looking for the same thing as you.
    You're right though, it's difficult in the winter when you never know what the weather will be (more snow in NH tonight).
    And, we're not near but - let's plan some sort of get together this spring/summer!

    By Blogger Colleen, at 2/12/2008 7:55 PM  

  • I'm not a go-getter for friendship, so I can relate. We have a few friends who are local (but not local enough i.e. in the neighborhood or our town) and it's always great to have work friends, but I miss my college friends who are back in WI and 'net friends (whether I've met them or not).

    I've thought about finding dinner groups or book groups or Scrabble groups. I don't know.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/12/2008 8:55 PM  

  • I remember going and knocking on a neighbor's dorr to see if there was a friend that could come out to play. Sigh. I don't think it will ever be like that again.

    By Blogger Cara, at 2/12/2008 9:11 PM  

  • We don't have too many kids in the neighborhood, but a few regulars who will knock on the door, which is nice.

    My neighborhood has a women's group, which is a totally cool thing. I'll have to write about that.

    By Blogger Naomi, at 2/12/2008 9:27 PM  

  • I'd make a horrible adult in your town. I'm not a self starter, so I would be stuck inside with my family or planning my kids lives.
    It's not just "married with children adults". My friends and I never do anything spontaneous. It usually takes a month to make a plan for something and then that can fall apart. I wish things were simple and more relaxed too.
    I hope you can find some good knock on your door, spontaneous friends!

    By Blogger Jillian, at 2/12/2008 10:03 PM  

  • Shannon,
    When my kids were kids, all of our socializing was the result of them being in extra-curricular activities. Now that they're grown up, we don't see these people unless we happen to run into them when we're eating out. Kinda sad, huh? Sorry you're feeling lonely. Hopefully, winter will end one of these days & you can at least get outside. That would be nice.

    By Blogger Donna, at 2/12/2008 10:12 PM  

  • I'm with you on this one, Shannon. We've lived in this neighbourhood for 5 years now and we really don't know anyone. People we can smile and and say hi to - but no one goes over to their neighbours house (with the exception of the back to school "tea party" - BLAH!! WTH is THAT???). I'm telling ya - you gotta move next door to me ... LOL. (you'd get acclimatized to our winters .... at some point ... I think .... I mean, at some point I'm hoping to anyway ... lol lol).

    By Blogger Jamie, at 2/12/2008 10:43 PM  

  • i know what you mean shannon! just to have someone to have a cup of coffee with. sit down, with a good cup of joe, and yap for a couple of hours. come to napa, california - i'm there for ya! and you don't have to dress like an eskimo either!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/13/2008 2:13 AM  

  • Shannon,
    I say we need to get together and not plan a girls' night out! :)

    By Blogger Lea, at 2/13/2008 2:29 PM  

  • Yes, please. Let's do that! I'm free on Mondays, Wed, and Fri for an hour. I'll hit you up!

    By Blogger Shannon, at 2/13/2008 2:37 PM  

  • oh god, I know. too bad we can't hang out. I am not planny-planny at all. Though it is 5:20p and I am sort of wondering why I am not in my PJs.

    By Blogger Paige, at 2/13/2008 5:23 PM  

  • I'll create an DOC neighborhood for those of us who are anti-planny planny.

    By Blogger Shannon, at 2/13/2008 7:20 PM  

  • I haven't been around much but I know exactly what you mean Shannon! the other day I asked two moms from school if they'd like to go grab a cup of coffee and it was as if I asked them to wipe their calendar clean for a whole week. Seriously, it was only a cup of coffee.

    I used to have a neighbor who'd pop over to my backyard, unannounced on a summer afternoon with a six pack of beer and some chips and her own lawn chair. Or I'd call her up, spur of the moment and say "want to go to the mall?" and we'd both bundle up our babies and plop them in the car and off we'd go. No planning involved. She was the best neighbor EVER.

    So, I'd hang with you if we lived closer. I wish I had other people in my neighborhood who understood an impromptu get together over Survivor or a margarita on the bach porch in the summer, for no reason.

    By Blogger Michelle, at 2/15/2008 11:14 AM  

  • And of course, we can't have our "D" kids anywhere near another child that is sick, because that means an ER visit...sheesh.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/15/2008 2:37 PM  

  • I'm not the planny-planny type either, which is why I often feel like you do. Although I'm in a city, albeit a small one, and I kind of like that it's not the enforced sociability and fitting in that the suburbs sometimes fosters.

    Check out I joined a mom's group on there. Maybe you could find a book group, too. A cool one that serves wine and cheese and snacks in addition to a good discussion.

    It's too bad we don't live closer. I'd hang out with you. No planny planny necessary.

    By Blogger Major Bedhead, at 2/15/2008 3:05 PM  

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