"How old is your kid?"
"Want to be my new best friend?"
How do we pick up strangers? Adult friendships can be a huge blessing, but sometimes they are tricky at the start. How do you meet new friends? How do you show interest? How do you "take this relationship to the next level"?
Billy, my Guatemalan husband, thinks I make these interactions unnecessarily awkward. (Let's be honest, that's kind of my MO.) But over time, we've also noticed some cultural differences about meeting strangers and making friends.
I'm talking about our perspectives, our awkwardness, and how I'm growing over at Osheta Moore's blog today. If you've never visited Shalom in the City, I encourage you to read and get to know her amazing self! Her current series is entitled "The Friendship Project," and it's part of the #31days blogging challenge. I'm excited to write with her. Here's a sneak peek:
My daughter zipped down the slides and dug in the mulch. I sat on the park bench, enjoying the sunny weather and the short reprieve from addressing the frenzied demands of a toddler. Another woman sat next to me, her stroller occupied by a sleeping infant.
We began chatting, and I quickly learned she was kind, interesting, and smart. I also discovered this snoring baby was her only child. Her presence at the park and her words told me how lonely she was as a new mother. Her isolation was compounded by the fact that she was a newcomer to the United States.
My heart went out to her. My husband Billy immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala in his late 20's. He has often recounted to me those early, achingly lonely days. His Central American sensibilities were completely thrown off as his experiences with Americans felt cold and unwelcoming.
When I told Billy about the woman at the park, his first question was, "Did you get her phone number?"