I was over 30 yr. old when I actively pursued friendship with women. For my entire life, I was surrounded by the other gender.
There were sisters, but they were never really friends.
The “hood” where I grew up, was almost entirely boys. I was never a tomboy, little athletic prowess.
But I managed, stayed safe, kept their respect, kept my emotional distance.
I had many female acquaintances, very few friends.
In school, I was a competitor, academic challenges came from male students.
Like myself, some were dating, but avoided committed relationships. They were planning, dreaming, moving forward toward their goals.
I understood that.
College was not much different. Early female friends moved on to sororities, seeking a more secure social life.
I remained close to a large group of guys, fell in love with one of them.
My initial career plan was to be a teacher. When that didn’t work out, I went to work with a group of engineers. I was one of 2 women in an office of 40.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was in my comfort zone.
Outside of work, attempts were made. I got involved in social organizations, adult sororities, civic groups, political campaigns, wives’ clubs.
Women were cordial to me, but never close. I was awkward at baby showers, weddings, potluck dinners, coffee klatches. Clearly out of my element.
And then, pregnancy. My world was changing.
I began to genuinely cultivate female friendships. Acquaintances who had kept me at arm’s length responded in beautiful, supportive ways.
When my daughter arrived, I bought my first pink clothing…my first pink anything.
I became one of them. Wife, mother, PTA member, school volunteer, soccer mom, scout leader, neighborhood hostess.
I embraced my new life, happy and fulfilled in a way that I never thought possible.
And yet today, at parties, family functions, neighborhood gatherings, I spend time with the women, but am more at home with the guys.
Some things never change.