to want some uncomplicated friends.

(34 Posts)
AgroomOfOnesOwn Sat 11-May-13 17:48:47

Approaching a 'milestone' birthday and taking stock of my life. We moved to a small rural town, had children and made friends mostly through havng kids the same age.

Now both my DCs are at school and I'm rubbish at ringing people up I see very few people outside of work. The school run is a nightmare of who is / is not talking to each other, who's cousin shagged who and who lives on the 'posh' side of town. As incomers this means nothing to us and I'm just not interested in keeping up with local gossip dating back 25+ years.

IABU to want some friends who have:
not previously slept with each others current DHs
do not divide the world into blue and pink jobs.
just want to meet up once a month for a dog walk and coffee without it turning into a huge I can't make Tuesday so noone should go/not going if she's going/ don't ask the newcomer, etc.

Small town living is doing my head in at the moment....

concernedmate Sat 11-May-13 17:51:04

yanbu I new to an area and find a lot of the goings on weird.

raisah Sun 12-May-13 08:29:21

My area is a bit like this, with a particular community group being quite dominantly insular.Luckily my ds is going to a different school so no doubt replacing one set of playground politics with another.
It is a bit weird and creepy to have shared partners with half if the women at the school gates! Yuk.

BigBlockSingsong Sun 12-May-13 08:40:37

I noticed women small town women briefly become adults for about ten seconds then regress to playground cliques as soon as they have kids.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 12-May-13 08:50:19

This is what small towns are like. People that have never been anywhere else, they have nothing to talk about so talk about the same thing over and over.

Yes I'm from a small town, but moved away. If I'd have stayed I would have probably got pregnant aged 16 and had many many children by now.

Euphemia Sun 12-May-13 08:50:28

<waves>

I'm normal!

Bet you don't live in Angus though. sad

grin

digerd Sun 12-May-13 08:53:23

Sounds awful. " If I can't go, nobody else should". Who does she think she is ? The Queen< bee>. Can't stand people like that, and don't understand why others pander to them. confused.

cozietoesie Sun 12-May-13 09:01:56

What on earth are 'blue and pink jobs' ?

confused

cozietoesie Sun 12-May-13 09:06:27

Ah - I had a look see so thanks for expanding my horizons this morning. The whole concept is still completely alien to me though.

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 09:14:11

I live in a small town and I wouldn't go within a mile of some of the women who live here I do say hi and wave etc but get involved in the goings on is exhausting,
I have always lived here so everybody knows everybody and their dog, so I guess it is easy to fall into all of it,
I don't do any school runs or anything now so it is a relief not to listen to the gossip and bitching of some of the locals I know it sounds like i hate it here I don't I love it
, I just cba to chat to the 'girl' i went to school with and her drama , alot of the women around here are still friends with old school friends and some of them act like they still are in high school, when dds were at primary I was friends with the 'outsiders' suited me fine, but i am antisocial

bakingaddict Sun 12-May-13 09:14:22

I was wondering the same cozietoesie.......can you enlighten me please

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 09:16:39

blue and pink jobs means what do the men do and what do the women do, so women do the ironing and men do the manly hammering ( i think)

DottyboutDots Sun 12-May-13 09:20:54

That suits me, i neither hammer nor iron. <puts up feet and sips tea like a lazy cah>

MummytoKatie Sun 12-May-13 09:43:26

I really want some complicated friends!

The nearest my friends have got to sleeping with each other's husbands is sitting next to each other on a ski lift.

A good scandal would be very exciting!

HolidayArmadillo Sun 12-May-13 09:46:48

Oh I live somewhere like this. I love it grin

Lj8893 Sun 12-May-13 09:50:08

This sound just like my hometown, I love it!!! Not a small town in dorset perhaps.......???

AgroomOfOnesOwn Sun 12-May-13 19:16:35

It has it plus points: friendly, support in an emergency, small local businesses but the politics....

The expectations for girls & boys are so different - men surf, women watch, know your place.

It's leaking through to the kids friends, particularly noticeable when there is a Boy & a girl in one family. The boy will do lots of sport, extra training, no competition too far to go to. The girl will have to be content with a choice between school violin or ballet but not both.

Peevish Sun 12-May-13 20:25:18

I moved out of London to a village a few months ago, and am deeply freaked out by how much everyone knows about one another, stuff going back generations. I learned very quickly never to say anything without thinking very carefully first...

JohnSnowsTie Sun 12-May-13 20:37:37

I lost contact with all my school friends for the first ten years after I left.

Then, through Facebook, I was reunited with a group of them.

I love them all to bits, but none of them have moved out of the village and they all still know everyone else from school and all their business. We only meet up once a year so it's bearable listening to the gossip (about people I don't even remeber blush) but I'm so glad I've moved around since school and got away from it.

The minute details of other peoples lives are thoroughly exhausting!

Gossipmonster Sun 12-May-13 23:23:29

Girls jobs and boys jobs blush

HoneyDragon Sun 12-May-13 23:27:26

I live in a small town. It took a while but now I am part of s merry band of misfits. It creates town harmony. We give the gossips something to talk about. grin

AgroomOfOnesOwn Mon 13-May-13 10:49:41

I shall take to the woods and like Honeydragon gather a band of merry misfits. The only rule will be there are no rules.

harryhausen Mon 13-May-13 11:17:12

I live on the edge of a large city and feel like this. My area has a small village mentality. Everyone's kids go to the same primary school they went to. They live on the same street as their mum, gran, cousin, sister etc. They everyones business going back decades.
I grew up in a totally different part of the country. My parents live hours away. My dsis lives on the other side of the world. My old friends are scattered throughout the country.

It does get me down sometimes. I have to remind them I have no clue who they are talking about. If it wasn't for my other 'incomer' friends who live a bit further into the city (where i can discuss current events, books, film and culture) I would go mad.

I asked a bunch of schools mums once if they'd seen a certain documentary the night before and they looked at me blankly and said "what's that?" went back to their gossip and discussions on bargains in Primark.

Yes, I do sound like a total snob.

They people near me are generous, kind and will help you out in a crisis, but I need another outlet for non-local gossip time.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Mon 13-May-13 11:29:36

Do any of you live on bridgnorth? Its just like this and as a relative new comer its baffeling

AgroomOfOnesOwn Mon 13-May-13 12:01:41

The gossip is n't exciting or informative, it's like hearing the summary of a bad soap opera where you know none of the characters or filling in the gaps using lots of 'clues' from 20 plus years ago. No one speaks of the thrill of the affair or the dizzy excitement of falling in love it's just the tawdry reality of second guessed emotional fallout.

Very unsatisfying, I prefer to get my emotional rollercoaster through the HBO scripwriters but it is a solitary pleasure because everyone else is glued to hours and hours of 'reality' programming.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 15-May-13 20:48:59

Trouble is in the small town I'm from they talk about stuff that happened 10 years ago. No-one has anything new to talk about, it's so dull.

Move to a city, problem solved

Lioninthesun Thu 16-May-13 00:20:35

Ah, I live in a small town (6yrs) and find it hard to break into friend circles too. In fact, I went out a couple of months ago with 3 people and drunkenly confessed that I don't feel 'part of their group' as they all went to primary together. Lots of "Oh no! We wouldn't come out with you if we didn't like you!" at the time. Strangely I haven't heard from them since...
It is boring with a capital B. No one does anything on the spur of the moment, few things to do to be fair, and no one reads or watches anything worth talking about.
Maybe I just need new friends!

rainbowslollipops Thu 16-May-13 05:57:44

I've had experience both in the witches cauldron and out of it. It's not pretty. The small group drag you in away from others you're friendly with, they freely admit their horrid opinions of people you know of, then when they've had enough of you instead of having it out with you, they belittle you, they ignore you when you talk & make comments in front of you that you know are aimed at you. Then when you decide to step off that stage and go your own way, they want you, you say no. The slagging off and rumours begin. And it doesn't stop. But you carry on smirking and laughing cause their immaturity just becomes comedy. These women I had encounters with are 10 years older than me.

Chromolithograph Thu 16-May-13 11:37:25

Recently in our small town, I don't why but I have become the subject of 'gossip'. I can read it in the nervous body language in what was a good friend. I genuinely thought she was working lots of extra hours and that's why she was never around for a catch-up/coffee/walk.

Hoo hum, life goes on....

HandMini Thu 16-May-13 11:40:54

Agroom - did you post this because you are thinking about a party / celebration for your milestone birthday? If so, you should just do it and not let the "small town" mindset hold you back. Invite as many as you can fit in your house / afford, and don't invite anyone who you personally know to be a bitch. There, there's your guest list.

OhLori Thu 16-May-13 13:06:11

Agree with Handmini about having a party regardless! Everyone loves a party, or being invited to one smile!

p.s. is this what small-town life is like hmm or big town also? Is it all bad sad?

AgroomOfOnesOwn Thu 16-May-13 13:16:48

I thought about a party, we've got a great house/garden for it but the idea of the guest list just depressed me so much I've planned a 'just me' thing.

Like LionInTheSun I've had this a few times now (looks over shoulder, bit paronoid).

As an incomer you approach with a sunny, open, let's see if we've got anything in common attitude. Initially they love you, want to come round, meet up, get the kids together.

I think we'll it's not perfect but friendships take time, you look at the positives rather then ticking off a list of must have qualities. But before you know it the shutters come down; turns out that group were just on a bit of a fact finding mission gathered the info, worked out the pecking order - more/less qualified, house value, kids reading band - yes absolutely on that one.

Moving to a different area, children, job in new field - total eye opener for me. I miss the casual, meet up with a friend, they've brought a new person along, the circles grow and change and the conversation is general since 'gossip' would be meaningless.

I attempted to start a general "once a week, same day, same place, if you feel like it, meet here for cake, tell who you want, bring whoever"
Within three weeks it had fallen flat on it's face.
'I can't come this week then so can we need to change it'
'I did n't know she'd be there'
'What if someone else finds out?'

But the biggest thing was that by throwing the odd random person in, it stopped all the local gossip/intimate confessions because of the stranger listening, which after reality tv talk left a big gaping hole in the conversation.

AgroomOfOnesOwn Thu 16-May-13 13:28:18

That was a negative post.

Positives: Can be great for the kids (as long as your not part of the long standing feuds, one lot of swimming lessons has three sets of parents all desperately trying not to be near each other)

Safety - people know your kids and you know theirs. You look out for them. I recently gave a left to a 13 year old girl who'd missed the bus from a local town and decided to walk 8 miles along a busy road with no pavement. I know a couple of her teachers, dropped her off, checked she knew when the bus home was and had money. I'd want a friend of a friend to do that if my kids had made a bad decision.

Small businesses - people use local people, lots of employment that way and the money is kept in the local economy. If you get a good reputation people want to support you.

Go into town, lots of familiar faces, to smile, say hello, talk about the weather, etc.

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