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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....

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.

BestParentEver Thu 16-May-13 00:15:21

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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