Tag Archives: female relationships

Is There Hope For The Friendship Flunky?

My fingers, usually clickity-click fast on my iPhone, hovered above the screen. I knew I was making this harder than it needed to be. Yes, I had chosen to text, because the thought of having this conversation in real time was just too scary. This way, if she said no, I wouldn’t have to quickly come up with an easy breezy comeback that belied my disappointment. If she said yes, well, I hadn’t exactly thought through the next step because I could hardly make myself begin the first. I typed…and then deleted what I typed because it sounded ridiculous. Sigh. How hard can this possibly be?

The above is a play-by-play of something I did just this last week. Was I asking my boss for a gigantic raise or delivering bad news to some unsuspecting soul? Nope. I was inviting some new acquaintances over to our house for a cookout.

Many of you will not understand why I got worked up over such a simple transaction. You don’t understand because friendships are easy for you. From that day in elementary school when you locked eyes with a girl wearing the same “My Little Ponies” t-shirt to the adult days of hosting neighborhood parties and going out for “girls’ nights”, you’ve never really thought about friendships as difficult or complicated. I am not you. I envy you. I do many things well, but making friends and maintaining friendships has never felt particularly effortless or natural. I am an accomplished woman – in fact, I’ve been called “Super Woman” twice this week – but friendship is a chink in my armor.

Growing up, I usually had one friend at a time as groups were intimidating. I often felt ill-equipped to navigate the dynamics of friend groups and far preferred to focus my attention in a single direction. I attended lots of group activities (dances, ballgames, etc.), but put far too much energy into making sure I had a plan for exactly what was going to happen once I arrived, who I was going to sit with, and what we were going to talk about. I was insecure about the friendships I had and often felt like I was constantly auditioning for my role, and only made new friends if they made the first move. And, I was quite passive if and when friendships shifted off course. A few very special people floated out of my life because I didn’t know what to do in response to a rift, so I did nothing at all. While this sounds incredibly depressing, I have somehow managed to enjoy some great friendships throughout my life, and for this I’m incredibly grateful. Thank goodness for people who make the first move!

Age has provided some perspective, but I’ll admit I still struggle with insecurity. About 5 years ago, I learned I am an introvert. I’ve spent my whole life performing, speaking in public, and leading in various capacities, none of which aligned with my perceptions of an introvert. Previously, I defined an introvert as someone who is anti-social or doesn’t like to talk. Well, I get along with people really well and I talk all the time (sometimes I talk so much I have to kick MYSELF under the table). In reality, I’m a fairly typical introvert. I do most everything with some degree of anxiety and fear and require ample down time to recover from my social activities. Further, when stressed, I withdraw as opposed to engage. This insight definitely helped the world make sense, particularly where my friendship history is concerned. Knowing how my personality impacts my actions definitely helps me strike the right balance and compensate for some of my natural tendencies that are counterproductive to maintaining relationships. Continue reading Is There Hope For The Friendship Flunky?

Meanwhile, Back on the Ranch: An Oklahoma Girl From Head to Toe

by Julie Allgyer

Tammy and Julie
Tammy stopped by to visit on her way to Oklahoma

There is something special about girls from Oklahoma.  We are…different.

I realized this after browsing through a real estate magazine at a local restaurant and noticing a photo of a girl who went to my high school back in the late 70’s.  She was currently a local real estate agent living about thirty miles from me.  We had not been good friends in high school and didn’t have a junior high slumber party memory to share, but somehow I knew that when I called her, she would remember me.  She did.

Shortly after contacting her, my husband and I were invited to her home for a Sunday lunch.  We had a fabulous time and I have since seen her on several other occasions.  I even stayed overnight at her house (not exactly a slumber party, but it will do) when a two-day workshop took me to her city.  We had dinner and talked about growing up in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

There are many other Oklahoma women who continue to touch my world: an OSU sorority sister bumped into me in the middle of Reading Station in Philadelphia, a classmate stopped by to have a quick dinner while traveling I-40 to a new chapter in her life, a lady at the convenience store wearing an Eskimo Joe’s T-shirt held my place in line, and my former principal, who is hoping to find her way back to Oklahoma, molded me into the writing teacher I am today.  My former principal is also expecting her fifth grandchild, a girl named Preslee, who no doubt will reap the benefits of being raised as an “Okie.”

So here’s to Preslee, who has no idea how lucky she is about to get, and all the other women who qualify.  You know who you are.

An Oklahoma Girl From Head to Toe

Sun-bleached or shiny black locks like a horse’s mane

Lake-blue eyes, or as dark as night on a rural road

When it comes to character, Oklahoma girls reign

With inner and outer strength, they will always carry their load

Lips that whisper a song just when you think you’ve forgotten the tune

Shoulders that can bear the weight of her worries and yours

Beads of sweat on her back from the Oklahoma heat in June

A loving heart beating strong and fast like an eagle soars

Legs that can carry her to her destiny, however long

Feet barefoot or not, walking toward a horizon of blue

Are you looking in the mirror? Do you see someone beautiful and strong?

By birth or at heart, you may be an Oklahoma Girl too