I Don’t Speak Woman. And It Shows.

  1. quiltbabe8 says:

    Preach it, sister. I’m an introvert who has always thought more like a man – more logic, less emotion. Most of the time I don’t miss not having a posse, but the the times I *do* wish I had one? Excruciating. Making things worse is that I’m a 56 year old life long single with a professional job.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I get it- I had a lot of male friends when I was in high school and college and I often trusted them more than my girl friends. I’ve never been able to hide my emotions so I don’t bother trying- I’m straightforward with the people I care about, for better or worse. My guy friends appreciated that and were the same way, but it has gotten me into all kinds of trouble with my girl friends over the years!

    • Lisa D Acord says:

      Same here. Very logical, much less emotional. I give honest answers and opinions and I want the same in return, but that doesn’t work in Womanland. I get along with men great, but after you get married and they get married, hanging out with guys just doesn’t work anymore. My husband trusts me and knows how I am, but the other women (the wives) don’t, and I don’t want to seem like I’m “up to something.” Plus, I do wish I had that female camaraderie. It would be nice to have someone to got shopping with (which I usually hate to do, but I need someone with fashion sense to help me!) or to the occasional women’s meeting. Sometimes I WANT to get dressed up and just be girly. Not often, but sometimes!

  2. Leigh says:

    Aw, I’m sorry, and I can empathize; I see an awful lot of photos on FB of “girls’ nights” that I wish I’d been invited to, and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong!

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I think I’m going to start posting ‘Girl Night In’ photos on Facebook of myself and a bottle of wine!

  3. Adrianne M says:

    As a woman who has been classified as “shy” since high school, I feel your pain. Somehow the Bible of Acceptable Behavior was never left on my nightstand to read. I only have three really close friends and we don’t talk as much as we could…but it only takes three really good friends in your life to keep you sane..

  4. bronwynm23 says:

    Hi Lindsay, sooo many thoughts on this post. First, I’m sorry this happened to you. It sucks when we think we’re negatively viewed by anyone or to think we have offended someone but not know how. Second, honestly, though, do you know why these women unfriended you? Maybe they went through and unfriended anyone with whom they don’t have daily conversation? There may be a perfectly good explanation or maybe not. My point is, you may consider it wasn’t something you did. Third, we all know “these women;” typically (in my experience) driven by jealously or something similar. You are a successful entrepreneur with a popular, well-written blog and a nice family. Some women may judge you or be jealous of you for that, but there are lots of other women, me included, who admire you for it. So, don’t beat yourself up too much over two women; there are plenty of like-minded and encouraging (women) fish in the sea.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      Thank you for your kind words! I used this particular example because it was pretty evident in this case for a number of reasons that it WAS something I did- I just don’t know what! There are plenty of other examples I could have used, some of which I’ve written about over the years.

      I think in some cases, unkindness is fueled by stuff that has nothing to do with me. I also know, though, that I’m really bad at faking ANYTHING or pretending that everything’s okay when it isn’t. I also tend to say what’s on my mind, often before I can stop myself, and all of those qualities spell disaster when it comes to socializing with groups of women!

  5. Lisa says:

    I thought I was the only one. When I had my first son, I stopped working and was pretty lonely but I figured once he started going to school I’d make friends with the other moms. Never really happened. I joined committees at his school and talk a bit with a mom or two but that’s as far as it would go. To be honest, most of those women didn’t really interest me anyway. Too much drama or they were too shallow.
    Anyway, you’re not alone!

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I know what you mean- I did the committee joining and didn’t enjoy it and am now breathing a sigh of relief that I gave THAT up- That’s what the kindergarten moms are for! LOL. I’m usually okay with it now, except for the times when I think– well, KNOW– that’s it’s impacting what my kids do or don’t get invited to (which doesn’t happen every often, but it definitely does happen)– and that part just sucks.

  6. Phyll Beach says:

    I’m 75 years old and I have always preferred the company of men, in both in business and social settings. The whole nervous laughter, crying at the mere mention of a random sad or happy story, Squealing and hugging scene is NOT for me. (Thanks to the media coverage on gender identity lately I feel compelled to add here that I am a happily married mother and grandmother.) Does this quirk of mine leave me with less BFFs? Absolutely and I do sometimes miss having that connection with more women, especially as I age. On those occasions over the years when I have made a concerted effort to ask a woman to lunch with me, or whatever, I listen carefully to them, ask many deep probing questions, which they seem pleased to answer, letting them do 90% of the talking. I eventually realized when I didn’t hear from them again that when they looked back on the lunch, they had not learned much of anything new, (read, gossip) and they probably thought what was the point of that? Very rarely have I come across a woman who seems to be willing to take the time to ask about MY story. I have had a wonderful life, before, during and between marriages. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Pulling up a Ted Talk on line given by a brilliant woman, and spending time fascinated by her mind is a great substitute for BFFs. As is reading the blog of a clever and insightful local writer.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I get home now from anxiety-inducing social events and my family and home feel like the most wonderful, welcoming haven. I totally get what you mean. 🙂

  7. michelle b says:

    Wow! Thank you for this. I struggle with this and while I know I am an amazing mom I feel like I have let my kids down because I am not popular mom at their school. There are so many times that I know kids like my kids but because I am not the parent’s type of fabulous, they get left out. It hurts. I can’t help who I connect with and who I can’t connect with. Plus I don’t understand the whole constant joking about how much wine people drink????

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      Been there, and I totally get it. You don’t even want to hang out with those moms, but you don’t want your kid to get left out, either, and for a while a kid’s social life often depends on his/her mom’s mom-friends. Not being part of the Mom Clique sucks- but it gets easier when the kids get just a little bit older. Soon, other parents will be more than happy to dump their kids at your house, whether they know you or not! 😉

  8. Melissa says:

    I feel the same way. Have felt that way my entire life. I’m at the point now where I really just don’t even want to try. I would rather just have my very few very close friends and let the rest of the world think I’m a freak. But I’m also not going to sit here and pretend the knife doesn’t twist a little bit at those damn Facebook “girls night out” photos. Why can’t I speak the language??? Is there something wrong with me??? With the perceived social expectations of our society it’s very easy to wonder that. So now that I’ve accepted – or am at least beginning to accept – that I do not speak the language and probably never will, I can ruminate on what’s RIGHT about me. If I’m not meant to be a part of the “girls night out” tribe, then what tribe AM I meant to be a part of? My tribe is out there. I know they are. And someday, I will find them. And we will be wonderfully weird together.

  9. Laurie says:

    I agree! I’ve never been one to think with the group so I never get any points there. Luckily my son is in high school now so it makes it easier all around.

  10. Miss B says:

    Oh Lindsay, your post captures exactly how I feel! I want all of this too – a ton of super close friends, photos of all of us having a ball, and even this elusive manual that explains how to achieve all of this. I tell myself that their relationships must be more shallow than they appear on the surface and that I don’t want that in my life, but I’m not certain I really believe that. Surely some people really do have a big group of gal pals, and good for them if they do. I have noticed that a lot of people want to be my friend when I present a much more subdued version of myself, but then I don’t really enjoy that version of myself. I love laughing and joking (louder than I intend at times), and I also like to discuss science, nature, cooking, religion, and politics. NONE of those things are in the woman manual as far as I can tell! I don’t have the patience to be quiet, forego outdoor activities exclusively in favor of indoor crafts and home decorating, barely crack a smile, or talk only about school fundraisers and celebrities. I enjoy my life, but it looks like I’ll be doing it alone for the most part.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I so identify with your comment- I was talking to my husband a few months ago about how I was sure I would ‘fit in’ more with the women in my community if I toned it down– and I realized that then I would no longer be MYSELF. As socially awkward as I feel sometimes in groups of women, I would MUCH rather be who I really am at this point, warts and all, than who I think other people are expecting me to be.

  11. Heather says:

    Right there with you… and can’t thank you enough for this post. I really wish I knew what the code was, but then at times I think… maybe not. Maybe it’s not me and even if I knew the code, it wouldn’t really make that much of a difference. Maybe I’m just saying that to make myself feel better, though. 😉

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      This post is actually an amalgam of three different posts I’ve tried to write on the subject over the last year or so and been too afraid to publish. Finally, yesterday, I realized that if I was struggling with it so much and so often, there was NO WAY I was alone. I’m just really glad so many other women are chiming in and sharing it. We need to form our own club of non-code speakers! ;D

  12. Lisa D Acord says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. You just summarized my entire life of being female. I, too, am bad at women. I think all of us that didn’t get the owner’s manual should start meeting and create our own.

  13. Gertie says:

    Well.. it seems there are lots of women who feel similarly….. so…..do you reach out to any of them to form your own “woman tribe”…? Or would a “woman tribe” only count if it consisted of the “women who get it”?
    And no snark intended here at all. I wrestle with similar misgivings…..

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I definitely have friends who live near me and feel similarly – but certainly not enough for any kind of ‘tribe.’ In the suburbs at least, we are in the minority.

      Interestingly, the tribe of women who all seemed to feel this way consisted of most of those mom bloggers from the early years, before blogs became potentially lucrative and ‘PR friendly’ and sanitized. I think about those women a lot now, because I definitely took it for granted when we were able to get together several times a year at blog conferences and sponsored events. Now that all that’s dying off and many of those women have quit blogging, it’s really difficult to stay in touch with everyone. And I miss them. And I miss that feeling of being in a room full of women who would probably all identify with this post.

  14. Suzanne Myers says:

    Great post that obviously reflects the feelings with a large group of women. It took me awhile to find those who appreciate me for who I am, but it was worth the effort and the wait! I don’t have a large gaggle of girl friends nor do I want one. I have different, small groups of friends that reflect different areas of my life: friends I met b/c our kids were the same age, and we bonded and remained close, friends from my son’s tight knit school, one very close friend from high school who knows all my deep, dark secrets, ha ha. That is a freeing friend to have! I also have some hiking/running buddies, and was lucky that my son landed on a baseball team full of great moms and dads. No assholes! Pretty amazing and not always the case:) I have no impulse to post many pics of me and my friends whooping it up at a “GNO,” which we rarely, ok, almost never, do. Most of my friends are not even on FB. So I say power to the ladies who gravitate toward large groups and power to those who don’t. Thank goodness we are all different! As for the ladies who unfriended you (and many of the posters mentioned this), I always think of that book,”The Four Agreements.” #2 is “Don’t take things personally”. Not that someones actions won’t cause pain, make you question relationships, etc., but when it all shakes out, who knows their story? The main thing is it is something about them, and not you, that prompted them to unfriend. You are a wonderful, inspiring person, Lindsay! Love that you always keep it real.

  15. Stephanie says:

    Speaking as one of “those women”… One who has 7 bffs, knows everyone, etc etc- and I say that humbly (this response is not in snark). How can I best love/befriend you? I am naturally a servant and a people person. I love to have meaningful relationships and just naturally end up knowing everyone in whatever circles we roam (church, PTA, etc). I would NEVER try to leave anyone out (the unfriending thing- NEVER) and would honestly love feedback from y’all on how to best befriend such a different personality.
    Playing devils advocate, I can be very overbearing and bossy if I dont keep my loud, passionate, leadership-style, typeA personality in check. So maybe sometimes when others back off from you, that may be why. Sometimes I feel like I’m forcing a relationship with more reserved people and they’re just like “we can’t handle you, go away” ???? And I totally understand. But on the other hand, I don’t want them to feel like I’m “clique-y” and leaving them out. Sorry this is so rambling. Please be honest! Thanks!

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      Thanks for asking! 🙂 I think the biggest problem I’ve had is that my shyness in a group of women is sometimes mistaken for bitchiness or haughtiness, particularly since I might not LOOK like someone who would feel socially awkward in a group. So I guess my advice would be to not be put off by the women who seem standoffish– Give them a second and third chance before you make up your mind about them. And if you have a chance, go out on a limb and invite that quiet mom to do something with the others, even if she has permanent resting bitch face ;)- I think women as a whole don’t reach out to each other enough.

  16. MomT says:

    From all the entertaining things you have written over the years, I would have sworn you had the code book memorized! I’m not on Facebook but I seem to get “unfriended” at times and I can never figure out what I did that resulted in shunning. It is painful and disorienting but move forward and upward we must!

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