As I have said, we will be moving to the USA in September as my husband has been drafted out there for three years. This is throwing up many issues, but today I want to speak about social bonding.
I won't lie, I am still really quite shy. Over the years I have learnt to fake confidence, and the more you fake it the more you live it, but deep down I often wonder if people really are friends with me, or just putting up with me. The rational part of my brain knows that this is often crazy thinking, but it leaves me with a need to be liked while at the same time fearing rejection.
The thing is, I'm not like a lot of other women. I have no children, I have never regretted that and I have a loving husband who shares my views. I just think I'm wired up differently to other women. What annoys me is when other women assume there's something wrong with me, or that deep down I'm just crying out for a baby. I've had women try to force me to hold their baby, which I find baffling; why would you foist your vulnerable infant on someone who has no confidence in holding them? Babies aren't stupid and they pick up on the tension and it upsets them, which then reinforces the running joke that I'm the wicked witch of the west who always makes babies cry - they can feel the evil in me was one jokey comment someone made. For the record, if I feel safe I will hold even a baby, but it has to be on my terms and is a clear sign that I consider you family; there are not many people that fall into this category, but if you read this you will know who you are.
The truth is, I just don't have a maternal bone in my body. This isn't a problem for those who matter - my husband, our family and so on - but it does mean I have a low threshold for those women whose only topic of conversation is their little angel. Now, I know a lot of mothers who also feel this way - my own mother included - but even she goes on and on about her grandsons sometimes. Ah yes, we have two nephews and one on the way, and for the record I absolutely adore them. Does this make me broody? Absolutely not! Do I love them any less for this? Of course not. Unfortunately some women forget that not everybody's life revolves around children; indeed some women I've met have struggled to engage in a topic of conversation other than children. I just don't get it because a lot of my friends enjoy meeting up with adults to engage in adult conversation about everything BUT children. See, we fill a niche in the market :)
I'm thinking about this a lot at the moment because I will have to make a new start in the USA, and I can't help wondering how much I'll have in common with the other wives. One of them set up a Facebook page, so already we're in contact with each other, and a couple of them seem really lovely (the others probably are too, I just haven't really spoken to them yet) so hopefully I'll be ok. But let's be honest here, I am a 30-something childless witch whose hobbies include pole dancing; let's see how comfortable I feel with them and how easily I am accepted because one thing I have learnt over the years, you can't fake who you are just to make people like you.
Blessed be )0(