I was on the phone with one of my dearest friends a few days ago, talking about making new friends, basically comparing it to dating. “Dating for moms.
She was sitting at the pool with her son, on the phone with me. I was sitting outside the coffee shop waiting to go in and place my order. She was avoiding contact altogether with everyone around her, I was doing the same halfway around the world.
We had a good laugh about missing one another and talked about how daunting this whole process can be.
It got me thinking about those horrific stories that we all have. Stories from the dating trenches.
If I had to choose between having full-on dance parties based on the bowel movements of small humans or dating, I would pick ritualistic dancing in celebration of human feces over dating any day. Parents going through potty-training totally know what I am talking about!
Before my husband and 2 small humans, there was Hercules.
Hercules lived up to his name and was a large lazy dog trapped in the body of a tiny 7-pound Chihuahua. He was a gift to myself for my 25th birthday, just in time to guide me through prime dating years.
He was good too!
Several friends were known to borrow him on occasion to meet people at the dog park. As long as he wasn’t humping the faces of unsuspecting white fluffy dogs, the conversations usually went quite well.
I was recently single and being prompted by friends to put myself out there.
Internet dating was all the rage at the time and one of my coworkers was testing the waters. Afraid to do it alone, she created a profile for me. I was not keen to take part, to say the least. The idea of people merely seeing a photo and using that as the basis to judge if they may want to have a conversation completely creeped me out.
24 hours. I told her she had 24 hours. I would help ease her into the internet dating thing and then I was done.
I didn’t even last half that amount of time.
10 hours and hundreds of emails later, I was done. Delete. Delete. Delete.
For every seemingly normal and nice guy, there were 30 douchebags that followed making vomit-inducing comments. At the end of it all, there were a handful of people that I eventually went out on a few dates with.
A girl needs to eat, so I figured why not.
Nothing long term came from any of it, but the whole experience did leave me with a great story: The infamous “he pooped in my shoe” guy.
A few dates turned into a few months.
After an evening of making dinner at my place and watching a movie, all hell broke loose.
My friends and family weren’t convinced this was the guy for me. But it wasn’t the warning from friends. It wasn’t the concerns of my parents. No. It was far less complex.
It was poop that finally made doing the right thing become so clear.
As he got up to put his shoes on, out of nowhere I hear swearing and screaming.
What in the world is wrong?
It took me a few moments to understand what he was saying in the midst of his shouting, but I finally made out the words, “your (insert expletive) dog pooped in my shoe!!”
Not next to it. Not near it. Not on top of it.
In his shoe!
As he went to leave that night, there was a little nugget of goodness waiting for him that he quickly discovered as it smeared all over his sock.
This was a dog that wanted to send a clear message that could not be misconstrued as “oops he had an accident.”
No. This was a glaringly obvious sign. I couldn’t stop laughing.
That was the end of him. The guy, not the dog.
What still impresses me to this day is how Hercules managed to back it up with such precision that the poop landed perfectly inside that shoe.
Hercules passed away a few years ago, after 13 glorious years together. It was a good thing I was married and had two children by then.
Now, my dealings with poop are from the small humans we created and is something that ignited many conversations among my own tribe of amazing women. How can we run companies, produce award-winning shows, create best-selling books but potty-training has us ripping out our hair and questioning our own sanity?
As my girlfriend and I were nearing the end of our conversation, we both realized that although putting yourself out there is terrifying at times and awkward, had we not done it years ago, she and I likely would not be friends.
You never know how much you will miss someone until they aren’t there. Pick up the phone this week and chat with a friend, tell them how much you love them, and make a plan to go to dinner or do something, anything.
If the challenge isn’t necessarily finding the time but finding people, make a point to talk to someone you don’t know or to that someone you have seen around but have been too scared to strike up a conversation.
We tell our son every day to learn the names of 3 people at school. Sometimes I have to remind myself to practice what I preach to our kids.
Who knows, the newest member of your tribe may be the next “hello” you force yourself to make!!
You will be glad you did!!
Cheers to a new week!