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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

We've become friends with a younger couple in our synagogue. Sort of. He's in his thirties and while not a Fan, definitely has a fannish mind. He reads Pratchett and comics and can talk movies and gets (and makes) the bad jokes. He also reads Anthony, but tastes are tastes, you know?

She's...very sweet. And not stupid. And a wonderful cook. But. All the books were his. All the movies were his. All the games were his. We played Fluxx this afternoon at their house, and she...left to take care of the baby, and let her husband finish the game. It was his first time playing Fluxx, too. (Fluxx, for those who don't know, is a card game where the rules change as you play it. It's lots of fun.) And - she didn't get the jokes.

I remember having a conversation with her when they came to us for a Shabbos lunch. And she was confused when I said I didn't wear make-up because I was too lazy to do that. And I'm not sure why.

Most of my friends, both RL and here, are fannish and/or very bright. I can do more than talk about recipes.

And she isn't stupid. But I can't connect with her at all.


that always sucks, when you just can't connect with someone, even though they don't seem that bad. :-/

She's lovely. It's me.

bah, i doubt it. sometimes people just take time to connect with.

It's not you. And it's not her. You are both lovely people who don't yet have a common ground with which to relate. You may never have that common ground, but you'll probably get to a point where you can carry on a conversation together without feeling like you're pulling teeth. And if you don't, that's okay. You continue to be you and continue to be gracious and just be okay with it if it doesn't fix the issue.

That's the general plan. She's also very lonely - she rarely goes to synagogue, they don't have many guests and she spends all her time with the 22 month old.

I rarely go to shul, either, but I'm a lot more self-sufficient.

Well if you can't connect with someone you just can't. But I made friends with a woman in my community who didn't do any of the same things I did (well, I wasn't so into fandom then, but I read books and she only read religious books...) But when I needed help she was there for me, in a big way. And I really loved her.

Of course now I left the community and part of was that no one could relate to what I'm into now, but that's not what you're saying either.

Sorry if I'm rambling. The make-up thing is hard, I never wore it either.

I used to pack it on with a trowel, actually, but I got much better.

And then I stopped.

She's a lovely person. I need to be able to relate to normal people better.

I so hear where you're coming from. I am so often expected to entertain The Wife while Steve chats with his friend, even if his friend is my friend, too. And so many wives seem so into...wifey things. Don't get me wrong, I love to cook, I love my child, I love lots of other children. But I'm not a girly girl in many ways, and can't connect--I'd rather be talking with the guys, who aren't talking football or cars or whatever the boy version of girly stuff it.

Comics. Which bores my husband and confuses her, but I can talk comics with him. :)

I can do girly things and wifey things.

What a shame that she doesn't really seem to have much of her own identity other than wife and baby factory. Yeah, that is a harsh interpretation of what you said, I know. But, it is hard for me to think of it in any other way if she doesn't have her own taste in books or films and runs off to tend baby while the man of the house has fun with the guests.
No, I can't imagine that I would connect with her, much either.
Got to wonder what a bright man would see in such a person.
Who knows, maybe you can help draw out her real personality.

They only have the one child, so I'd hardly call her a baby machine, and she did need the attention at that time. But she was just as happy to not go back to the game.

She likes...Rachael Ray. And L&Os. She does have her own taste.

Wow, that's rough.

Has she said what she does do for fun? (Have you asked her?) Maybe she's got some individuality in there that just hasn't come out, or maybe she really is that, err, generic.

She takes care of her little girl. She likes pretty clothes and pretty wigs. She's a decent cook.

And...I don't know. I hope so.

maybe her baby girl has become her entire life. But surely she must have done SOMETHING pre-baby?

She's very young. I think she got married right out of college or even seminary.

Hrm. First, I'd say, not being able to connect with her doesn't mean either of you aren't good people or that either of you are stupid. It means you have different priorities and interests. And that's okay. It would be nice if you could connect with both of them, but, well, it is what it is.

I wonder, now, though, if you consider me a friend, or at least someone you'd be friends with if we saw each other more than once a year (give or take). I'm not fanish, but I also talk about more than recipes. (Though I daresay, I'm always happy to talk about recipes!) Mind you, I wouldn't be offended if you said no to that question.

Anyway, I hope that you are able to find a way to connect in some satisfactory way.

The more orclings I had, the less makeup and time for anyone but them was all I could manage.

Now that they're older, I can do stuff like find the five minutes it takes to put on a face and actually socialize beyond discussing fun stuff like breastfeeding, housebreaking what color Barney actually was and where the Teletubbies actually came from. (Zeta Reticuli, anyone?) LOL

That being said, you're just on differing levels at this point. She may like knitting or needlework or had something wonderful she did before the husband and baby. For me, it was piano and horses. Then I worked and somewhere along the way acquired the husband and the orclings and had little to no identity outside dealing with being a wife and mom 24/7.

The computer was a big help because I was actually able to socialize to an extent and it didn't matter that I had a baby hanging off the boob, no makeup on and hadn't slept for three nights. I could still type with one hand and at least know I wasn't the only other mom out there who was doing the same stuff I was dealing with at the time.

Course, then again, some people are just way shallow trophy wives who view children as a fashion accessory. I hope she's not one of those!

Good luck.

She's hardly a trophy wife (at least not the way I understand it. He's in grad school, neither has a huge amount of money and she's, well, she's beautiful, but she also weighs more than I do. Not trophy wife territory.) And she adores her baby girl - and deals with her very well. (Watch Kayla have tantrum. Watch mommy ignore it until it's over. Watch tantrum end *really* fast.)

Trophy wife may mean something different down here, then. *g*

Tantrums, huh? I tried not to let mine ever get to that point. LOL

I define a trophy wife as the much younger second wife of a wealthy middle-aged man. He's had his kids, so he just wants someone decorative on his arm.

Down here they're a bit different. *g*

They can also mean high maintenance wives. LOL

Watch Kayla have tantrum. Watch mommy ignore it until it's over. Watch tantrum end *really* fast

I do this with Julian, but now that he's approaching 2, it works less and less. He can scream louder and longer with no reason than he used to be able to. Ah well, at least when he's screaming I know he's breathing.

Yeah, with me it's more along the lines of, "Watch Brianna have a tantrum. Watch Mommy smack her leg and tell her to stop it, because it isn't going to work, and she knows it. Watch tantrum end *really* fast." By the time they're approaching 2, they've long given up on the tantrum approach, because the older and more canny they get, the less "smack" and the more "spank" they get, and the less a tantrum sounds like a good idea to them. Besides which, it just plain never works, and doesn't even let them vent off some steam, so they finally give up on it.

Mind you, I'll let them yell or cry all they want, if they need to vent...even to the point of taking them out of a public place and letting them do so, if they have a legitimate problem and they need to cry. That's totally separate. Any mommy can tell the difference between frustrated crying and a *tantrum*. ^_^

I never could do the 'wait it out' approach, because I have extremely strong-willed children. (Gee, surprised, anyone?) They *are* willing to push and see just HOW LONG Mommy and/or Daddy's patience will hold out, and whether or not if they keep it up five or ten minutes more, if they might not get their way this time. So no, waiting out a tantrum just is not an acceptable solution.

Yes, I consider you a friend. We can actually *talk*. You're fun to talk to. And you know fans, so we're not an alien species (or, if we are, we're not unapproachably weird or something.)

I don't mind talking recipes. I just also want to talk about other things.

I know fans, true. I suppose, perhaps, I've never gotten a handle on what being a "fan" really is, in that sense of the word, anyway. I mean, I'm a fan of many things, but I don't think most people classify me as "a fan" in your sense of the word. Though I have at least one friend who calls me a closet fan/closet freak (she's a certified fan/freak herself). But I get your point about being able to talk to me.

Many fans are unapproachably weird to me, by the way. I flock toward the ones that are more socially ept, so to speak. And I know that's coming out badly, and I don't mean it to.

I think your issue with this woman isn't that she can't relate on a "fan" level, but rather that she seems to have little to relate to at all, on any level. It's difficult to talk to someone who doesn't appear to have any interests or any focus. Perhaps underneath her bland exterior she has a deep-rooted passion for weaving or basketball or um, something?

I know a lot of fans are poorly socialized. It's one of the problems we have both in and out of fandom - and the poorly socialized ones realize it. They just can't figure how to do it.

I know that I can communicate with 90% of the fen out there. I'm less comfortable with non-fen. And, honestly, with less bright people. Fen, for all their problems, tend to the brighter side of the curve.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

I have a response to this, but I have chosen not to clog up mamadeb's journal with it. Suffice it to say, I think you're viewing this too narrowly. People see what they want to see. The rest of my response will arrive in your email shortly.