Saturday, August 9, 2008

I will not join them

Hubs & I are so discouraged. Please help us figure out what's happening. Maybe we're doing something wrong here & just don't know it.

We both lived in an area where we felt very connected & loved. We attended church each week & had a few couple friends there. These friends would come over every Sunday afternoon for family time. We'd potluck, grill, watch movies, play poker...whatever.

Our kids had their share of arguements but were thrilled to play together for the most part. I always had someone to call if I needed someone & vice versa. There was never a doubt that I had their support in my life.

Even now...when I have a problem...guess whom I call? Yep. My old friends from Oregon.

I knew that good friends were hard to find, but this is getting so ridiculous.

I am officially discouraged when it comes to meeting & hanging out w/ folks in Granger. I see a lot of the same folks each week at church or in my neighborhood, but no one responds when I leave a message inviting them for pie or drinks. We had a new neighbor move in & I stopped by (apparently they weren't home) with a box of Godiva chocolates & a card. Asked them to call so we could get together...*chirp...chirp*...nothing.

I've baked bread & delivered it to everyone w/ in a 2 block radius. I've volunteered myself to watch kids, water dogs, pick up mail...anything just to spark some interraction. They take me up on it, but it never reaches more.

The invites are never RSVP'd, who knows if the cards are even read...I sure hope they ate the bread, cause if not, they're missing out.

If one more person say s"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"...I'm gonna scream. Please pray that THAT doesn't happen. I couldn't stand it if I'm stuck in a place where I just survive from one day to the next. It would kill me.

Tell me - what could I be doing better to encourage REAL interraction here?


Anonymous said...

Oh Mandy...Did I write this post? Daniel and I have done the same thing. When we move somewhere new we bake cookies and offer for people to come to dinner-nobody comes. Even here, we have NO friends (besides ministry ones). And even then it is only one couple. I am so sad and broken for you over this. I totally feel your heart and will pray for community for you. You are amazing and so interesting. It is so bizarre that people are too wrapped up in their own lives to look beyond themselves to see that. I am sorry for them making that mistake. It makes me sad for you and for them missing out. -kristi

Francois said...

Hi Mandy

This must be so frustrating. I don't have any solutions... I wish I did!

I can perhaps just try and think what the people you are trying to reach out to are feeling.

There was a time in my life when I was so stressed out because of my work, and just a general feeling of that "I'm not in the right place" that all I wanted to do when I got home was space out, read a book and spend time alone to regain my energy. People often invited me for drinks or dinner, but I usually thought of an excuse to get out of it.

I can't imagine that ALL of the people in your neighborhood are experiencing that though!!

Do you think it is just a different "vibe" or culture that exists there?


Courtney said...

I totally relate to your situation. The same has happened to me for, oh, the seven years we've lived here. A friend suggested to me that people are too busy. Aren't we all? My husband suggested just going on w/ my life (I guess in the same manner as 'join em'), but it doesn't sit right. Because I want to do nice things for people. I want to know them and be friends too. The hardest hit is my 5 yr old who doesn't seem to understand the whole, "just not that in to you" philosophy. Wish I had advice, but when you figure it out--please share!

FYI, there's a house for sale across the street from us if you're interested. At least you'd know that someone would be baking you a gift and coming to your place for pie!

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I have been thinking about this all day. Funny thing, there is a girl here that has been trying to "volunteer" with us and that is usually a good thing but she is staying almost 40 minutes away and was planning on leaving in 5 weeks. So anyways we are in the middle of moving and I am going back to the States in 2 weeks so it is just madness right now. But she keeps calling and I am like time and on top of all that she doesn't have her own car, so we have to figure that out as well. Anyways, today I just said screw it and invited her over to help pack because whatever, "do life with people" that has always been my philosophy. She was amazing and God has been speaking to her about some things and we totally ended up praying together and I think she and I will be good friends after all. I don't know why we make it all complicated. So thanks for posting this. It certainly made me think twice about the relationships I am in and how I receive people. Oh, and end note...she has decided to stay an extra 3 months to serve...Yay!

Jen (a.k.a. motor mouth) said...

Hmmm. Mandy, my heart goes out to you. I am not sure that you are doing anything "wrong". I believe people get wrapped up in their own lives, and never get out of their own comfort level to meet and develop new friendships.
It's sad really.
Have you looked into a MOMS club, MOPS or something similar? That was my saving grace, going from corporate america, to being a SAHM.
ASide from what other have offered, I am not sure what else to do, keep trying and hopefully fruit will come from those efforts.

Wawa said...

I too was going to suggest a Moms club or similar. I know in our life anyway we barely have time for our close friends and family we already have that when we meet new people, as much as we like them, it takes an act of congress to try to fit them in.

I would imagine your area most people have deep roots -- making it more complicated for them to add new people in their lives. I don't think you are doing anything wrong, you just need to search out a social outlet that has people similar to you!! I know my MOMS club has a lot of ladies from out of town who joined for the same reasons - to help make friends in a new area.

Anonymous said...

hi! i'm echoing on the mops or moms club. seriously, small town indianans have root issues. =) if your not related, good luck. it's one of those 'o i know you, your mom is married to my second cousins late husbands grandson' kinda place. i've moved enough times to know the pain, and one way we've worked it out is getting involved w/ a small group or bible study w/ in our church. pie? drinks? bread? chocolate?! why can't you be my neighbor! =) btw-your daughter is the cutest in those pix!! all that hair...

Kyle said...

I tried to send you a direct message today via twitter. It said you were no longer following me. Wanted to make sure everything was okay. I was going to keep you up to date on my situation.

World's Greatest Mommy said...

Wow. It sounds like you're doing more than enough already. I'm really sorry that this is happening.

My best advice, (which ain't that great) would be to keep doing what you're doing. Maybe add in prayers that you'll be lead and directed to some real friends in your search. I'm sure that the Lord will bless you for your personable attitude and desire to serve those around you.

And if I lived next door, we'd hang out 24/7 :)

heather p said...

I know.. move back! :) I miss you! I know that is a selfish answer... But when I was feeling that way after first moving to OR I prayed and God sent you to me! I will pray for you - your awesome - don't get discouraged! Love you, Heather (your Oregon friend)
P.S. Call me... as of 08/13 I'll be a SAHM too! And you can mail be a box of bread ans sugar cookies anytime!

Brad Ruggles said...

Dang, that's hard. It sounds like you're doing all the same stuff (and more) that I would be doing. Making new friendships can be so hard but it should be easier in the church, shouldn't it?

Have you gotten involved in any small groups at Granger? I'm not offering this as my advice, I'm actually curious because I've been to Granger a couple of times and have read about them a lot and thought they were supposed to be great about getting people plugged in.

We'll be praying for you. If you were any closer we would hang out with you and we would definitely take you up on the fresh baked bread and babysitting!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

they should offer it! i'm part of one where a couple of homeschooled teen girls from church volunteer their time to watching all the kiddos in the church nursery while we do our class. we only have our classes while school is in session then at the end of the school yr we all gift a little something to the volunteers to show our appreciation. i hope something works out for you!

i'm googling dyson... =)

mandy said...

i completely understand how you feel... i think real relationships take time. i've learned this while at seminary. takes patience and deliberate effort. i'm so sorry to hear that you are struggling to make real and deep connections, but they will come. they WILL come...

Heather Stevens said...

You're doing everything you can!! They are just missing out on a great friendship with the Conforth family..and you guys are ALWAYS invited over the the Stevens' house!! We looove your girls:) speaking of which..I NEVER see you at church you go to the 5:30 service now?
miss you and love you!!

Natalie @ I AM (not) said...

So sorry. It does take time and you're are doing all the right things.

Anonymous said...

I truly think it is a Granger snob thing. We are the only family on our block who are ever outside. My neighbor talks to me once a year...(seriously) to ask me to babysit her kids after school for the rest of the year. After that, she sends checks, messages, whatever, through her children to me. Rob and I always say about our neighborhood, "No one ever goes in, no one ever goes out." It's kinda creepy actually. People look at us funny for being outside.
I am seriously a "drop-in" lover. No one ever does. Please do! you've seen my house at it's worst, so nothing could shock you! :)
Plus, I haven't gotten any bread. Am I outside of your radius?
I hope not

Anonymous said...

My thoughts for what they are worth... when we were kids, making friends was so easy - so was breaking up with friends. As we grow older and more complex making friends is harder. It all comes down to similar interest and similar desires in forming new friendships. Old established friendships are already in place, and people don't like to come out of that comfort zone. New people moving in are trying to get the lay of the land. I am with Brad though - start with life groups. Then move to something small - hey wanna grab a coke. Hey wanna grab lunch... hey I am kinda new to the area can I grab you a cup of coffee and ask you about the town... about church... about whatever. Start small. People can be weird when we try things that are viewed as big or different.

Again for what it is worth...

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm here via Tammy's blog. ;-)

This post soooo struck a chord with me. We moved here (North Dakota) four months ago and I've made ONE friend. And that was because SHE reached out to ME and invited me to a party. Other than that, I've no clue how to go about meeting people. Before we had kids it was easier.... parties/drinks/dinners with other kidless couples. Now with kids, not so easy. I'm hoping once we get plugged into a church that will change. Yeah, no church yet either. NOT easy.

I hope you find some way to meet people and get them to RESPOND to you. Maybe don't be so available for them anymore? Maybe they'd have to persue you more then?

You seem to be doing a lot of great things to meet people. I especially like the baked bread! ;-)

Maybe if there are some with kids you could call them midday to see if they wanted to go to a park with the kids or something??

I have NO clue. ;-) But I think you're doing all you can! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

p.s. I'm from Southern Oregon too. ;-) Central Point.