I’m leading a double life.
There’s friend-making Rachel and married Rachel. Two separate but equally important people.
When I first started this search I consciously chose to do it on my own. The quest was—and is—about being a woman in a new city and how hard and hilariously awkward it can be to try and make new friends. I happened to be married at the time, but it was something I’d been thinking about since I moved here three and a half years ago.
So while Matt and I already had a few couple friends, and I figured more might emerge, he wasn’t included in the friending process. The ladies who passed muster would meet him eventually.
But now a lot of women have not only passed the sniff test but have become actual friends. And they still haven’t met him. They haven’t even seen him. I’m pretty sure they think I made him up.
Last weekend Matt was out of town for a work conference. One of my new friends had a birthday party and another of our friends brought her husband. It would have been the perfect debut, but alas, lawyering called. When I hosted these same girls for my getting-to-know-you pizza party months ago, he escaped to watch basketball elsewhere. People in my LEADS group seem genuinely surprised that I am doing it without my husband, and they always invite him (via me) to go to the bar with us afterwards. But it’s on weeknights and Matt gets up early for work, so partying at a bar doesn’t exactly fit in with his schedule.
Last week, after the birthday party, I was carving pumpkins with the same two girls and we were talking about the elusive Matthew. “He’s like Snuffleupagus,” one friend said.
When Matt got back from his trip I told him about the exchange.
“What does she mean, Snuffleupagus?” he asked.
“He was Big Bird’s imaginary friend at the beginning. Whenever the adults tried to meet him he disappeared.”
“This changes everything I ever thought about Sesame Street,” was all he could say.
I purposely kept these two aspects of my life separate at first. But I never really thought about how hard it might be to balance friends and marriage. When I spend too much time with friends, I miss QT with my husband. When I spend non-stop time with Matthew, I start craving girl talk. Other than a few double dates with other married friends, I haven’t yet figured out how to blend the two.
Have you ever struggled with the friendship-marriage balance? I can’t even imagine what happens when you have kids…
As for the Snuffleupagus thing… At least he’s not compared to Oscar.