Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Meeting New People
On Saturday, there was a BBQ for us and all of our neighbors. As the flyer in the hallway stated, we should get to know each other instead of just bumping into each other in the hall or while taking out the garbage. Everyone brought something along; I brought potato salad and these vanilla cupcakes.
Honestly, Ramon and I aren't the most social people when it comes to, well, meeting new people. We love our friends and enjoy talking for hours with them. But there is something about the small talk involved with meeting new people that we both don't enjoy very much. What do you do for a living, how long have you been together, when's the baby due, how did you end up in Austria....this line of questions tends to feel exhausting and boring to me. And out of the millions of people on this planet, there's only a handful that you really truly connect with and want to spend your time with (which makes that handful very precious).
But of course we went to the BBQ, not wanting to be the odd neighbors who didn't show up. And it wasn't half bad. Mostly we talked with a young couple who also have a dog and who are very nice. Ramon and I joke a lot about being on the search for a new 'go-to-couple' ever since our best friends split up. It's not easy to find a couple that we both click with, with the same or similar likes and dislikes, hobbies, taste in movies and food, and most important, sense of humor. So we're always hopeful when we meet a new pleasant couple.
Mostly people wanted to know about the pregnancy, and to tell me their pregnancy stories and about how our lives are going to change dramatically (at which point I always feel like saying "Really? I had no idea!"). It's funny; when you're pregnant, it's pretty much the only thing people talk about with you, and they feel very obliged to giving lots of parenting advice, even when you didn't ask for it. You learn to nod along even if you don't agree with it, and most of it is just a repetition of what a dozen other people have already said. I don't mind it much; but I'll admit that I don't like the comments along the lines of, "Get your sleep now, you won't be getting any soon enough," "Make sure to put cream on your belly or you'll get stretch marks," or "A boy? Boys are a handful!" The comment I get most frequently, though, is, "Due in September? Oh my goodness, you've picked the worst time to be pregnant. In this heat!" Yes. It's hot. Sometimes too hot. But I'll survive, and I am just so happy and grateful to be pregnant at all!
What I do appreciate are comments such as, "How wonderful! You will experience a love like none other before it!" But curiously, comments like that are pretty rare.
I didn't know how much I liked being left alone by strangers until I got Kiki. When you have a puppy, or a dog for that matter, strangers seem to take this as an invitation to strike up a conversation with you. It's the same thing with pregnancy. And in both cases, people have plenty of unsolicited advice. So getting Kiki prepared me somewhat for the onslaught of questions, comments, and advice that comes with expecting a child.
And it's all in preparation for how it will be when I am pushing Rafael in a stroller. I am not naive to the fact that there is plenty of advice and small talk waiting for first-time mothers.
P.S. The cupcakes I made were absolutely delicious. They tasted like they were from a bakery! I doubled THIS cupcake recipe, but only made the single portion of frosting, which I found was plenty for 24 cupcakes.