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.


  1. I find myself timid when meeting new people...I know what you mean...this small talk is the worst!
    BUT your cupcakes look G R E A T !!!

  2. I know what you mean about advice to first-time mothers. I found myself saying something like this on Saturday when my husband's cousin was arguing with older women on whether she should put shoes on her little one or not: 'every mummy should do what she chooses to do in bringing up her child; as long as she knows why she's doing it'. And they got off her back.
    By the way, Dawn, now that you're pregnant, you shouldn't .... ;)
    Big Hugs

  3. Haha, Yiota, you made me smile with that last comment. :)
    I am trying to take a nap every day.

  4. Oh my, when we adopted our (African) children, it was almost impossible for me to go to the mall. They were 6 months old and super cute and literally EVERYBODY started talking to me. It got even worse when they started noticing all the attention and began sending little kisses to everybody. They are 6 and 7 now and a lot of people are still confused when meeting the six of us, but we can handle it.
    Have a nice day!
    Natacha, blogging from Luxembourg

  5. People do love adorable dogs and pregnant ladies. LOL

    I do compliment people on their cute dogs, can't help myself. And pregnancy is such a sign of hope, life, love, and change. If someone is helping me in a store and they're pregnant, I will congratulate them, ask when they are due, etc., say positive things. I do draw the line at touching their tummies, that's going too far if you don't know them.


  6. ....i would rather be HOME by myself with Teddy than anywhere on earth...

    loved reading the post....you sound alot like ME !

    happy to visit today dawn
    love to you ramon and baby


  7. Oh Dawn, I hope you will find some new friends that you connect with... these are few and far between. I know exactly what you are talking about. Just seems we connect with a few in this life time...But we never know when we will meet them do we? God has a way of placing people in our lives (especially when we least expect it..smile...)

    Your cupcakes look so yummy...I'm sure they were delicious...

    Well...enjoy this journey..blessings...
    xoxo Gert

  8. Good for you both for being brave to attend the BBQ! But, I know what you mean when you say it is hard to connect with both people in a couple. Haven't found too many but when you do, treasure them : ) Other folks can be so rude...they mean well, but it can be so trying! Your blog may give people insight to think twice before they speak. Sending you a big hug, Sherry xx

  9. Kary, we have so many things in common....and I think we might be set in our ways, haha! I, too, love nothing more than being either at home or in the forest, and I'm always very grateful when I have a walk through the woods without bumping into anyone. Is that horrible?!

  10. hahaha...great post, made me smile, love your patience and kindness that shines through your beautiful heart.
    Every friend was once new...it's always great to have new questions too...I'll have to remember that when I next ask a new potential friend about them.

  11. "Every friend was once new..."

    That's so sweet!




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