There it is. Sitting there. That blank line. With two of the most annoying words in the history of popularity. Friendship request. Yup, I was filling out the camp forms last night and there was that line staring up at me. And it says it has to be reciprocal. Oh shit, I better make that totally uncomfortable phone call to Betty McBoopypants and ask her if our kids can request each other. I feel like I’m in the 9th grade again asking a boy to go with me to Homecoming.
ME: Hi Betty, so I have a question. Do you maybe want to write down our girls for the camp friendship request?
BETTY: Ohhhh, uhhhh, ummmm, I wish we could but I already said I would do it with Peggy McPopular.
Because there are the moms who fill out the camp forms at 11:59 the day they are due, and then there are the moms who know who they’re friendship-requesting way back in September. You know the moms I’m talking about. They huddle together trying to match so-and-so with so-and-so so they can con the system and get ALL their girls all into the same group.
The way I see it, friendship requests do four things:
1. They solidify cliques.
2. They make lonely kids feel lonelier.
3. They make moms have awkward conversations.
4. And they stop our kiddos from learning a shitload about making new friends and being independent.
Last year I made my friendship request for Zoey, and guess what happened? She ended up being best friends with a different girl she had never met before. And now they see each other at the ice rink and have play dates and she has a new friend.
Yeah, I know some of you are thinking that’s easy for me to say because my kid is outgoing. You’re right. But from what I see, most of the people friend-requesting don’t have painfully shy wallflowers. By all means if your kiddo is super shy, there’s no harm in making a little phone call to the office to say that it would be nice if she had a friendly face or two from school in her group.
But that friendship request line on the form is like blatantly asking moms to keep cliquey kids together. And I would like to see it go away. Can you imagine the shitshow of moms FAreaking out. Gasp, I can’t find the friendship request!! OMG, it’s not there! What EVER will we do?!!
Oh I don’t know, maybe we’ll teach our kids to be less exclusive and cliquey and show them that walking into a room of strangers isn’t a bad thing. It’s an opportunity. An opportunity to make new friends.
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