Making New Friends ‘Black Swan’ Style

by Trisha-and-Amy on February 28, 2011

Wanna be friends?

Every year for the past 10 years or so, I’ve hosted an Oscar party. It’s usually just women, no boys or babies allowed. The first year, it started out as just watching the Oscars. Then, I added a real red carpet leading down the street. Year two included gold stars on the carpet with guest names on them. Then, the expectations got pretty big, so I had to step it up with costumes, gold statuettes, and movie title signature cocktails. For someone like me, who carries not one, but two pairs of fake ‘teef’ in her purse at all times, this party was part of my identity, and it was a joyous occasion.

So this was the first Oscar night in our new town. I was ambivalent at first — do I even know enough women to invite? How far do I go? No one really knows me yet. I decided to just have a viewing. Simple. Lots of wine and champagne, a few appetizers. No betting pool, no spontaneous real-time dance numbers, just meet and greet. I sent out the Evite, and voila! I had 17 people RSVP. Score! I can do this. Fast-forward to yesterday, Oscar day. Usually when I’m putting together a cocktail party I’m skipping, I’m humming, I’m all about the fun energy. This day was different. I was lackluster. I had no sparkle. And then, I figured out why. I needed something extra for this party. It didn’t feel like ME. The only way to get to know new moms is to throw myself — no, hurl myself at them, balls out. So I decided in the frozen seafood section, to be…The Swan. I dashed back to the house, found a black tutu. That I actually own. Shocking, I know. I found my 6-year old daughter Emily’s Barbie make-up. And my friend Shauna dropped her daughter’s tiara off on the porch.

Once every last candle was lit, I slowly, methodically, got ready, like an old Oscar dame about to give her last performance. Hair pulled back. White foundation. Insanely black eye make-up, check. And the tiara. Now, the Black Swan experiment was about to begin.

I mean, how many friends does one really need? When you move to a new city at 41, you just want to connect with a few people who ‘get’ you, who you can hang out with, judgment free. So maybe being the Black Swan will act as a true litmus test.

The looks at the front door told the story. Three horrified (big scared eyes, shuffled past me to the kitchen), a handful smiled through gritted teeth (“Hi! Uh…I didn’t get the memo…heh heh”), 4 were just flatline, and approximately four genuinely seemed into it. Four! I call that a success story. I’ll take it. Natalie Portman, do you think you could get nominated for a Grease re-make next year? That would be awesome.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Bronwyn February 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

Girl I so FEEL YOU on this!! I felt the same way when I moved to San Jose. Every social gathering was a “WHERE MY PEOPLE AT??” situation. And all too often, it was crickets that I got in response. But now, almost 7 years later, I totally found some great women of my tribe. They may not have quite the sick sense of humor that my Blanches in SF have, but they’re still pretty awesome. Hang in there. Next year, dress up as Kirk Douglas and see how that goes.

Shauna February 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I am crazy about any sort of litmus test and this one takes the cake. I want drinks with you and the FOUR!

Amarian March 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Dear Black Swan,

I love your approach and your freshness!!!! I know exactly how you feel and would have been the fifth happy guest at your party!!! Thank you for sharing this, now I know I am not alone…..


Susi March 14, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Ok…I don’t even *know* how i have made it to your page…i just know that i admire that you weren’t sure how these new friends would handle you throwing yourself into things BlackSwanStyle and that you did it anyway. I just know that I wish you lived in my ever-so-suburban world so i could have gone to your Oscars party (though even though I only saw Black Swan and no other Oscar nominated movies. Unless True Grit was nominated, i’m guessing was…how embarassing is it that i dont’ know…anyway, TG was a good movie!) and i SO would have worn my black tutu (that really is my almost-5 year old daughter’s and would have likely cut off my circualation but i’m not ready to talk about how that’s a problem) and it would have been lovely. or wine-fabulous which i’m pretty sure is not only a word but completely awesome. but anyway. the point is you just go being a really good mom regardless of wine (which i am totally all for) or not for wine (which seems sad, but you know, like whatever….) and we will still love your blog and get the point that you’re sending out into the universe which is “i love my kids but sometimes frankly they suck but they are still awesome and sometimes i still need a break and so on and so forth” and we support you.

ok, gotta nap now. zzz.

Dawn HHS May 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Ran across this old post tonight (Some good things come out of insomnia.) Love the photo and the story!

Vim July 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm

I just came across your blog, and this post. I’ll be relocating cross-country soon and sometimes the thought of starting over again is intimidating beyond words. You have shown me that I just need to bring my inner black swan attitude with me and I’ll be fine. Thanks!

admin July 17, 2012 at 4:29 am

It’s so scary re-locating…we both moved recently to new spots in the country. Especially when you’re not in your 20′s anymore, and everyone has really established circles. But it’s true- as long as you stay true to who you are, you’ll be just fine. XO

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