Unraveling How to Mutter: ‘Lets Hang Out’

‘Lets hang out’ 3 little words thrown around like nothing, seemingly easy to use with little to no effort. Unfortunately, the simplicity of ‘lets hang out’ seems to be linked to context. Coming from college culture where the premise of making new friends is all the rage and everyone is looking to add to their Facebook friends list; I find myself mystified in the real world. In the real world of making new friends and meeting new people, there is no context of needing or wanting to make new ties. Most people have established friends over time and have gotten into a groove. In summers passed upon returning home I have looked forward to seeing my ‘home’ friends, those from high school that house so many childhood memories, those that have been there the longest, those that reek of familiarity. I am in no way perusing my hometown in search of someone new to hang out with; I am more excited and focused on catching up with my old friends. The context of home is smothered by nostalgia and reliving the good times, and as I move into my second week away from home I find myself trying to apply the college context to a place that prefers longevity.

As I jump into the workforce and embark on my first time waiting tables I find myself surrounded by co-workers who have grown up in the area or near by and know at least one other co-worker. They are returning home from college to their hometown, their childhood friends, and to a summer that reeks of summers past. And then there’s me, never having lived in Rye, near a beach, or a mall for that matter and none of these people have a clue who I am or what I’m about.

Now, not knowing me is not of concern since that could duly be in my favor; however, the haunting reality of having none of my friends a second away and overhearing my co-workers making plans for the weekend makes me realize that this whole ‘new place’ ordeal may be harder than expected. All I can think about is how alone time is only nice for so long before boredom sets in and has the potential to lead to reruns of One Tree Hill, and falling into my weakness of chocolate; oh yes, chocolate and that can only lead to one thing, my thighs.

With all of that in mind I started to think about the people I had met and how I could move these acquaintances into the friend zone. I would like to think of myself as a nice young woman, I’m not shy, I like to talk, and I’m definitely not afraid to embarrass myself (the embarrassing bit may be more of just who I am). There just seems to be one problem….when is it appropriate to start making plans to meet up? To ask for a number? Or simply just mutter those three little words, ‘lets hang out’.

You see if I was talking about a date then I’d be all set. I mean one meeting and I could be smooth sailing into the numbers game and moving my way into a hang out; but friendships are a different story. I’m looking for the long haul or at least just a summer friendship of beach days, drink nights, and relaxing. Maybe I am just over thinking things but dancing my way into friendships and lives that have already been established and are well, comfortable, seems like a daunting task. My background in making friends 101 is grounded in college culture, not the real world where everything sparkles a bit more permanence and the fast pace lifestyle slows down and moves into day-to-day living.

So if any of you bloggers, tip-givers, or flat-out awesome beings have suggestions I’m all ears.

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