Posted in Blog, Featured, Friends, Mother, Rebecca, Woman

Thawing more than your breastmilk…the Seattle Freeze

Have you heard of the Seattle Freeze

It’s a term I’ve only recently heard but it’s meaning is something I’m oh so familiar with. So why has our city become so cold?

“The city often ranks pretty high on those lists of the best places to move to – There’s the food, the water, the mountains, the music. But once people get here, they find it’s pretty tough to make friends.” 

Pretty tough to make friends? I’d say that’s an understatement. How about “next to impossible” to make friends? I love what these guys are doing. There’s a Meetup group for Seattle Anti-Freezers. Love it!!

Here’s 5 theories behind Seattle’s chilly networking reputation.  I feel like I’ve had this exact exchange they wrote about in the article.

Seattleite: “So, what are you up to this weekend?”
New Arrival: “I don’t have any plans yet. I just moved to Seattle and don’t really know anybody.”
Seattleite: “Well, have a nice weekend, then!”

Can anyone relate to this or is it just me? I know it’s not just me. I was talking with a friend about this last week and it’s REAL folks. I first noticed it when I moved to Seattle from a suburb. I had just gotten married, moved to a new neighborhood, and started a new job.

At first, I thought it was because I was “new” to the neighborhood. After all, how do you meet other couples? It’s not like we go bar-hopping. And you don’t just go to the mall with your SO and casually strike up a conversation with another couple in the shoe department. Awkward!!

I met a few new friends through other friends, but I did start to notice a bit of a “standoffishness” about people here. (Is that a word?) I had always liked smiling at people that passed me on the sidewalk. Nope, not happening here. Or striking up random conversations with someone at the grocery store. Nope, not here.

Then I had a baby. OH DEAR. And I felt it become exponentially worse. When you enter Motherhood for the first time, you enter the trenches. It might possibly be the hardest year of your life. You might feel alone like you never have before. We go through what I call, The Second Birth.

I thought for sure I’d meet a bunch of other Mamas at Mom’s groups, birthing class, and various support groups. And I did…meet them. But more often that not, that’s all that took place. The meeting part.

Ugh. Why was this hard? I felt like I was immersed in the dating scene all over again. Only this time, I was more self conscious, more timid, and more scared than ever.

I’m here trying to figure all this Mothering stuff out like finding my new normal, struggling with outrageous expectations of self and questioning every single decision I make over and over again. Or how about all the guilt? And on top of all of that, I’m feeling like I have to audition to make a new friend.

Forget it. I’ll just stay at home. Be a recluse. Not talk to anyone. Call my mom 5 times a day instead. Start a blog and put my random thoughts out to the universe. And now I’ve become part of the freeze.

It’s hard. I know I’m as equally responsible as anyone else. My friend and I talked about this too. Where does our responsibility end and other’s begin? All we can do is our part. Be outgoing. Offer friendship. Give our phone number. Ask for theirs. Make a playdate. And CALL THEM FIRST.

My opinion is that the Seattle Freeze is real. It’s not in my head or yours. How much can we control? How can we adapt? What do we need to change?

Honestly, I don’t know that it matters much what the REASON is why we are this way. It matters that we care to do something about it. Do we want to be connected to other people in an authentic way? Then we have to be open and vulnerable and let people in. Then maybe we just may see some ice melt.

 

 

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  1. Alison Mackey says:

    Oh I am so familiar with the freeze! And Rebecca, I want to apologize to you for being a part of that awful freeze! By not calling you and only seeing you at friend’s houses on that rare and random play date or birthday party, I was playing into the whole thing. Not meaning to, it affects you that way…. What the?
    I have always enjoyed reading your blogs and although I now live in NY, I will always read what you write. You’re a great writer!
    Hope you weather the freeze better then I did!
    Happy friending!
    Alison

    • Alison!!!!
      Thank you so much for that. And I also apologize to you too. I don’t know how many times we sat next to each other at First Weeks. Or saw each other around town.

      Thanks for reading my posts and I appreciate the feedback. You are missed and I hope you will keep in touch.

      Are you finding people to be friendly in NY?

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