Finding Your Tribe

I’m an introvert. Anyone who knows me will tell you that. I’m perfectly willing to be social for a while before I need my quiet time. But I don’t have many friends. I can count my close friends on one hand, and my close-ish friends on two. I’m also a military spouse, which means I move every two to three years. Just as I get really comfortable, it’s time to go somewhere else.

We’re in a new place now. We’ve been here for two months, which is still pretty new. And I had an opportunity to go into the local comic book store finally. (I had to catch up on Civil War II. Not that I’m actually going to get caught up, but at least I’ll have some idea what’s going on.) It’s a good comic shop. Like, a seriously good one. A fantastic selection, current and back issues. Graphic novels as well. A system for keeping track of regular customers’ favorites, so that you can just come pick up your stack. D&D every Tuesday. Magic every Friday. Miniature gaming. Even a relative who’s an actual Marvel artist.

It felt a bit like coming home. This is a language I speak, these are people I get. This is my tribe. It took about three minutes before I was in conversation with someone about the various storylines involved in CWII.

Sadly I won’t be spending much time there. Two small children and a husband working long hours means I don’t get evenings to spend gaming. (Plus, I got rid of my Magic cards two moves ago when I realized I hadn’t opened the box in a decade.)

Two of my dearest friends are going to Dragon*Con this week. I love D*C. Once again, my language, my people. I won’t be going back until my children are older. I’m feeling left out, even though I know I shouldn’t. But it’s hard to always feel like you’re the one on the outside.

As a mom, I’m supposed to have mom friends. They’re supposed to be my tribe. And I’ve met tons of lovely women who I enjoy chatting with. Of course, I don’t know their names – they’re often just Gabriel or Arya’s mom. But I never seem to get to actual friends with any of them; we never seem to have anything in common except our children. And even that is dangerous as a topic, as parenting is a minefield of differing opinions. Certainly no one ever invited us on a playdate.

It would be nice if I could bring these circles closer into alignment: nerd friends who were also moms and had time during the day. But that seems like asking too much. And we won’t even talk about writer friends.

For now, I guess I’ll just have to keep visiting the comic shop. I still need to get caught up on Civil War II, and you never know who you’ll meet.

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