Diary of a Marriage: Making New Couple Friends

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J. and I were having a pep talk in the parking lot of a restaurant last week, reassuring one another of our innate awesomeness.

“We’re so fun,” I said.

“Yeah,” J. agreed. “We are really fun.”

We checked each other’s teeth.

“You’re good.”

“So are you.”

And then we pep-talked some more.

“I mean, how could they not want to be friends with us? Right?” I said.

“Exactly,” he said.

“Okay,” I said. “Let’s do it.”

We high-fived, because that’s what we do sometimes, and we walked inside. We were there to meet our New Couple Friends, Joe and Ashley, for our first new friends date.

While J. and I both brought our own groups of friends to the marriage, we haven’t really made any post-marriage couple friends. It’s tougher than it seems. There was one couple in our neighborhood with whom we became friendly, at least enough to carpool with them to the Philadelphia Marathon one year. I was certain that we’d end up casual running friends until they showed up marathon morning, decked out in scary, hardcore running gear. I think they finished the full marathon around the same time J. and I finished the half. Later that evening, as J. and I lay prostrate on the couch, convinced that we were dying, our doorbell rang. Moaning in pain, one of us crawled to answer it—I can’t remember who—to find our running neighbors. They were freakishly peppy and bouncy, smiling at us and looking as fresh as daisies. J. and I looked at each other after they left. We didn’t have the strength to utter actual words, but if we had, those words would probably have been: “I think our new neighbor friends are aliens.”

We were pretty certain that Joe and Ashley were not aliens, though. Fellow season ticket holders, they’ve sat in front of us at Villanova basketball games for years. We’d smile at each other, exchange a few pleasantries, maybe even a high five if the game warranted it. J. and I got engaged around the same time they did, and we were married within a year of one another. The season after J. and I got married, Ashley showed up to a game sporting a baby bump. The next season, she came holding baby Joey. This was great for many reasons, the biggest one being that I now had a cute baby to pay attention to when the game got boring. While the men bonded over basketball, Ashley and I bonded over her cute baby.

After discovering that we lived only a few streets away from them, we started promising each other that we’d meet up for dinner. And then last week, we actually did. Which is how J. and I ended up sitting in a parking lot telling each other how great we are.

As first couple dates go, it was a major success. Easy conversation, lots in common, boys talked sports, girls talked everything else, hugs at the end, promises to do it again. If finding new married friends is tough, finding new married friends in the suburbs is even tougher. And J. and I had hit the Holy Grail: Married friends with a babysitter and an appreciation for beer, wings, Villanova basketball, Oscar-fashion deliberation, and running in moderation.

J. and I ended the night the same way we’d started it.

“We’re really fun.”

“Yeah, they’ll totally want to go out with us again. Right?”

“Definitely. I mean, look at us! So. Fun.

“I think that joke I made was funny, didn’t you?”

“The one about Coolio? Oh, totally. You killed it.”

“I probably can’t blog about this, can I? Because then they’ll think we’re creepy.”

“Yeah, probably not.”

But, so, since here we are … um, let the hunt for the Holy Grail begin again.

(PS: Joe and Ashley? If you’re reading this, we’re really not creepy. Call us!)


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