I am SO good at making friends. Here are a couple of examples of my friendship prowess:
A girl in my ward named her daughter Carlie--same as me, only I spell my name with a "y." We were discussing this, when, thinking that it would be a big hit, I launched into my "I've always hated my name" speech. "People always thought my name was Carla. Who wants to be named after the short, obnoxious woman on 'Cheers'? I always felt like my name was so unfeminine, which was amplified every time someone thought that my name was actually Carlyle and that I was a man..." This went on till I saw the look on the poor woman's face, at which time I shifted into full back-pedal mode: "but YOUR daughter won't have the trouble that I had. I mean, the 'ie' spelling is so much better--more feminine. I mean, she's already got the good spelling going for her. And really, it was just me that had the problem. I'm just a neurotic freak..." I don't think my back pedaling did much to brighten her spirits. Although, she and I were probably not destined to be soulmates, as she admitted to exercising five times a week shortly before we had the name conversation. Anyone who ever uses the term "cardio" seriously in a conversation probably wouldn't want to waste their time on me, because I'm sure they would see me writing/reading blogs all day and conclude that all I do is waste my time sitting at a computer when I could be spending it with a medicine ball in a gym.
Example number two: after an uncomfortably short Relief Society (during which 15 minutes were allotted for testimonies and only five of those fifteen minutes were used) I had a jolly conversation with the Sunday School teacher: "Boy, that was short. Why was it so short?" she asked. "Well, no one bore their testimony," I said with wide eyes, then added "and I wasn't about to do it!" Laugh, laugh? No. Dead silence, then an awkward "well, I already talk enough" from the Sunday School teacher, which was presumably a reference to her weekly lessons, and which provided me with a great segway into safer territory--namely, complimenting her fabulous lessons (and they are really good). Think she'll be calling on me next time I raise my hand in Sunday School? It's doubtful. Thankfully, I have never been inclined to raise my hand and comment in Sunday School--I mean, that's definitely another thing I'M not about to do, so we're all set...
Then there was that time when I jokingly offered up the phrase "I hate church" as a suggestion for Holden's speaking part in the Sacrament Meeting Progam. It was, of course, a joke, but I am not sure the primary president appreciated it. Nevermind, because Holden was the only kid who didn't speak or sing a word during the program. I like to think that he is just not a big ham, like all the other kids. He's too humble to even speak or sing, not like those prideful kids who say their part.
So, that's three down, one hundred more women left to alienate and offend. I am sure I'll manage somehow. My track record indicates that by this time next year I will have had such painful encounters with every woman in my ward.