Before we begin, I'd like to say, that I've always struggled with making friends. I have a naturally shy and quiet nature in social settings which has often made it difficult for me to open up and create long lasting bonds.
On top of that, being the only little black girl in my classroom for the entirety of my youth, made it hard for me to not feel like a complete alien around the other girls in my class. When summer rolled around every year, the pool party invites would come in, only for me to not want to go, in fear of what the boys and girls in my class might think if they saw my hair in its natural state.
When I entered high school, going tanning or laying out by the pool with friends was something I heard about, but was never invited to participate in.
Long story short, making friends at school has never been a cake walk for me.
Luckily, I was blessed with a mother who put me in every after school program known to man. Or at least every one available within a 10 mile radius.
I took Polynesian dance classes, I entered pageants, did competitive studio dancing, rode horses, took Japanese emersion lessons, chess lessons, golf lessons. You name it, I was doing it. Being my naturally shy self, I was always nervous to enter a new classroom or dance studio with a bunch of kids I didn't know. But I usually ended up having an absolute blast.
And while all those classes may have seemed excessive at the time, I was learning a very important life lesson.
When I was in 6th grade, and started to realize that because of my involvement in pageants, I had friends all across the country and I really didn't need to seek the approval of the kids in my everyday classroom. I was living a vibrant life outside of school, that gave me perspective and gave me friends who also loved the things I loved.
THE LESSON: You have to be intentional about the activities you partake in, if you want to be around like minded women.
If you want to be around other elegant, classy women, chances are you won't meet them at WWE games or Monster Truck rallies. (You could, but you'd have much better luck searching elsewhere). Chances are, you'll meet them at tea parties, book clubs, at cooking classes and wine & paint nights.
The beautiful thing about all of you #fancies, is that you're all about self-improvement. You are making a conscious effort to improve and grow. Knowing that, you'll want to position yourself around other women who have a desire to improve and grow, as well.
Here are some ways/places to meet like-minded, feminine women.
Retreats are not reserved just for your church group, in fact, there are SEVERAL retreats across the country for a variety of topics. Whether you're a #girlboss looking to network, or a woman who just needs a little estrogen-filled getaway, there are plenty of opportunities to head to one of the many conferences that are held throughout the year. Click HERE for an article I found detailing the different conferences and retreats for different women!
Okay before you roll your eyes at me, please hear me out! If you're a girly girl like me, an ambitious girl, or an elegant, leveled up woman, I would seriously consider competing in a pageant. Not only are pageants a great opportunity to build your self-confidence and self esteem, but they also place you around so many other women who have similar goals and dreams as you!
You get the practice of walking in an evening gown, you learn the art of conversation and articulating yourself, and you create lasting bonds with like-minded women. Trust me, some of my closest friends are friends I've met from my years competing in pageants. There are pageants for married women, for moms, pageants for specific ethnic groups and so much more. Here is a list of Mrs. pageants to check out! But if you're between the ages of 18-29, I would check out some of the more popular competitions like Miss USA/Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss Earth etc. Some of my favorite elegant celebrities are former pageant queens like Priyanka Chopra and Gal Gadot!
3. Etiquette Courses
Much of my etiquette knowledge comes from my pageant training, but there are group courses you can take in bigger cities to freshen up your knowledge of which fork goes with which plate. Women who are in etiquette classes will more than likely have something in common with you. They
have a desire to become more knowledgable about hosting or being an elegant woman. Of course, you could take a one-on-one class, or do something online, but finding a group course also allows you to network with some of the up and coming women in your area's high society. If you live in a small town, it might be a matter of flying to New York or my lovely San Francisco for a week to invest in such a course, but it will definitely be worth it when you can dine confidently with the elite.
4. Cake Decorating Classes
I've ALWAYS wanted to take cake/dessert decorating classes. I would see them advertised at Michael's Craft Store and told myself I would take a class someday, but somehow never got around to it. As SOON as quarantine is over, that is the first place I will be. If you have goals of being the ultimate homemaker (think Bree Van De Kamp from Desperate Housewives) as I do, then a dessert decorating class might be a great place to meet other women who want to sharpen their impressive baking skills. You can connect with other women in your area who are looking to improve their homemaking skills AND get tasty treats out of it....need I say more?
5. Meetup Groups
A few years ago, my mom got really into Meetup groups. If you're not familiar, Meetup is a website that is designed for situations like this one. Let's say you're very into badminton. But there is no badminton group in your area, they don't play it at your gym and you have no idea where to meet other people who share your love of the tiny tennis/volleyball mashup. You can head to meetup.com and search for badminton to see if there are any groups who gather to play! It's an opportunity to hang out with people you don't know, who share a common interest. There are meetup groups for people wanting to learn a new language, for people who have just moved to a new city, book clubs, movie review meetups and so much more. If you can't find a meetup group for classy elegant women, start one yourself! You'll be pleasantly surprised at how many people sign up to participate in elegant activities.