When last we left me, I had done the “pick up line” meeting of moms with somewhat limited success (only one response – but from a really nice woman!).
But before jumping into my Mom version of 8 minute dating – why am I calling all this dating? My inspiration came from a friend of mine, who, as it happens, is single and doesn’t have kids. She said to me awhile ago that female adult friendships feel like trying to ask out the cute guy in high school. They feel a little like a minefield and seem harder than regular dating. She was talking about a neighbor who joked that she’d made a coffee date with this woman she’d recently met and was considering whether to take that further to a dinner date – after she saw how it went. Seriously, though, I totally got what she meant. If you’re single and meet a guy (I’m not saying that’s always easy!) and hit it off, you exchange numbers and often this will be followed up with conversations / actual meetings / etc. It may not become a relationship – you may just be friends. But it seems like there’s a pathway to follow. When you want to make new female friendships, the pathway seems so much more obscured. We’ve hung out at a party, we’ve hit it off – how do I ask for her number? It seems the only way that info is exchanged is if there’s something specific you’ve both mentioned an interest (hey, can you send me the info on where you ordered that [thing that is more complex than clothes because couldn’t you just tell me that now]? Or hey, I’ll find out about that event you mentioned and send you stuff.). It’s really hard to just say – hey, you’re a cool person. I’ve enjoyed talking to you. Maybe we could hang out again sometime. Is it just hard for me?
I don’t know – it’s somehow not in our path. I mean, it’s sometimes awkward in dating situations too, but … I don’t know, I kind of feel like we know where it’s going. If I’ve been talking to a guy at a party all evening – the number exchange is obvious. Society is set up around dating (or the dating concept). OK, the more I say – the more this may just be me. But it still feels like – other moms have their own set up already and may not “need” the friendship the way I do. So it feels awkward to me. As the desperate one.
Anyway, I’ve highlighted my social awkwardness too long. Let’s move on to coworkers. This one works about the same as my church stalking did. There were those women I used to always see in the bathroom at the same time when I was pregnant (because wasn’t I always in the bathroom?!) – we’d chat. How far along are you? What are you having? I was due a few months before my most frequent bathroom buddy (a woman having twins due 3 months after my daughter), so she was out when I came back from maternity leave, but I caught up with her when she came back.
I started with a few casual questions about her kids. Oh, send pictures! Where do you – get their photos done / take them to the doctor / etc.? How was your delivery? And then one day said – you know, we’re always so truncated in these conversations, we should have lunch some time.
So we did. And it was fun. But then… that was that. And the truth is – I don’t really want a weekday lunch buddy. I don’t want to go out too often (for money and calories) and we’ve been really lucky in our recent move that I live extremely close to my office now – so close that I can, in fact, go home and see my little munchkin at lunchtime. And she’s hard to compete with!
Attempt 2 – mostly a bust. A nice person who I really enjoyed having lunch with, but it was unlikely our schedules would ever synch up for ongoing friendships.
Another attempt has been the neighborhood. In our condo, I’d take the dog for walks with the baby in bjorn as often as I could. And one day I saw another mom with twin girls just a few weeks older than my daughter. She and her husband each had a baby in a bjorn and a friend was walking their (very big!) dog. She mentioned that she’d seen me pass her place several times and always wanted to say hi, so we’d get together but always seemed to have AT LEAST one hand full. Well perfect! Someone right in the neighborhood! We didn’t have pens/paper, but we pointed out (generally) where we lived and she promised she’d at least yell out next time she saw me passing.
The dog got more exercise than he had in months! I was a dog walking demon. Stalking the area where I knew her place was every day (it’s a wonder they didn’t take out a restraining order). But nada. Was it because I was the crazy lady who stood outside their door every day (ok, really, I didn’t. I just walked by most days – which I’d pretty much been doing before. Sort of.)? Or had she just found other friends?
Desperation gets 2 points here and dignity a -7.
I’ve had a little more luck in our new neighborhood – sort of. One neighbor with 2 little girls a little older than mine (and a son in school) did pass on her contact info – but then didn’t respond to my email. I’m still debating how far into deficit I should go on dignity points to email her again.
Hmm… well, it looks like I’ll need a part 3 for community events and the mom’s groups 8 minute dating (my peak into mom cliques).
So I guess I’ll leave the prompt as what are your mom dating recommendations and the funniest / most desperate things you did in an attempt to meet other moms? Hopefully my last post will consolidate the list… but I probably shouldn’t make promises!