Friday, January 16, 2015

Back on the Market

No, Rob and I are not having problems. I know the title might be misleading, but I am not back on the market looking for a new husband. But I do feel like trying to find a new friend is very similar to dating.

My sister-in-law sent me a great article a few months ago about how trying to find other moms to be friends with is like dating. You are trying to pick them up at the playground. You see a mom that you think you might be friends with so you work up the nerve to chat with them. Just like dating, you weed out the moms who wouldn't be a good match.

You think to yourself, "Okay, that mom looks too perfect. She just came to the playground after her Pilates class and she is feeding her kids organic granola in her BPA free container. We can't be friends." Or you see the mom who is in a pair of ratty sweatpants yelling at her kids and you don't want to strike up a conversation with her either because, let's be honest, she reminds you too much of yourself and you are trying to be in between the Pilates Mom and the Ratty T-shirt Mom.

So, you see her. Your new best friend. She looks pulled together, but not too much. She is feeding her kids a somewhat healthy snack, but she also has a Capri Sun to go along with it, so you feel better. Her clothes look somewhat fresh, but her messy pony tail is a dead give away that she doesn't have it all together. A perfect match for you. So, now what do you do? You try out some of your pick up lines. "Nice diaper bag," you say. Or, "Oh, we have that same striped shirt. Old Navy, right? Size 3T?"

It's a dilemma. It really is. And it is even more so when you have moved as much as I have and so you don't have a built in tribe of girlfriends. You are always hoping to meet a mom you can connect with and who has kids that will be your child's BFF. Am I right?

Keep all of this in mind as I explain what happened to me this week. All of the above thoughts were going through my mind as I took Lainey to a trampoline bounce place. One of those places that are mind numbingly boring if you have to go by yourself. Which I do. All the time. I mean watching your child jump up and down is cute for 5 minutes, but I can only watch Lainey bounce for so long before even reading a copy of Moby Dick sounds more appealing. I sat down and watched all of the moms coming in with their other mom friends on their playdates and I missed my friends in Kansas City and Alabama so much.

And then she sat down next to me. My new best friend perhaps? She had a little boy exactly Lainey's age. Check! She had a cute diaper bag. Great starting point! She looked cute and wasn't yelling at her little boy, but she was feeding him goldfish out of the bag. My kind of friend. We were talking. We were connecting. I felt giddy and I was planning family vacations for us where our kids would run and play for hours and our husbands would grill out together while she and I would recap the latest episodes of the Bachelor. **Side note. I don't really watch the Bachelor. But I needed something we could recap together. Side note #2- Rob doesn't really grill that much**

Then it happened. About 20 minutes after chatting with her and thinking we might exchange numbers and get the kids together again, another woman walked in the trampoline place. She was beautiful. She had on a great outfit, killer boots and yes, had a great diaper bag. She waved to my new friend and said, "Sorry I am late. Preston needed to go potty right before we got in the car and then Madison couldn't find her shoes and well, you know how it goes." My new friend smiled, stood up, gathered her things and walked over to another table where her little boy greeted Preston and Madison with enthusiastic hugs and they all ran off to play together leaving Lainey to jump alone and me to play my 375th round of Candy Crush.

I felt like I was at a bar and the guy I had been flirting with ditched me the second his girlfriend walked through the door. **Side note #3- I never did that. Not a flirt at a bar kind of girl. But it fits into my narrative so work with me.**

And so here I am . Still in a new city. Still looking for new friends. Still wishing Preston and Madison had had the flu that day and still braving the world as a single stay at home mom. And yes, that term exists. I am inventing it now.