17 August 2005
Dating Again, or Insert Foot in Mouth
Trying to connect with other moms has a lot in common with dating, except that you're trying to make two couplings work: her kid with your kid, and you with her. So I meet a good many moms on the playground, usually because Katrina and their daughters start playing together.
Some moms I know right away that I don't have a lot in common with. Others, I feel like we have a good chat while our kids are playing together, and I really would like to follow up and try to become friends. Especially when it is obvious that our kids get along (or at least as much as it is possible for 3-year-old girls to get along). So then comes the problem, as one or the other is starting to leave: do you, on first meeting, offer your phone number in the hopes that the other mom also wants to get together again? Will the other mom think you're desperate for friends if you do that? Did she even like you--or did you talk too much, or not enough, or did she think your kid was too bossy, or ill-behaved, or, or, or...?
You see what I mean about this being like dating. For an introvert like me, trying to give another mom my number is SCARY. The only people I've managed to contact have been the moms at the preschool. But I met a German mom (with an American husband) on the playground on base a few weeks ago. She was really nice, her daughter and mine were the same age and played together for a good 45 minutes, and we both said "oh, I hope we see you again on the playground" when we left. I think we both wimped out. I haven't seen her since, and I've been hoping to run into her again. I'd like to think that this time I'd be bold and say, "here, why don't you call me and maybe we can get our daughters together to play again." I just don't know if I can make the leap.
On the other hand, you can be making a gung-ho effort and still have it fall to pieces. I've been taking Katrina to "preschool skate" at the base skating rink on Tuesdays since her preschool went on hiatus. For the last two Tuesdays, she's played with a firecracker of a girl about 6 months older, along with that girl's friend. Three little 3-year-olds screeching and running around and laughing.
Outside the rink, the little girls were playing a little as the two other moms were chatting. One mentioned that she was writing some articles. Of course my ears perked up. Another writer mom!
"Oh, are you a writer?"
"Well, sort of," she said.
I repeated something I had heard at a writers conference. "If you write, you're a writer."
"I guess I'm a writer, then," she said. "I've had a few articles published, and I'm working on a book."
"Fiction or nonfiction?"
She went on to say to the other mom that she hoped to work on it more when her daughter started preschool in the fall. I kind of butted in, because I was all excited to meet another writer.
"What's your book about?"
"Well, um," (I thought, oh, she can't put it into a short sentence. Oftentimes, less-experienced writers launch into detailed explanations. Boy was I wrong.)
"It's called, How to Raise Your Child..." (Now, I'm thinking, cool, she's writing a parenting book. I'm interested in writing about parenting too. We may have a lot to talk about!)
"How to Raise Your Child Pagan."
"Ha-ha...oh, um, wow, how interesting." (Damn the nervous laugh! No wonder she wasn't particularly forthcoming.)
Needless to say, she didn't offer me her phone number.