The Park

In between buying a jumpsuit half off at Target (because, duh, $15 well spent) and reading The Ragamuffin Gospel I’ve realized that starting over in a city knowing NO ONE is a whole lot like dating. And as a happily married woman I dislike that very much.

Making friends as an adult is a whole level of awkward. I thought all that small talk and totally awkward attempts at ambiguous compliments were over. Apparently not.

I’ve found that there’s always a few of the same types of moms at the park that fall somewhere on the following spectrum: Victoria Beckham Posh and Hot <—————————–> I’m Just Here So I Don’t Lose My Mind. I fall a little left of center here and the day I roll up to the spiral slide in a pair of strappy black sexy shoes you better punt me.

It never fails. I always start with the “Hi! How old is he? He’s tall/active/smart/so sweet!” That’s about as far as I get before I comment on something my kid’s doing in an effort to break the awkward silence when it’s just me an another woman haphazardly pushing our kid on a swing.

There’s only so many ways I can non-creepily talk about your kid or your Tory Burch flip flops (that you paid entirely too much for, by the way) before I realize this isn’t going anywhere.  I don’t even know if I’m supposed to shake your hand at the end of our conversation by the swing or give you a side hug. Full frontal hug? That’ll get you arrested. Or certainly avoided the next time your kid wants to swing on the monkey bars that are pretty much the the temperature of the surface of the sun.

And forget asking for your number. Then I have to ask for your name again because I was too busy yelling at my toddler to stop eating mulch that I forgot to actually listen. Of course you’ll tell me again (“It’s Sara”) but I have to decide if it’s with an “h” or without as I type it to store in my phone. Because those things matter to people whose parents went all creative and spelled “Sara” some way awesome like “Cerahh.” I can’t even deal with this nonsense. Of course I can’t even tell you my name and give you my number in return because my preschooler is such an elementary Cross Walk Leader Hall Monitor In Training that she refuses to touch her bike without her helmet on. Because rules are rules. And your kid now thinks she’s a fuddy duddy because she values her skull.

Our kids will play together for awhile and we’ll make pleasantries about what our husband’s do and how we really should exercise more- You hear T 25 is legit. I assure you it is. But ultimately someone’s kid loses their ability to regulate emotions and everyone in adjoining counties knows it. So I smile and give you the “I feel for you, Mama” eyes because it’s DEFINITELY not my kid, and off we go to the our homes where demands of fro yo and insistence that naps are NOT needed don’t end until Daddy gets home.

I go home kicking myself because I kind of liked your Nike’s and that must be a sign that we’re destined to be best friends, or at least Park Acquaintances. I may even let you give my kid a push on the swing while I tend to the tantrum of the other. We’ll be cool like that for awhile. Maybe snag some Starbucks or Chick Fil A after (or lie and say it’s nap time….at 9AM).

Either way it’ll be awkward. Maybe not so much for you as for me but on the off chance it is let’s just assume the other really likes a good glass of wine and moments of silence that aren’t while being barricaded in our bathrooms. And if those aren’t things that can bond us mama’s together I don’t know what can.

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