I never realized making new friends as an adult would be quite so much like dating boys in high school....
You meet what seems like a fun and interesting Mom at the Chick-fil-a playground: She seems normal- check. She held up her end of the conversation (though it was only five minutes)- check. She complimented your new diaper bag- check. Yes, things seem to be going just great. You swap e-mail addresses and decide a playdate is in order. You meet up at the local park a few days later. Fifteen minutes into your "first date" you realize this relationship is not going to work out. Her precious three year old just intentionally threw a whole bucket of sand into your daughter's eyes, and your hopeful candidate didn't so much as blink at her little brat. You smile, politely, through the next hour as she talks about how much money her husband made last year, where they will be putting their three terrors into private school, and how she doesn't really like living in the south... she is from South Florida and doesn't really understand "this culture." "Let me know if you need help packing so you can get the heck outta Dodge!" You wish you had the nerve to say, as you come up with a sweet excuse to leave early. You then ignore her next e-mail, inviting you to a wine tasting with all of her "dearest friends."
A few weeks later you meet another interesting Mom, who also seems to have a lot in common. You chat for a bit by the neighborhood pool, and learn you both agree fully on discipline, religious and political views. You learn this, of course, without ever actually talking formally about any of these topics. You just see her discipline her three year old, for dumping a bucket of water on his innocent 12 month old sister, and think, "That's exactly how I would have handled that!" Then later in the discussion you mention what to cook for dinner and she says, "I always do crock-pot on Wednesdays, because it's a church night for us." Her child then sneezes and she whences while making a comment about avoiding the swine flu. Another over-opinionated Mom joins in the conversation and drops a "Universal Healthcare is just what this country needs at a time like this." The Mom you are considering "asking out" doesn't even humor the Obama Mama and simply changes the subject before anyone has time to agree or dispute. Discipline- check. Religion- check. Keeping Political Views out of the pool- check. You then exchange cell numbers, so you can schedule a playdate soon. You leave a perky message, "Hey, it's Holly! We met at the pool the other day... anyway, just wanted to see if your crew would like to come over this week and play...." Only, she never calls you back. A few days later you realize that you have a mutual friend, who is headed over to your new BFF candidate's house for a playdate. You feel cheated on. "We hit it off so well at the pool! Our kids swam together for two solid hours and no one cried! I was charming! Why would she want to hang out with her instead of ME???" You go to the freezer and grab a Snicker's Icecream Bar. Suddenly, you're over it.
As your children go to school, they begin to "fix you up" on dates too.
"Mom, Sammy wants me to spend the night Friday night. Can I?" Not until I get to know her Mom, which means I have to invite her over for yet another "date." You fix an after school snack of home-made brownies and hope things go well, since your daughters have become such big buddies. During the next hour and half you learn that Sammy's Mom has no problems with teenage drinking, "If they're going to do it, I would rather them do it in my own house!" She plans to put Sammy on birth control by the age of fifteen, whether she is sexually active or not, "Cause when your hormones are raging, you just never know when you're gonna need it. I would rather it already be in her system than take a chance at becoming a grandma in my 30's!" And that she loves sending Sammy to her grandparents' house for the weekend so she and her second husband can barhop "And then you don't have to get up at 7am with a whiny five year old!"
Your daughter sobs that night, when you tell her that you just remembered something else was planned and she can't go to Sammy's spend the night party after all. "Maybe Sammy can come over HERE and play another time, Honey."
There's also the Mom who asked you out first... but totally insults you on the first date.
After many dates, trials and errors, you finally come across that Mom that really is a lot of fun, and thinks of you the same. Only, your kids hate each other. That's cool, you can always use another Bunko partner and fellow girls night out pal.
There's also the Mom who is fun for a while, then turns out to be super clingy and high maintenance... but, you already have a two year old, (and a husband) so you delete her from your contacts.
Your match-making skills are finally rewarded when that new friend comes along and everything truly is perfect. You schedule playdate after playdate successfully. Your kids are harmonious, you laugh the entire time you're together, and never once look at your watch and fake an important call that forces you to step outside for a bit. Now, it's time to move on to the next step of the relationship.... How will our husbands like each other?? You grill out and see them laugh several times. When it's time to go, they both talk about getting together for the Florida game next weekend.... CONGRATULATIONS! You feel like your new gal pal is truly a keeper.
All this "dating" makes you even more grateful for your original corp group of friends. The ones you've known for a long time. Who were there when you had the miscarriage. The ones who aren't super crazy about your hubby, but that's honestly your own fault because they're the ones you've called every single time he's pissed you off. The ones who, even though your kids don't really get along anymore you still hang with them just because of all the mess you've been through together, since being a grown-up is tough. The ones who would never sell you short, and remind you that too often you do that to yourself. The ones you thank GOD for every single day.
I do have an awesome group of girl friends. And I love "dating" every single one of them.