I’ve never been the friend who sets up the plans or calls the group to get together. Grace, at the age of five, is quite determined to change that.
Last week, she came home, slipped me her friend’s mom’s number and told me to call her to set up a play date.
Three things were wrong with this:
1 – I don’t know the girl who she wants to have the play date which means I certainly don’t know her mother or father.
“Oh, hi. This is Bridget, my daughter Grace slipped me your number so I can set up a play date with…uh…”
2 – Naturally, since I’ve never heard the name of the gal Grace wants to have a play date with, you probably guessed that I don’t know the mom’s or dad’s name.
“…what’s your daughter’s name again? Oh, right. Sorry about that. What’s your name? Oh, hi! Nice to meet you over the phone…”
3 – The number was scrawled in Kindergartener writing. Which means I’m pretty certain the other set of parents has no idea that their phone number is being passed around class for play dates.
“…No, I am not a telemarketer. I am Grace’s mom. From the Kindergarten class? Yes, our daughters are in the same class and Grace would like to have your daughter over to play. Apparently your little one shared your number for me to call you, so I did.”
In a kind of sweet and innocent way, Grace could not understand why I wouldn’t just call the number and ask “Sam” (that’s the alias I’ll use here) to come over to play with her. Um, because I couldn’t pick this child or her parents out of a line up, so me calling and inviting her over to play is creepy at best? And, if I did lose my mind briefly enough to be so bold and wildly trusting, I would question their judgement if they dropped “Sam” off to play without first meeting us and / or Grace. It’s kind of hard to get her to see that because she and “Sam” are BFFs and eat lunch together every day – they know each other, so who cares if the moms know each other?
The moms do. Well, at least I hope they do. I definitely do.
Is this old-fashioned? Am I way out of it? Or am I just a Northeast Philadelphia gal with some street smarts that make me naturally untrusting until I meet three generations of family before I let my kids have a play date? Ok, so that’s an exaggeration, but I feel like at least having a visual frame of reference of the friends’ parent(s) is sound judgement, but apparently, I am wreaking havoc over Grace’s Kindergarten rep. Already. She’s asked me everyday since Thursday when I am calling “Sam’s” mom, and when I say “after I meet her in person”, she has a canary and tells me “meeting all the moms takes too long” and she’ll “be in third grade by the time she has a play date with Sam”. I will punctuate this point with the first time I heard this BFF’s name was Thursday when I got the phone number – hahaha. Such drama. (Can’t wait until she’s a teen. Or tween. Or really just tomorrow at the rate her sassy pants are growing.)
Fast forward to today when I picked her up from yoga. She pointed “Sam” out to me and asked me to wait to meet her mom. I obliged. And then did something that reconfirmed my natural nervousness to introduce myself to people is spot on and well warranted.
I stuck my hand out and said, “Hi, I’m Bridget.” to this bubbly mom who was collecting some rambunctious children from the yoga class. And because I had my nervous on, I just kept talking, “Grace keeps talking about “Sam” and would love to have her come over to play sometime. I told her I wanted to meet “Sam’s” mom first, so…hi.” (WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING? Am I a 12-year-old boy crushing on the girl next door? “SO…HI”?! OMG. Kill me now.
It gets worse.
She smiled, and sweetly said, “You mean “Penelope”?” and pointed to a little girl who was not “Sam”.
No. No. No. I did not just do this.
Oh, but I did.
I eked out, “Oh, no, I am so sorry. I actually meant “Sam”, but I am sure Grace would love to play with “Penelope” sometime, too.” Grace – who I am sure was dying of mortification right along with me – pinched my leg, so I continued, “If they are friends. I am not sure if they are even friends.”
Holy cow. STOP. TALKING. NOW. It’s a train wreck – just cut your social losses and save any remaining dignity for “Sam’s” real mom, you tool!
So not only did I have to awkwardly approach one mom today, I had to do this rodeo twice. I introduced myself to “Sam’s” real mom. That went much better. I think. When we were leaving she asked me to please call because she collects a lot of numbers for play dates and never gets a call.
Uh, what now?
Why does no one ever call? I am not sure whether I should feel bad or nervous. Waaaaaaah. I want to cry.
And, just like the nervous 12-year-old boy mustering up the courage to ask the gal next door on a date, I am sitting here looking at my phone, mulling over ridiculous things like: Do I text? Call? When? Today? Later this week? What’s my next move?
Making my own friends here was hard enough. Now this. I am exhausted! It’s a good thing I met Kenny when I did because I would, for sure – without a doubt – be single with a million cats because I am so terrible at the dating scene – play dates included. Hahaha.