“I want to look chill, but also like I’m fun, you know? Down for whatevs,” I texted my sister, along with a selfie of the outfit I had on. “How’s my hair? I’m not crazy about it. I need a haircut. Look at these grays.”
She wasn’t responding. What was she doing? Working or something? Didn’t she care that I needed moral support? It was almost 4:00 and that’s when I was leaving. I needed to know if I should change or if I was giving off the right vibes.
“Do not say ‘Down for whatevs,’” she finally responded. I knew having a younger sister would come in handy eventually. She certainly wasn’t doing me any favors when we were teenagers and she borrowed my shit without asking.
“And what should I even say? ‘Would you want to meet up for a coffee sometime?’ No. That sounds lame. God. I’m lame. This is horrendous. I’m so bad at this. ‘So, I don’t actually know your name, even though I’ve been seeing you once a week for six months and that’s making it sort of hard for me to stalk you on Facebook?’ Should I go with that?”
Then I looked at the time and realized we had to hustle if I was going to get my toddler to her Mommy and Me gymnastics class where I was, hopefully, going to score my first new “mom friends.” It was a pair of sisters that I had been eyeballing for a few months now. My daughter, Sister #1’s daughter and Sister #2’s son got along great. We all had the same sense of humor and a pretty relaxed parenting style, or, as relaxed as you can be while your two-year-olds are diving off trampolines six feet off the ground while screaming, “Watch ‘dis trick!”
But here’s the problem I encountered, a newbie mom, just starting out in the world of childhood extracurriculars: I didn’t actually remember either of their names. I know what you’re going to say and don’t even say it. It was way too late to just ask them. I had been seeing these women – women I engaged in active conversation with, catching their children before they took a tumble off a high beam, women I trusted to keep an eye on my little one while I ran to the bathroom – for months. It was way too late for a “B-T-dubs … was it … Mary? Is Mary your name?”
And to make matters worse, this was the last class of the session. What if they weren’t coming back? I owed it to my daughter. She made these two little friends. It wasn’t fair that she’d never see them again. Plus, they were good kids. Well-behaved kids. AND, on TOP OF THAT, I liked their moms! I couldn’t just let that slip through my fingers. Having grown up extraordinarily beautiful and popular* (*parts of this post have been dramatized for effect), I didn’t have much experience in asking people out. But it was now or never time.
The class ended. The kids were getting their hands stamped. And then one of the moms asked if the kids could get a picture together. This was it! This was my in!
“Ok, so this is awkward and I don’t know how to do it in a way that’s less awkward, but would you guys want to exchange numbers and maybe get the kids together to play sometime? And, also, I’m sorry, I’m such a jerk, but I’m totally just going to put you in my phone as So-and-So’s Mom unless you tell me what your name is, because that’s what I call you in my head. And so you don’t have to enter me as just ‘Amelia’s Mom,’ you can enter me as ‘Heather-Amelia’s-Mom.’”
They looked at each other and both started laughing.
“Oh my God,” Kim said. (Sister #1 = Kim.) “We always refer to you as Amelia’s Mom and we said that we had to get your number!”
“We will definitely get the kids together!” Stacy said (aka Sister #2).
I breathed a sigh of relief and then I really upped the charm and put on my best flirt. They wanted me as much as I wanted them.
It may be my introverted tendencies, but making friends as an adult is hard. Finding women with kids the same age as your kid, who get along with your kid? Well, that’s even better than a great hair day.
About the Author
Heather is a marketing director and NY native (of the Upstate variety) who has to cover the last few pages of a good book with her hands so that she doesn’t skim ahead and ruin the ending. In between scouring the clearance racks at Target and stalking Anna Kendrick’s Twitter feed, she performs Disney numbers for her daughter (a preschooler who doesn’t object) and husband (who knew what he was getting into when he put a ring on it.) She has been featured on Scary Mommy and Sammiches and Psych Meds. Follow her on Twitter.