And I Thought My “Dating Days” Were Over

This article was in the Washington Parent Magazine.  It article was written about me (OK I don’t even know the author, but man she knows me!)  I’m giving full credit to the author Jane Suter because I’m about to copy the article below as it fully describes my life…..

The concrete jungle of playground equipment looms before me on this random Tuesday afternoon.  Maybe this will be the day.  The day I meet her:  Mrs. Right.  Heck, I’ll even take Mrs. Right Now.  I have long since lost the idealism of a perfect match.  But these days, the prospect of finding a play date, any play date, seems slim to none.

The stay-at-home mom I seek is not for the benefit of my boys.  No, its for me.  I have been “off the market” for a while: having babies, changing diapers and potty training.  Now that I am ready to put myself out there again, it seems all the good ones are taken.  What’s an attractive, intelligent, 40-year-old woman to do?

I approach the monkey bars with my sons Gavin, 5 and Beckett, 3, eagerly looking for any prospects.  I spot one under the neon green, corkscrew slide.  She looks nice, well put together.  Maybe she craves a new friend who understands the minutia of our daily robotic life.  The mind-numbing “Groundhog Day” of laundry, snacks, cleanup, bedtime, repeat.

I remember, not so long ago, when making friends used to be easy.  Before kids, I was fun, outgoing and energetic.  Yeah, I’ll say it:  I was hot, hot, hot!  But these days I am a pantry full of Cheerios and a case of wet wipes away form being a survivalist.  The scolds of “no” and “not now” are the only intelligent words that have crossed my lips these past five years.

I worry that I have been out of circulation too long to jump back into the game.  That my edge is gone and my appeal has faded.  Or worse, that I have lost the ability to speak the foreign language of adulthood.  Still, I approach the woman.

“Hi, my name is Jane,”  spills out of my mouth, a little too eagerly.  “Hi,” she replies, looking at little caught off-guard.  “I’m Julie.”

I bet she gets hit on all the time.

I introduce my boys, who made friends with her children in less than 40 seconds- the little showoffs- and I begin the clumsy dance of probing her for information.

We exchange some pleasantries like, “What a great day to be outside,” and, “Wow, this park is clean,” and then I notice it.  Right there in the middle of her shirt: a baby bump.  We talk some more, and I learn she is due any day now.  In other words, she is off the market.  For the next six months, she will be devoid of any contact with the outside world, enmeshed in that foggy malaise of sleep deprivation and baby vomit.  She simply wouldn’t have time for a new relationship.

My fantasy of the two of us sipping Melot together on her gorgeous back deck with our cherubs playing perfectly together is dashed.  The rumors are true.  All the good ones are taken.

As I leave the playground, juggling my boys’ jackets, gloves,  hats, Cheerios bag , a tan rubber dinosaur, my car keys, a light-up giant eyeball, three rocks some acorns and a sand-encrusted Hot Wheels car, I wonder, am I doomed to be single forever?

I posed this questions to another mom I tried to “pick up” last week.  Sadly, she was already in a committed relationship with three gal-pals with children the same age as hers.  “She’s a play date polygamist!” But we discussed how hard it was to meet moms you want to hang out with : the fun ones, the happy ones, the ones without issues.  She gave me hope.  If she could date three at one time, then surely I could land one.  So I’ve re-doubled my efforts.  After all, I am quality.  Any mom would be lucky to have me as her play date.  Right?

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