August 17, 2006

How About That Date?

Moms are shameless. I get women flinging their phone numbers at me all hours of the day. It's a strange phenomena. Here's a typical situation that happened this afternoon. I'm at Kidspace Children's Museum and explain an exhibit to a little Hispanic girl (my Spanish is bad, but functional). Her mom and I get to talking and 5 minutes later we have our cell phones out and are exchanging numbers so that next time we come to the museum we'll be able to hook up and become life long friends. With her few English words, she expressed the desire to become "intimate." "That would be nice," I responded, smiling. I mean it, and I am sad that I'll never see her again.

My fatalistic hopes for this budding friendship are well founded. I accumulate so many of these numbers, each one with great potential. Most of these phone numbers are the result of the "so, do you come here often?" pick-up line (no, it's not just a barstool phrase). And like most bar contacts, I'll never hear from or call 95% of the women. The times that I do try and arrange a play date with such a contact, there is usually a lot of "my baby is sick" excuses or "I'll call you next week..." It just never quite works out. But that doesn't stop us moms from exchanging names, numbers, blood types and dark family secrets within two minutes of meeting each other.

My planner contains the numbers of women of all kinds. The other day at a doctor's office I got to talking with an ancient grandmother named Boon from Singapore and when she discovered my brother-in-law is also from Singapore, she gave me her address and phone number with a fervent plea that I come visit her often in her Pasadena home. I haven't taken her up on it yet, but can't help thinking it would be really neat to create a local grandmother out of thin air for Pixie. Who will call who first?

I was walking home from the market with my toddler a few months ago when a random mom in a yard stopped me and asked if I wanted to be her walking buddy. I said sure, called her multiple times, and never was able to actually cinch a date. I see her sometimes in her yard and wave. I think she's ignoring me.

A new mom in the parking lot of Big Lots approached me and Pixie and asked if we could be friends since she didn't know any other moms in town and she was having a hard time with her newborn. I'm sick to admit that I quickly lost her number that I had scribbled down on an old receipt.

At our local Farmer's Market a massively pregnant woman caught me in the middle of eating a messy pupusa and five minutes later had committed me to train her in the art of hypno-birthing (I did this for my first birth). You guessed it, we haven't spoken since.

Is this just happening to me? Do other women have more success from these random phone number acquisitions? I'll continue to collect these fruitless contacts with hopes that my life will be enriched somehow by them but let's get real, I'm a social black hole. But at least my address book indicates that I have friends. Playdate, anyone?


Kristine said...

Interesting...I wonder if this is more prevalent in a larger city. I live in a smallish town, and this has not happened here. I would wager to bet (having been a city dweller) that women in particular are craving a connection and looking for someone approachable to...well, approach!

Catherine said...

The magic solution is expensive. It requires home ownership. For some reason, the "village" is often only a mirage to "transcient" families. I've discovered this over and over in my little community. People who are invested in a home want roots with others in a similar situation. Perhaps you are talking to other apartment dwellers? I admit that I cool to people who aren't established in their own casa. Its not fair, is it? Anyway, the locals that I meet and greet are everywhere and we end up friends (gym, parks, library, pools, playgroups, school, walking, stores, church...) I'm in the village big time.

You might also want to double check your body odor, thats a surefire way to ward off responsible moms who thought you were great at first sight, but then got too close.

I am probably dead wrong for your neighborhood, but there is a major difference between owners and renters here in East Dallas.

Angela M. said...

Very interesting theories here...small towns don't experience this phenomenon, East Dallasians shun the mortgagally challenged....hmmm. I would imagine the homeownership thing in South Pasasena isn't the same as in East Dallas. The family in the apartment next to me has been there for 20 years! They raised two children there...just sent their oldest off to USC. Your apartment dwelling neighbor has a live-in nanny! Homeownership rates are very low in Los Angeles in general.

I think, as humans, we have very short attention spans. I will hear about some activity or destination I want to explore and get pretty excited about it. But, days, sometimes only hours, pass and I am on to my next adventure. I think it is the same with friends. It is exciting to get to know new people but we tend to be stuck in our routines. I am just thankful for the new friends who "stick".

By the way, I see that I am not the only Angela...I will go by Angela M. from now on.

Stephanie said...

ABQ's not as large as any place in So Cal, but we're divided by I-25. I have friends I love on the East side though now that I'm on the West side, we don't talk all that much. Nothing to do with apts/houses/condos, just side issues. So I might meet moms occasionally in "middle ground" areas like Old Town but after exchanging numbers, we're still strangers in the night. It almost sounds like a one afternoon (night) stand--"Don't take it personally, it was great, had a great time, but you know and I know we'll never have this moment again. Just enjoy it and cherish it in those quiet moments."

Amanda said...

I think that most people have enough going on in their lives that they get busy enough just doing their every day stuff to really have time or energy to call a stranger. the only good friends that I have made are people that I run into because our schedules put us in the same place over and over again--moms with kids on my kids' soccer teams, ladies in PTA, and of course, people you see at church every Sunday and at church functions during the week. Those people fill my social needs enough that I don't need to go searching out strangers to meet me in the park for a playdate that I'm to busy to go to.

amanda said...

I have to agree with Catherine though. I lived in an apartment for 2 years that was located in an area where most people owned houses. When I moved, one of my really good friends (homeowner) said, "You know, I don't usually take the time to get to know the people in the apartments since I know that they'll just be moving anyway, but....."