It’s been a month since we moved to the Hottest City in America, and I have to admit, in that short time, I’ve become desperate for companionship. The companionship of other women, that is….preferably women with children. (Nothing against childless women. I just envy you too much right now to seek you out.)
Finding new mommy friends in a new town feels oddly like a singles scene—and not in a sexy, adventurous, Carrie Bradshaw-sipping-cosmopolitans sort of way, either. It’s painful. I feel like a lone fish in a vast, dark, 110-degree, concrete sea. I might be wearing a sundress and strappy sandals, but that’s not a fashion choice. It’s survival.
When you move to the Hottest City in America, in June, you find that most people are indoors, and wisely so. I’ve been trolling the usual hangouts—the YMCA, the public library, Target. I’ve been going to bars….coffee bars. Partly to screen out the Mormons, but also because, the mommies I want to be friends with will enjoy an artisan latte now and again. Or, at least a tall iced coffee or frappuccino.
I’m scoping out women everywhere. In the past week I:
1) Struck up a 15-minute conversation at the grocery store with a woman who paused to tell me my kids are gorgeous. “Aren’t they?! Let me tell you ALL about them….and by the way, do you know of any other gorgeous kids in the neighborhood? They don’t even have to be gorgeous….just available.”
2) Knocked on the front door of a neighbor’s house after I heard the sounds of children’s laughter drifting over their back fence. (No one answered. I’ll try again later.)
3) Sent emails to the moderators of 6 different local Meetup and Yahoo groups, requesting to join. I carefully crafted each note in an effort to make myself sound hip, fun, someone any mother would want to be friends with….yet down-to-earth and not-too-pushy, because no one wants to be friends with a self-promoter. (It’s a fine, fine line.) Regardless, no one has written me back. Yet.
4) And, more than once, I’ve lingered in the baby food aisle at Whole Foods, hoping for a chance encounter with another healthy-minded mama. “So, how do you like those Earth's Best teething biscuits? Should I go with wheat or barley?”
I was thinking I could just write a Mommy Personals Ad. I have a history of writing personal ads for single friends who are now (ahem) happily married. Maybe something like this:
MARRIED, WHITE, OUTDOOR-LOVING FEMALE WITH 2 ADORABLE, BRIGHT, NON-BITING CHILDREN SEEKS OTHER MOTHERS FOR CONVERSATION AND FAMILY FUN. RELATIONSHIP NEED NOT BE EXCLUSIVE OR LONG-TERM. NO PREFERENCE FOR RACE OR MARITAL STATUS. ENGLISH-SPEAKING A PLUS. CALL: XXX-XXX-XXXX
That’s pretty good. Except Miles does bite. But everyone embellishes their ad anyway, right?
Maybe I’ll post it on the bulletin board at the YMCA.