05 October 2010

Meeting People is (Not) Easy

This is true. It's not easy. In general, and specifically, when it comes to being new parents. We are alone in this wilderness of child-rearing with no built-in, age-specific, kid-raising brethren to hang out with.

My closest friends with kids all live far away, most in different time zones. Life happens and people scatter, I get that. But just understanding doesn't always take the sting out of it. One of my only friends who happens to be a dad, actually has a son who was born a mere 10 days apart from the Doozer. It would be awesome if I could have a dad friend around, to share the experience, to hang at the park together, and to do, well, dad stuff together.

But alas, at present, it is not to be.

And so the playground becomes your new pick-up spot, perhaps. Like your single, twentysomething days when you'd hit the bar, looking for companionship, for love, for a relationship. Now you find yourself at the park or the library for storytime, scoping out the other parents, sizing them up, looking for companionship or a relationship. And how do you approach a stranger under those circumstances? What's your opening line? Come here often?

Why is it so hard to meet somebody? I mean, seriously, we already went through this once. We survived the minefield of our sad, pathetic single years (okay, okay—my pathetic single years), why do we have to go through this all over again?

Oh, Doozer, why must you complicate everything so?

To further complicate matters, in public, it seems we are always discovering examples of bad parenting, or seeing individuals who appear wholly unsuited to parenthood, who should in fact have been prevented from procreating in the first place. More winning examples are few and far between. We find ourselves stalking the aisles of Trader Joe's, seeking out like-minded contemporaries saddled with kids, but usually just watching from afar, unable to approach them and strike up a conversation. We find ourselves wondering how exactly you can maintain your child (or children) and a truly cool, stylish haircut at the same time.

Really, how do they do that? Who are those people? On one level, it's good to know it's not a myth. Cool parents do exist. At least, people who manage to look cool while they're parenting. Even if we don't always feel that way about ourselves.

How do we meet people? How do we talk to them? It's awkward. And it is exactly like the dating scene. What are you supposed to do? Same fears, same inadequacies. Really, why do we have to go through this all over again?

So, if you see us at the park and we appear to be staring, don't worry. We're not homicidal or perverted. We're not swingers looking for a good time We're just two people with a kid, looking for somebody to hang out with. No pressure. We can take things slow. Get to know each other. We like wine and movies and good books. Walks on the beach. Art museums. Pubs.

Call us?

1 comment:

  1. I suggest posting an ad on craigslist "Dad in search of other dads to complain about dad stuff with" - this post is hilarious by the way. Nicely done.