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Friday, February 13, 2009

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Play dates make me nervous. They always feel so much like “real dating.” It starts with a look, a glance between two Moms. An initial thought, "Check out that girl over there. She looks nice. Her kid looks clean.” After a bit of time, maybe a few days, maybe a few weeks, someone takes a chance and makes the first move. “We should get together sometime. Here is my phone number.” After the digit exchange, I know that it is best if I do not call right away. It is never wise to appear desperate at the beginning of a relationship.

Although the play date scene can be a bit treacherous, I have persevered. There are days, especially during the winter months, when Giancarlo needs a buddy his own age to interact with. A good play date makes him smile endlessly, wears him out, and always results in a good day for both of us.

Given all of this, I never thought it was possible for play dates to have a downside…a dark side, if you will.

What do you do when things unexpectedly go wrong? When you are deep into the play date relationship and suddenly, without warning, the dating stops? No explanation, no phone call, no e-mail, no text. It is just over.

A fictitious case study:
Giancarlo and I have been dating “Fred and Sally” for many months now. Things have been going along great. Sally and I trade-off having our boys at one another’s homes each week. The routine is simple: play, eat lunch, and sometimes watch a DVD. I felt good about the relationship, confident that our dating would last forever.

Out of the blue a few weeks ago, Sally stopped calling. At first I thought she was simply too busy to return my calls. I tried to explain the unexplainable by making excuses: maybe she is sick, maybe Fred is sick. Ultimately, I came to the reality that maybe she is just not that into me.

Like any bad ending to a relationship, I have been racking my brain, attempting to figure out what went wrong. Naturally, I first assumed it had something to do with Giancarlo. Was it the time that he didn’t want to go home and I had to physically man-handle him to get him into his carseat? The screaming was uncomfortable. Or maybe it was the unsolved mystery of how Sally's brand-new, just out of the box plasma screen TV was rendered completely useless. Was it Giancarlo or Fred who threw the truck and destroyed it? We may never know.

As my mind has been working at warp speed this week, I also came to the shocking reality that perhaps I’m to blame. Did I profess my love for Sally and Fred too early on? I tried to be witty, comb my hair, and appear wordly and well-informed. Maybe I shouldn’t have encouraged Sally to read our blog. Was that too forward for the second date? I just thought that she felt the same connection I did.

Whatever the reason, I am sad and find myself desperately checking out other Moms wherever we go, trying to fill the void that Sally and Fred have created. I am dragging Giancarlo and Lucia to the park, even in the rain, and forcing them to look cute on command. So far, it is not working.

If only there was a sign, a way for me to look at another Mom and instantly know that we could make that dating connection.

How about a bracelet? Would that work? There are so many silicone bracelets available now for an endless number of causes. What if I created one for my cause?

I came up with a few ideas. I want to create a bracelet that not only establishes solidarity, but also says, "Hey, I'm a Mom and I am willing to commit. Let's be playdate pals forever."

-Francesca
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61 comments:

So said...

I love the serenity now one! I'd totally wear that one. Although my kids have moved past the play date age.

Cammie said...

hmmmm, maybe try not putting out on the first date?

yeah, that was supposed to be funny so I hope no one gets offended......

Brooke said...

It seems like all the moms I want to do playdates with are "too busy". I think they're just not that into me, either. Too bad I don't live in CA. I would say it's too bad you don't live in WY, but I would not wish that upon anybody. I hope you find another couple soon.

XoXo, Punchy said...

Hello beautiful CHICKS! I remember play dates and I MISS them! Wish I wasn't so damn old! Oh, hey, but I have he most beautiful grandbaby named Brooklyn, maybe I will get to do some with her!

Love the bracelet idea!

You beautiful Bay B Chicks take care and have a fabulous weekend!

Hugs from the Hill Country of Texas!

Barbaloot said...

In the spirit of 'blame someone else day' I would say it's definitely all Sally's fault. Who buys a new plasma TV and doesn't expect it go get broken anyway?! Pssh.

Tiffany said...

If I didn't live thousands of miles away from you, I would most certainly be your play date buddy!
Love the bracelets!

The High Family said...

hahahahaha

I was having a pretty crappy morning until I read this. I think a sinus infection is rearing it's ugly head. Of course on V-Day weekend...just my luck!

Sorry to laugh at your expense...I mean a true friend would be very sympathetic to her girlfriend's playdate breakup. So here are a few HUGS from your cyber buddy across the states! If I lived in San Fran...I would totally be your best bud! How could Sally do that to you? ;)

Thanks again for always making me smile. Silly Sally and is really missing out on a good friendship!

PS- LOVE the bracelets!

heidi said...

Awesome. I can't do the whole 'Mom dating scene'. My children will just be unsocialized beasts until I hand them over to the public school system where they can be over socialized beasts.

I'll take a 'Wine over Whine' bracelet, please.

TrueLoveIsaMama said...

This was hilarious! It should be in a parenting magazine! That TV story may have done it!!

rachel said...

It's not you...it's her. I'm so sorry that happened! I have high hopes about those bracelets though. Do you know what I have found? A double date seems to equal lasting commitment. In the past, if both I and my son have hit it off with a "Sally and Fred" we all do stuff together initially and then we can do things separately. They play together and we go to a movie or scrapbook another day on our own. Some of my best friends and my son's are a result of these double dates. Good luck- I know you will find a keeper!
I wish we lived closer and our little girls could have a play date :)

Lara said...

This is why I don't do play dates. I have chosen to remain single and hope that my children will not be too scarred over it.

Mainly a midwife said...

Yes, you should totally submit that to a parenting or baby magazine. Great post.

Life with Kaishon said...

I recently had something like this happen in my own neighborhood. It was heartbreaking at first. Just when I thought I was going to be over it, the Mom came to my door in the middle of a wind storm crying.... so now we are back in the mix. It will never be the same again though.
Your children are beautiful and you write so well. It was a delight to come hear and read your post today.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I think I'll go with the Survivor bracelet. It fits my life and expectations. ;o)

I'm sorry about your break-up. I find play dates very stressful. It's always so hard knowing who you should date and if they want to date you. Best of luck in finding another couple!

Becky said...

Ah, play dates! The salvation and bane of my existence, all wrapped up in one.

Sorry about your fictitious break-up. Did you eat some fictitious chocolate cake to make yourself feel better?

Grand Pooba said...

Are you kidding me? I wanna die right now you are so hilarious! I would totally date you if I had a child. And being a wine lover, I prefer the Wine before Whine.

That should attract only the best moms!

Kimmy said...

Oh No!! I totally know what you mean though. That's why I've always played it safe and just stuck to my friends. The less than a handful of friend's with kids. lol

I'm sorry this happened though. I've been there with my own friend with the screaming fits. At least we've been friends for years but it still leaves us with that uncomfortable feeling.

Good luck with the dating search. :o)

Domestically Disabled Girl said...

Ahh, that was cute, yet sad! I have never had a playdate, am I a loser? If i lived closer, I would totally play date you forever.

The Blonde Duck said...

If she didn't want to hang out with you, she's probably on crack. You deserve better!

peewee said...

HA! SAME thing with doggy play dates! You are too funny. I would NEVER not call u. I would be the desperate one. Baking cookies for you and what not. I mean. not having a kid would be a problem. Buuuuttt, I do have scissors, paste, construction paper and a winning personality!

Kristina P. said...

Another reason not to have children. Play date performance anxiety!

Jenni said...

That was hilarious - LOVED this post. I can't say I am to the playdate age yet with Preston, but now I have a whole new perspective on it! Thanks for sharing! :) ANd good luck finding new dates.:)

Rachel said...

Oh man we are not quite at the "play-date" age and you've got me worried! I've been out of the dating scene for quite some time and don't know if I'm up for this!!!

Stesha said...

Um...Yeah! They made a movie about this. It's called- "He's Just Not That Into You," but in your case replace he with a she.

Hugs and Mocha,
Stesha

Counselormama said...

I remember feeling anxiety about the very first time I "dated" and she was new at it, too! We were both like, "Uh, how does this work?" Second, show some narcissism and believe that she obviously is some sort of lunatic not to want to hang out w/ you and your kids! LOL!

joanofalltrades said...

You crack me up! I love your analogy. Sally and Fred don't know what they're missing.

He And Me + 3 said...

Play dates with a huge play group is the way to go...then you don't get to attached. It is like breaking up. LOL
Too funny

Erin said...

I know how you feel! Other problems are: when my son loves her son, but I don't love talking to her, or when I love talking to her, but her son and my son don't get along. Aargh!

queenbee4 said...

yeah... don't worry... it's not you, it's her. Totally. She has no idea what she's missing!

Heather of the EO said...

I would totally have play dates with you if we lived in the same part of the country. And I wouldn't break up with you. Just sayin'

sabrina said...

Aww, that's so sad! Funny, but sad. I don't have kids, but if I did, I'm sure they'd want to play with yours;)

Helene said...

I loved this post!! Isn't it so true? Finding the perfect playmate for our kids is like dating, isn't it? I've also experienced a couple playdates that seemed to go well and then out of the blue the other mother doesn't call to set up another one. It's wierd and I sit there racking my brain, trying to think what could've gone wrong...did I say something offensive, does she think all 4 of my kids are overwhelming compared to her 1 child, I was dreaming up all kinds of scenarios in my head and finally realized that it wasn't worth my time to be upset about. There are other moms in the sea!!

Too bad I'm in Stockton and you're in SF...our kids would probably have a blast together!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I am sure it is a problem on her end because your son is too cute for it to be his fault.

And you have a funny blog so it can't be your fault.

I totally blame her!

And I would wear the serentity now bracelet in a heartbeat. Where do I order??

Julie said...

LOL! That's too funny! I've never tried a playdate & I'm sure I would worry like that too!

blueviolet said...

You just reek of desperation. Perhaps that's your problem? ;)

Pam said...

That's a funny one!

Hey, my meme is up. Come on over and have a looksie. Thanks for the chance to play along!

Have a great weekend,
Pam

Monica said...

egads, now if you see them at the playground there will all that awkward silence. Pfft, you can do better.


awesome post.

seriously? said...

hey...wanna hook up for a play date? :) I would totally be into to you and your adorable kids for a play date AND we live close enough to make it happen. Now that would be funny..."Ummmm, ya, I am seriously? I leave comments for you on your blog and these are my kids and let's go play on the monkey bars." It could happen...

the letter Bee said...

"Her kids look clean." Hahaha!

Jennifer said...

My baby is 7 months old. Is this what I have to look forward to?!? LOL Happy Valentine's Day!

Nadine said...

I love this post! I can relate!

Cheryl said...

I'd play with them!

Although I'm sure that I'd be just the worst influence ever.

I love the "Sanity gone wrong" bracelet. I'd wear it all the time.

Mama Zen said...

Play date dating is worse than real dating! Honestly!

Mrs Parks said...

I wish we lived closer.
Even though I don't have a toddler, I would still love to go on a playdate.
The eating lunch and watching DVD's part sounds great!

Kathy said...

Don't give up on love, er I mean playdates Francesca! One day, Sally and Fred will see what they're missing, and it will be too late for them!

(funny, funny post)

Meanwhile, where do I get a bracelet :)

Stacy (Random Cool Chick) said...

Love the 'Wine over Whine' bracelet! :)

Your post gives me justification for not entering into that 'play date' mode...I can't handle rejection very well! ;)

pam said...

Breaking up is really hard to do.

I am sorry that I don't live close by, I would be your friend!!

Happy Valentine's Day, YOU ARE A FRIEND!!

Shupe said...

Like other comments- I would love to have play dates for my children.
Unfortunatly- I normally have a job- ug- but it makes it hard. I'm sorry she's being a pain in the butt though on not telling you what is going on- if she really had some cahoona's she'd at least talk with you. Sorry- this is a pet peeve with me- the silent treatment.
all in all- you're children are forever grateful for the time they did have I'm sure- and I hate to say it- but yeah, move on like any other breakup I guess. So hard though ......... I am sorry.
I agree with you on the whole thought you two were on the same page. I'm sort of going through the same issue with my sitter. She's becoming hard to deal with on another plateu. I think she might enjoy my kids too much- and it's hard on her son.
Good luck, and let us know what happens.

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

THIS IS TOO FUNNY!!

I have had this a couple of times - I give up on the WHYS any longer. I don't know what the deal is!

PS - we lived in china for a year (2005) my hubs was working there - I have a post about it on my blog - very long read though

wenbren explains it all said...

Are the kids ok?Are they asking for their friends? I'm sorry, that happened to me a while back turns out the mom was having major family problems,and to this day we still haven't gotten together!

Deb said...

See, this is why I have no friends and never leave my house...

Yaya said...

Oh my gosh, "dating"...that is too funny!

Amanda said...

I have so been there. I just had to let it go and figure it was their loss.

Great post!

Ali said...

LOVE whine over wine!

Alicia said...

Oh, this was a great post!!!

Have you ever asked her what was wrong? I think there could be any of those reasons (LOL), but what if you just ask her directly??

I hope you find new play dates soon!!

Tim said...

Id play date ya all week long. both of my kids need that. Of course I only have one that is still in that stage as taylor has gone of to Kindergarten.

That was a really funny post. Im sorry I havent been around as much lately. We have been a sick crew with many thing going on. taylor had the flu twice, I had it once, and will had it once all at different times. Im hoping we are now over it. Did you want to register for my giveaway? Let me know.

Love and Prayers,

Tim

wonder woman said...

This is all SO TRUE. Also true for finding couples to hang out with. It's weird to be "dating" again after so long. I thought I'd never have to go through awkward things like this again -- that's half the reason I got married!!

Nana said...

Let's see. Your kids are cute. You are nice, and cleam too. Hmmmm. I got nothin.

B said...

I can't say anything as I am laughing too hard. Thanks for the pick me up today.

Debbie said...

Wow. Look at all these comments. People must feel strongly about playdates!
Maybe you could start an "eharmony" of sorts for moms and kids!

Jo said...

Uh oh. The dump and the navel gazing that follows the dump. It wasn't you, it was her. Better you found out now rather than later. If I think of any other trite phrases I will come post them to make you feel better okay?