Thursday, November 5, 2009

Look Who's Talking

I feel like I am dating other new mothers. Or at least picking them up. The supermarket, the streetcar, the park...they are everywhere and for some reason when we come within 10 feet of each other there is some sort of secret, internal, masonic handshake. We are drawn to the pungent smell of Purell that has long since replaced Chanel as my spritz of choice. Before long we feel the need to start talking to each other. I used to dread this. I still do...but I have clearly been new mum "glamored" or something. Now, I am an instigator. This scares me because I always vowed never to do a Christmas newsletter and I'm terrified that holiday sweaters and a portrait session at Sears is just around the corner.

So, the other day I was in the supermarket for shopping baby food. Pondering switching from Gerber to a cheaper brand, but I don't particularly know any other brand names because I am a new mum and I either skipped that chapter or haven't got there yet.
So, I was bobbing and craning to check all the brands (can you buy baby food on sale?) and along came a lady toting a baby. Smile. She began loading up with a different (non Gerber) brand and wasted no time at all piling her trolley high. She reminded me of myself in the wine aisle. So, I did it. Like one of those weirdos you dread, I opened my mouth. Thank goodness I was wearing my watch. That somehow made me feel responsible. I also found myself gesticulating wildly with my left hand (because everyone knows if you are married and punctual you are not crazy). Anyway, I've no idea what my pick up line was but before long we were chatting away about our babies, our husbands, our leaking bladders (just kidding - but I did spot Tena Lady in her stack). Within 5 minutes I was converted to a 10 for $6 Safeway organic brand. We had swapped emails. I was a new woman with a new friend. It was like speed dating. I even had that feeling of hoping we didn't bump into each other before we checked out because we had ended our little conversation so tidily. I went home on a high.

Of course I never emailed. I never do. I never call. I'll even avoid the same store at the same time in case we bump into each other. I'm like the 'one afternoon stand' of stay at home moms. It's not just me though. I've been mom dumped and there is an element of relief when after day three no email arrives.

Why though? I've been wondering. Do you think it is because we are scared that outside of our babies we will have absolutely nothing in common? That we cannot believe that we engaged in talk about pureed carrots for five minutes and actually enjoyed it? Because we have become who we vowed not to be and if this is a spontaneous happening it was in the name of baby, but if we plan it we are somehow accepting this new self? I have no idea. Clearly.

I'm hoping that other mums do this and i'm not a horribly rude individual with issues.

Anyone?


10 comments:

  1. yes i know exactly what you're talking about. you are not alone. -andrea

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  2. Hilarious - oooohhhh, you've changed!!! xxx

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  3. You have articulated this phenomenon so well. I was the same way...at first. Now three kids later I am probably that mom that you try to avoid at the store, park, etc. Okay I'm not that bad, but there is definitely an unspoken comraderie there. I think that's what it is.

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  4. It really is bizarre isn't it? I am the one that has emailed people and never had a response. That has happened several times. I never understood it but now get that it happens. It's like exchanging cards with business professionals and never hearing back form them. Like I said I don't get it but I don't get my feelings hurt by it anymore.

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  5. Ok, so now I'm wondering...the one time I gave out my email I never heard from the lady. I was a little disappointmented but then felt silly thinking she would contact me bearing in mind we had met for 5 minutes. So, part of the reason I never email or call is the worry that we exchange our info more as a polite way to end the conversation. I feel like I am letting them off the hook by not emailing - in fact, i feel like it's part of the protocol..but listening to the above maybe I will reach out.

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  6. OMGosh! This is SO how it is. You nailed it. But why? Why do we all do this? Strange.....

    Lisa @
    All That and a Box of Rocks

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  7. I have met some of my best friends since becoming a mom and joining the mom mob. Don't be scared! Go for it!

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  8. I get this. I am not a people person in real life but have had more conversations about my kids with perfect strangers who are also moms! I always worry that the only thing we would have in common are the kids. And I would bore them. or vice versa.

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  10. I love that you wrote about this! When your kids are young, this is definitely something you feel! It sworse, though, when you can't stand th emom and the kids want to be friends!!

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