I hate playdates. There. I said it.
I have been with Bucket for 15 years, which means I haven’t dated since I was 21. SWEET ACTION! Imagine how delighted I was when I discovered that I would have to start dating OTHER PARENTS at age 32. I mean, for real. I never considered how children would make friends, and how I would have to accompany them as they made said friends, and I would have to spend hours with strangers and their kids. Why can’t they just ride off into the wilderness on their bikes the way I did when I was a kid in 1400? Stupid modern urban setting.
I remember Peeta’s first playdate. It was with his friend W, and it was at W’s house. W’s mother is my friend Sharon, who scared the hell out of me. She is very beautiful and very well dressed and NEVER came to school looking like she was still wearing her PJs. I remember going to her house thinking, what am I going to say to this woman? What if she’s boring? Am I wearing the right clothes? How long do we stay? How do we get out of there if it’s awful? WHAT IF IT’S A TRAP? How long should Bucket wait for us to come home before he calls the police?
For the record, it was not awful. She did not kill us. And W. is now Peeta’s best friend, and Sharon is one of mine. She even managed to forgive the fact that I dress like an unwashed pubescent boy and my house is a disaster. WE LUCKED OUT.
Fortunately, I figured out the system: find parents you like and then force your kids to play together. This has worked, for the most part. I have a rotation of about five awesome friends and we get together and the kids run amok. Sometimes there is alcohol. My friend Lisa and I even invented a new drink called the Pineapple Playdate. It was a great day.
Sometimes it does not work out. Sometimes I have had to spend awkward hours with people I don’t like so that our kids can play. Even worse, sometimes parents I like make me take care of their kids, whom I do not like. I stopped doing that pretty quickly.
I thought I had separated the wheat from the chaff on the playdate front. I forgot about Noodle, who now wants to make her own friends instead of always playing with Peeta’s. Kids are SO selfish. So now I am dating again. And Noodle is popular, goddamn it, so lots of people are asking to get together. Why coudn’t I have just had a big nerd!?!
It’s 45 degrees today. It’s raining. And we had a playdate scheduled with a kid whose mom has been trying to get together for weeks. I won’t lie: I didn’t want to go. I don’t like making small talk and trying to be witty and well-dressed. I want to be with people who aren’t offended when I swear like a sailor and complain about everything that ever happened in the history of time. I want to be with people who invent new drinks to make playdates fun for the parents. (Note: if you have had repeated playdates with me and my kids in the past five years, you should feel pretty fucking special because it probably means I love you. I would have weeded you out far before now if I didn’t.)
So here I was, dreading this afternoon and trying to think of reasons we could leave early because I AM ALREADY MARRIED AND I DID IT SO I WOULDN’T HAVE TO DATE ANYMORE, and I was sitting down at my computer to bitch about it on Facebook, and the woman cancelled! There is a god!
I’m off the hook for today. Meanwhile, there is a gang of little girls at Noodle’s school and playdates are being requested.
Someone get me a Pineapple Playdate.