On Saipan, there was a phrase we used often. “Friend me.” “To friend” someone really means to befriend someone, but we dropped those pesky two letters, lazy peeps we are. In elementary school, where friendships were created and dropped in the same day, it was common to ask, “Are you friending me?” If a squabble arose, you would pout and complain, “She’s not friending me.”
Since having Nathan, it has become overhemingly important for me to find a mom-community. My sister-in-law suggested that I bring an extra twinkie to my parenting class since that was where she made all her friends. When I attended my birthing class, I scoured the room for my potential pregnancy twin, the one with whom I would friend (and more importantly, she would friend me) and our children would grow up together, communicating through tin-cans and string or flashlight morse code. But there was no such luck. During the diapering exercise, the woman next to me began to cry into her cloth diaper because her husband joked at how she held the doll up by its leg. I wanted to extend some comforting line, like, it’s okay, I’m sure you won’t really handle your baby that way, but she was busy emptying her face into the white fabric.
At one of the playgroups, I met a woman named C. who lives in my neighborhood. She invited me over for tea. It wasn’t long before I realized that we probably wouldn’t be meeting again. She was nice, but she was also weird. This sounds mean because she welcomed me into her home and made me a cup of soothing moments but still, she was weird. Not weird in that she would pop up with a question like, “Soooo, my husband and I are swingers, how about you?” but weird in that, she wrangled her toddlers using “grown-up” language like, “You’re overcompensating.” or “I know you’re doing that as a control method, but it’s not going to work here.” This shocked me into wondering how I’m going to talk to my son when he begins potty-training (you mean he’s really going to stop using diapers one day and I won’t have to employ the gun-to-the-head method? eeep!). I’ll probably say something like, “Yo little G. You best stop dropping it like it’s hot all over the carpet, yo.”
We’re just in different stages of parenthood, methinks. I’m just trying to keep my son from kicking his own poo. I need to friend someone like me.
I am not so good with this friend-making business. The last friend I made was Nathan, and though I had to give birth to him, we are friends for life. I am neurotic and self-conscious and believe that intially, most people hate me. Or think I’m weird and/or crazy. I am not up to date on trends. I do not have the accessorizing gene. I am lucky if I leave the house not looking like I rolled around in flour and walked out the door. Deborah Eisenberg wrote a short-story called “The Custodian” in which one of the characters had a face that drew everything into it and gave nothing in return. This describes most of the popular people I have ever known, the attention-consuming faces and magnetic personalities. I was told once that I have a radio face.
This is tangential information, but Deece was the most popular girl in junior high. She was so cool with her Doc Martens and good-lookingness (not a word, but, whatev). So I was very surprised that the most popular girl in junior high linked to me! Me! I thought, this must be a mistake! Doesn’t she remember my enormous eyebrows and Babysitter Club Book fanaticism?
Today I spent 2 1/2 hours walking with one of the moms from my PEPS group. I really like her. When we assembled our travel strollers, I told her that I hope it wasn’t too hot because the tank I was wearing had “Brewsky’s Bar and Grill” on the back and what kind of mom advertises bars? She laughed! I tricked her into thinking I was funny! Our pets have the same initials! We are both lazy! She is so cool, I am using my buddy the exclamation point! I hope she never stumbles across this blog and decides I am too dorky.
When I told her about the hassle of organizing the baptism, this conversation ensued.
“You need a priest, right? What other religions need a priest?”
“I think voodoo does. Maybe I’ll just baptize my son voodoo.”