What you would have heard if you'd listened to my phone conversation earlier this week: "I had a great morning, thanks! I had a blind date at Starbucks... Actually, I did meet this person online...They listed something for sale, it wasn't a chat room or anything...No, don't worry, it was perfectly safe...We met in a public space, and I suggested the meeting...Don't be silly, we just had some coffee...Mom, she had her one-year old son, "Mr. Wriggles", with her for Pete's sake."
Yes, it's true. I finally found a local mom willing to take me up on one of my frequent invitations to take a coffee break together. And when we found time to meet up at the itsy-bitsy local mall for Starbucks, it really did feel like a first date! Many of the same thoughts went through my head - "What should I wear? What if she doesn't like me? Should I bring [fill in the blank] up, or should that wait until we know each other better?" Silly, but there you have it.
Now, my "blind date" might seem a little desperate for those of you have a full quiver of mom friends, but out here in the rolling wheat fields finding someone close to your age with similar interests and young children is like finding a needle in a...you know the rest. I think it's safe to say that most of my graduate student colleagues still think I'm insane to not only be married, but to have had a child. There are some wonderful ladies in my church, but none close to my age or with a baby in the house. We don't have anything like "stroller striders" or "Mommy and me" playgroups around here (although after seeing how much they cost - yikes! - I'm not sure I'd join anyway). So I'll just about pass out my phone number or e-mail address to anyone wearing jeans or sweats, with hair hastily tied back, and lugging an overflowing diaperbag. Or in this case, a nice, normal-sounding mother who listed some toddler clothes on Craigslist. Let's hope it's the start of a beautiful thing.