Photo by Bert Hardy
One thing about birthing children is that it has made me friends with all other women who have gone through the same ordeal. I find myself chatting up anyone pushing a stroller. In previous phases of my life, I would have needed to screen possible friends with questions like:
“What was your major in college?”
“What book are you reading?”
“What’s your favorite restaurant?”
These are COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY now that I only need a stroller for prospective friend-prey. First, it doesn’t matter what our majors were because we don’t use one bit of what they taught us any more, even if we work outside the home, because we’re too tired to think about things like higher education and Venn diagrams. Secondly, books are beside the point because we don’t read anything that doesn’t rhyme and/or is by a woman named Stuart. And finally, we find talking about our favorite restaurants confusing. Do you mean which one has kids-eat-free tonight?
It’s really very convenient to find friends with the stroller approach. It’s SUPER efficient. I can get to a nitty gritty conversation in a matter of seconds. Today, for example, I met up with a woman in an elevator. She, like me, was pushing a double stroller. She, like me, was desperate for adult interaction. I found out about her family, her ethnic heritage, her political views, her thoughts on the precarious peace in Israel, and even used the word “perineum,” all in the time it took to descend two floors. EFFICIENT, I tell you.
This chumming up with random mothers makes my husband nervous, and not just when we discuss birth stories. I think it’s worrisome to him that I don’t know these people and I’m engaging in memorable conversation with them. He’s more into forgetting what others say almost as soon as they say them. For example, Marc can have an hour-long conversation on the phone with any given relative and not remember ONE WORD of what was exchanged.
Kim: “How’s your mom, honey?”
Marc: “Um, fine?”
Kim: “Is that a question or an answer?”
Marc: “Not sure?”
So the idea of bonding immediately with Melissa, who has three children, one who is in school and having a hard time with her spelling words but really loves soccer, in the elevator and then remembering the whole conversation over dinner, well, we’ve got something of a divide.
In the meantime, I’m happy to talk with you while our children stare at each other with Goldfish-crusted faces. Just PLEASE don’t ask me what my college major was.
P.S. GREAT NEWS FROM THE DESK: Thanks be to God, I’ve finished the rough draft of my next novel! Woo hoo! Lots of nipping and tucking to get it to the shape I’d have you all see, but I wanted to share the news. The working title makes me giggle, but I’ll have to ask if I can share. It’s my favorite book so far, which I say every time, but can you really trust a woman who uses the word “perineum” in idle banter?
Can’t WAIT for you to read this one! ☺