With new resolve I decide drastic measures must be taken. That’s right: The Fun Fort, a virtual meat market for moms. Even though I wasn’t sure I was ready for the big leagues, I put on my best sneakers, grabbed the boys, and headed out the door.
The Fort was ablaze with activity. There were new moms, veteran moms, poor ones, and rich ones. It was the United Nations of caregivers, and I was the newest ambassador. I let my boys play while I silently observed the rituals of this new land.
The rules seemed simple: don’t speak to anyone. Bring a book to hide behind if necessary. Look a little freaked out at all times. The only time you speak to another adult is if your child has an altercation with one of her children. Upon resolution of said altercation, retreat to your corner of the fort. If someone does speak to you without provocation, smile and look interested for a moment, then run off screaming, “No!” at your child to escape the human contact. And, finally, men are exempt from these rules.
Needless to say, the Fun Fort was not that much fun for me. Gavin and Beckett had a blast and begged me to take them back again the next day. “We’ll see,” I replied, wondering how to make them forget the Fun Fort even exists. As I drove home, I realized I’d survived the battle, but lost the Fort.
In response to this latest failure to find a playdate candidate, I decided someone should come up with an online playdating service. It would cater solely to exhausted mothers who seek only the commiseration and company of another who gets it. The questionnaire would be something like this:
(Check all that apply)
What are your interests?
Do you drink?
That’s it. Just those two questions. As mothers, we’re interrogated enough.
I also think a speed playdating event should be held monthly. You could weed out the riff-raff quickly, avoid the constant interruptions of your children, and get a few hours out of the bunker. And, who knows, you may even find a match. That perfect woman just like you.
As I pulled into our driveway, feeling slightly defeated about striking out at The Fort, I realized the time: 4:30 pm. This dating thing is certainly a time-sucker, I thought. Exhausting, really. So I ordered out, cleaned up, bathed the boys, and put them to bed. I poured myself a glass of Merlot and snuggled up in front of the TV with my husband. I told him of my travails, and he comforted me with a “don’t worry, you’ll find someone” speech, which, as absurd as it all sounded, really did help.
Although my quest continues, I’ve come to realize that all I really need is my family: my loving husband, my precious boys, and our dog, Mr. Wilson.
Oh, who am I kidding? I need a date!
Did you miss Part i? Read how Jane's journey to find a mom friend started in Desperately Seeking Playdate: Part 1.
Jane Suter is still a playdate-seeking mom.