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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A perfect first date

I think I went on a first date yesterday. And it was a fabulous first date! I picked her up in my hot minivan and drove to the coast. Sunlight drizzled gold on the ocean water. Whales breached just off the coast, their bus-sized bodies pushing through the surface, spraying blasts of water towards the sky. It was all very romantic (although I could have done without topless young women in thongs dancing in the surf).

The kids were there, too. They shared toys, teases the waves, and spied on hermit crabs and regular crabs at low tide. They played fetch with the dog and brushed sand off of their granola bars (and didn't seem to notice the mostly-naked women in thongs).

The thing is, I didn’t mean for the day to be a date. It was a genuine invitation to hang out with the kids as summer winds down. But it sort of felt like a date anyway. There were lots of questions about family and the husband and what she used to do before kids and whether she plans go back to work as a patent attorney or a mechanical engineer when her kids are a little bit older. I asked her all about her writing—she’s an aspiring author too—which is probably what prompted my invitation in the first place. 

For kids, making friends is as simple as saying: “Hi My name is R, what’s yours?” But as grown-ups, we look for commonality and a line of thinking goes something like this…Oh, our kids are friends. We’re both volunteer art teachers. You’re a writer, too? I probably asked too many questions, but that’s how this former journalist manages curiosity and deals with silence.

You see, my best friend in San Carlos up and moved to the mountains a couple of weeks ago. Her move shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but I’m still surprised. And now I feel a little wobbly as we were raising our kids together. For three years, we took the kids on “Adventure Wednesdays” and occasionally bolted for San Francisco when the kids were at school and had a few hours between the other projects in our lives.

Now that she’s gone, I’m just having lots of feelings. She was my dance companion on Monday nights, my hiking buddy, my go-for-coffee companion, my sous chef on Wednesday nights when our families had dinner together. I am truly happy for her family’s adventure to the mountains (really, honestly, truly). I’m just feeling a little sorry for myself. A little off…

So I guess you could say that I'm out there dating again, trying to make friends. No, it wasn't meant to be a date, although she did pick up the check after dinner. So now the question becomes, will we go on a second date?


  1. So happy to see you writing here again. I had your rss in my feed all these years and then it started populating again! I'm not blogging anymore but maybe I will :)

    1. Hey crazedparent! Good to hear from you (and so sweet that you still had me in your RSS all this time). Apparently I still have a lot to say :) And I'm going to guess that if you wrote something, you just might realize you still have a lot to say, too :)