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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Coupling



Dating was bad enough when I was single. I sucked at it then, so applying the rules of that jungle to the jungle gym now seemed too overwhelming to bear. I shied from making new friends for a considerable length of time. Who knew that I'd be reliving those tentative dating steps again. Only this time Mac Daddy and I are flirting with other couples to befriend. It's a whole new courtship that is exponentially more complex with the addition of spouses and kids. Oh, I meet my share of women with whom I get along great. When it comes time to make the next move someone's kids don't click or the husband is a bore/jerk/pretty boy/dud. The deal breakers abound in the world of couples dating. Time and babysitter dollars are in short supply to be wasting either.

Mac Daddy and I went on a date last weekend. Only it wasn't with each other.

We went on a date with Kat and Sammy. Our first date. Yes, we were nervous. Am I dressed appropriately? Does my hair look OK? Does my breath stink like Cheetos? Will they hate my perfume? Did I remember deodorant? Do they have a sense of humor? How do you pronounce their last name? Do we have an exit strategy?

Kat and Sammy invited us over to their place for dinner, which would seem forward for a first date except that we had four kids among us. Under the age of 5. Oh, and dinner was at 5:00 if that tells you anything. It was actually a full family date, way deeper than a couples date. And the kids got along famously. Check one off the stress list.

Kat and I met a few times at the park and various play dates. We checked out each other thoroughly enough to chat on occasion and we found ourselves drawn to each other time after time. Perhaps it was our liberal leanings, ties to Philadelphia, penchant for shopping deals and steals, biracial kids, or just plain good taste responsible for our magnetic pull. Who knows. We chatted easily, laughed at the same things, gritted our teeth at our wailing children, and checked our watches in anticipation of nap time.

We decided it was time to introduce the husbands. A giant step. Mac Daddy is not a naturally social being. Sure, he's easy to talk to but he loathes small talk and has low tolerance for so many types of people - snobs, good ol boys, know-it-alls, rednecks, dumbs asses, artsy fartsy literati, thugs. He pretty much clicks with down to earth sarcastic types who value a dry sense of humor and don't mind a comfortable lull in conversation mixed with a few gulps of bottled brew. And me, I can talk to a curio cabinet full of Hummel figurines. My own voice keeps me going, and I'm my own best audience. A real live person is frosting on the conversational cake.

Mac Daddy and Sammy met once during a spontaneous extension of a happy hour play date that spilled over to our house one evening months ago. There were four families and 8 children under the age of 5 running around so there was more chasing and yelling "NO!" than real conversation going on. Oh, and don't go judging me for the happy hour play date. My goodness, by 3:00 on a Friday a glass of wine is what every mom and dad need. No one is lush enough to slur and stumble. And the kids don't drink wine since they are actively participating in wine's homonym form.

So back to our date...Kat and I hit it off swimmingly as usual and followed the kids downstairs. Why does this always happen, moms keeping a watchful eye on the kids while the dads drink Newcastle and watch Nascar? I knew things were going well when neither Mac Daddy nor Sammy came downstairs with a lame excuse to exit their conversation. Things seemed to be working out nicely. No fake smiles and talk of the weather. No resorting to sports statistics from the Celtics big game in 1972. No one was even talking about the obvious common denominator: kids. Could it be? Did we actually make a new couple connection?

All the stars are aligned so far. All of us enjoyed easy conversation and weren't shy about picking out corn from our teeth or stealing a fingerful of cupcake frosting (homemade at that!). Beer, wine, and juice boxes flowed, laughter ensued, children splashed, adults breathed a collective sigh of relief.

I think we might be ready to take the plunge to invite them over to our place next. Perhaps even a couples night out without the kids. Maybe weekends of double dates and a future of vacationing together is on the horizon. Is a trip on the Big Red Boat in our future? Or am I moving too quickly? I tend to be overzealous by nature. If nothing else, we've found new friendship all around. Cheers to that!

PS
There's a funny video out in cyberspace about couples dating. My friend Susan emailed it to me once, but I can't track it down. 10 points to whomever can send me the link.
CouplingSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

2 comments:

Caroline said...

For real, we are living parallel lives sometimes!!! I SO get trying to meet couples. Its hard enough to find someone YOU like, let alone someone your husband will too. When I first moved here, I used to stalk moms and their kids at the local library. Is she cool? Could we be friends? Maybe! Let me go say how cute her kid is - the ultimate way to start a convo is be nice to someone else's kid. And heres why this post rings true for me today. Literally a few hours ago, a couple that moved in a week ago came across the street to introduce themselves and their kids. We clicked right off the bat, a ton in common. Could it happen? Could I have a new friend right across the street? Will my husband like her husband? Is it too good to be true? What if they "get weird" and then I have to avoid them? Nah, I bit the bullet and invited them to my kid's b-day. But WOW is this post right in my wheel house today!

chris said...

Hey, my wife and I would be a perfect date. Mc Daddy and I would get along famously.