speed dating

 no no, don't worry I'm not single and ready to mingle, far from it, but have just been thinking lately about being a mum and making friends, and how it weirdly feels a lot like dating.

I can't really remember how I used to make friends pre baby, but it probably went along the lines of them being in the same class/workshop group/year group/colleague type of thing, and then we'd go and get drunk. Isn't that how most friendships are formed? Once you've made a tit out of yourself in front of them once, and they still want to hang out with you - friends for life...

But now it's a little different, I can't really rock up to playgroups drunk to enhance my chances of making friends now can I? Online friends are a little different because you can find out so much about their lives (or how much they share of them) before you even speak to them..that sounds a little creepy doesn't it? Not that I like to stalk my prey before I attack but you know what I mean. People share glimpses into their lives, personalities and tastes online through blogs and instagram or whatever, and it's easier to know whether you're likely to get on with them before you take the plunge to befriend them. I'm terrible at taking the plunge online as it is, there are so many awesome people who I wish I had the guts to make contact with...but I don't.

So when it comes to real life, and meeting new real life people I find it to be a little strange. Now that I've moved to a new area I really need to make some new friends, as I currently have one friend who I see regularly and a few others not so much. Most of my friends who I made through pregnancy and early baby life have moved away (hope it's nothing I did?!) and I feel I should probably make the effort once more to make some new ones. I've been going to a few new places to 'meet' new friends (gosh this sounds so desperate!) such as a children's centre near me and a few new playgroups. There are lots of friendly looking mum's there, it's just about making the first move...

I mean we all have at least one thing in common; we're mums, but then how do you know where  the similarities end? This is where the game begins...you have a scout around the room, pretending you're looking for your child hoping he's not biting someone in the corner, and try and pick out who you think you'd get along with and what you might have in common. Yes it's totally based on looks and I guess you do judge people on that, well on their looks and the way act as parents. I hate that it is, but then you don't have much else to go on do you? So when you eventually spot someone you think looks agreeable, you try a smile and a little eye contact (flirting?) and wait for an opportunity to make conversation. Perhaps it's stopping a fight breaking out over a toy, or a compliment on their child's looks/outfit/behaviour...you cover the usual ground of how old are their child is, what's their name, do you come here often etc (I guess you could try some other chat up lines at this point?) and hope that the conversation takes off! If it does, success level one complete!

But then it gets tricky, how long do you keep the conversation up for, you want to put effort in but all the while watching your little darling out of the corner of your eye edge a loaded paintbrush closer to his open mouth, and have to be ready to leap up at any second therefore breaking the conversation. Do you go back? If you do, do you pick up the same conversation or try another subject? So say you get through all of this successfully, and you feel like you get along, you start to wander if they think you are nice too, and then you wander if you'll see them again next time (and if you'll remember what they look like/their name/child's name) I feel bad if I don't see them leave and say goodbye, but you know, you want to keep it casual too. So fast forward a week, you see them again have another few conversations, still get along...but when is appropriate to ask for their number for a coffee date? Then maybe a play date? Do you need to do a few more sessions of bumping into each other and small talk? Going to each others houses is a long way off, but you have it in your head anyway. This really sounds like I'm a weirdo doesn't it?

Obviously I'm not this neurotic and weird when attempting to make new friends...or maybe I am that's why I don't have any?

But you get what I mean right..........right?

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