Aliens Forced Me To Initiate A Playdate At A Fancy Park Across Town

Few things strike more fear in my heart than those two little words: Spring Break. Combine them with another other loathsome word– playdate– and you’ve got my definition of something really undesireable.   And because I hate travel more than arriving at Costco after closing time, we had no plans to leave the city limits during Spring Break, which meant I had to come up with something local.

Lucky for me, aliens took over my email account and sent out a message to the preschool moms I knew who were sticking close by.  “Hey, wanna have a playdate next Thursday during Spring Break?”  Good Lord, those Aliens made me look well-adjusted enough to initiate a playdate. With other mothers from preschool.


At first, I panicked.  Do I need decorations? A theme?  Can the theme be SURVIVAL of spring break?  Then, the Aliens returned to slap my face, and to tell me to take it down a notch.  “Suggest something you like to do,” they said.

Great idea, Aliens, I like to eat and sit on my ass.  So they sent the follow-up email: “Let’s meet at that cute diner on the east side for lunch and invade the park across the street.”

There was nothing left to do but show up for the playdate “I” planned.  Because these activities were taking place in the ritzier section, far away from my beloved bodegas and Costco, I felt the need to dress up. Ballet flats.  A necklace.  Lip gloss. Deodorant.  The freaking works, People.

Lunch went well. I’ll note here that the four other children ordered chocolate chip pancakes. My kid? A side order of each of the following: cottage cheese, bacon, fruit.  You can’t teach that kind of nutrition.  She was just born with that, guys, so I’m not bragging. Just reporting.

Once at the park, I found myself a seat on a bench in the sunshine and kept a close-but-not-helicopter-y eye on my kid.  I did hover when she started swinging upside down because the last thing I wanted to see were those side dishes coming up out of the hole in her face.

This is going so well– everyone’s playing so nicely and I made this all happen.  Had I possessed the extra physical reserves, I might have literally patted myself on the back.

I noticed that the park patrons didn’t look like the patrons at my park– those brave souls who come looking for the syringes and doobies they accidentally dropped.  These people didn’t drop crap contaminated with STDs.  But man they could have taken out a small nation with a mis-swoop of those Louis Vuitons. Where are they going after this? A three-week trip overseas?

I’ve seen pictures of gigantic designer bags (and the women who carry them) but I’ve never seen any up close.  I sort of thought they were mythical.   (NOTE: I also thought allergic reactions to food were imaginary, until my kid swelled up like my Grandma’s buttermilk biscuits after eating some humus.)

And while I don’t judge (oh, hell yes I do, and so do you, just admit it), I have to admit that once I got past the accessories that cost more than my annual Costco bills, they acted like regular moms.  I wanted to be all hate-y because they looked so wealthy and their hair was so damn silky, but really?  At the end of the day, we are all just trying to keep our kids from puking up cottage cheese and bacon, right?

But I still prefer my local park, where I get the opportunity to answer questions from my kids about what gang graffiti means (Peace on Earth, of course) and what the used condoms are (rare land jellyfish).

There’s no place like home.



34 thoughts on “Aliens Forced Me To Initiate A Playdate At A Fancy Park Across Town

    • Bacon, eggs, and cottage cheese. Are you paleo? I will say that it looked delicious and those chocolate chip pancakes weren’t doing those other three year olds any favors with their moods later on.

  1. 🙂 this reminds me of my visits every Saturday when i wait for Lovie to practice her ballet whilst in my hopefully clean(ish) non name brand pants and tshirt, i notice most other moms in their very expensive looking crisp clothes, perfectly silky hair, MAKEUP (it’s 10am on a saturday people!), etc.

    • I just don’t even understand how we could seem so different. I mean that silky hair and those cute fucking exercise clothes. Maybe they are just better looking naturally and lots of stuff flows from that.

  2. Silky hair AND designer bags? Ugh. The rest of it sounds heavenly. And I want to know your tricks for getting Sadie to order that mix – do not hold out on me! Here I am patting you on the back until you’re rested enough to do it for yourself. Well done, mama!

  3. The last 2 sentences are pure gold. And yay for initiating a playdate! I met a girl through Babycenter (of all places) last fall, and we’ve become really close friends (and so have our kiddos)…so stepping out of your comfort zone can definitely be worthwhile!

    Bacon + cottage cheese= not a kosher combination. Does your husband know? 😛

    PS: I can relate to the designer handbags. Went to the zoo this weekend, where one mom had a double Peg Perego stroller, on the back of which hung a Gucci diaper bag, a Louis Vuitton diaper bag, and a Hermes Birkin bag. I kid you not. And this was in the Bronx, of all places!

  4. RARE LAND JELLYFISH! Oh…My…God!!! I almost choked to death when I read that, I was laughing so hard. I’m still impressed with your daughter’s lunch order. I want you to work some voodoo on my kids. –Lisa

  5. I love going to different parks with my son. It’s funny how you can get a completely different vibe depending on the time of day, neighborhood, etc. But isn’t it true that little kids — wherever they are, wherever they’re from, whatever handbags their moms put their cellphones in — are usually the same. They’re just kids: funny, annoying, loud, happy, always getting into trouble, and smiling.

  6. Totally miss the city now. Oh, the inner city park memories! And having to explain why we carefully step over the old lady who slept in our entryway to even get out our door. Can’t make that shit up!

    You did good, Christie! And the side dishes=perfect. My daughter only ate orange things about that time. But when it comes down to it, we’re all moms just trying to hang in there and prevent vomiting or other excitements. (Ooh, that sounded gross. Sorry)

    I have two friends that carry LV large bags. The rest of us just make fun of them. Then they ignore us. Don’t/won’t ever get it.

    • I have but not that I initiate with moms from preschool. I like playdates with my homies and their kids. This was fun and the moms and dads too were great.

  7. First of all, kudos to you – or the alien for that matter – for organizing the play date. For the record, I would have pretended not to judge those moms either – and then I would have admitted to judging them – and then would have admitted to jealousy over their silky hair and ultimately warmed up to them like you. I’m going to remember that rare land jellyfish explanation by the way!

    • Why are there some people I still feel free to judge: Rich people with gigantic designer bags (both real and fake, probably), certainn zealots, certain political groups. Why do I think that’s ok, when I don’t want them judging me? I gotta work on my character. You know, in my free time.

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