I can’t call my girlfriend up for drinks

by doodaddy on April 7, 2007

Do you ever have one of those little misunderstandings happen where you really want to just call up a girlfriend, vent for a minute, and then let all the steam go?

Well, I can’t “call up my girlfriend” because I can’t even call her a “girlfriend.” It means something quite different when moms use that word with each other — “You go, GIRLFRIEND!” — and I have no equivalent way to describe the acquaintances and friends I make at the park, most of whom, yes, are female.

As usual, it all started with something stupid. We got a new garage door opener, so when Working Mom came home to take over with Boobaby I set it up and went downstairs to make sure it worked.

“I’m going to run down and check the new garage door opener,” I called. We’re on the second floor. In my head, I meant to imply “So the stair gate will be open for a few seconds,” but the message did not get across. When I came back upstairs, WM snarked that I hadn’t closed the gate and thereby put Boo at risk, I snarked back something about how it would be nice if she could keep an eye on her for five seconds. You know, the usual yadda yadda, this is how wars get started.

No big deal, and we’ll make up. I should have been more explicit, I should have just closed the thing in the first place. Maybe WM should have been more attentive. We’ll both be clearer and nicer to each other in the future. Good conflict resolution.

I’d really love it, though, if I also call up my Park Buddy and go for a glass of wine or a coffee, you know — get out of the house for a minute or two.

But she’s a girl and I’m a boy, as they say. So that would be weird. Even though it wouldn’t need to be, and there’s nothing and no intent between us, I still think that would be just uncomfortable for our spouses.

Here’s another one of those points of asymmetry between stay-at-home dad families and stay-at-home mom families, I guess.

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in friends,stay-at-home dad ·

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Blog Antagonist April 7, 2007 at 12:02 pm

A while back, I had a huge quandry about asking one of the neighborhood dads over for coffee. He work 3-11 and stays at home during the day. We had chatted at the bus stop many times, and I found him very likeable. Since most women irritate me, I thought it might be nice to strike up a friendship with him. But it was so…unconventional, that I hesitated. And stewed. And contemplated.

I never did invite him over and our relationship remained very superficial. It’s a good thing too, because I found out through some unrelated issues, that he is really quite an asshole. But that’s not the point.

The point, is, I can relate to your problem. I don’t have many girlfriends, and it would look very weird for me to be fraternizing with married men in my home, during the day when my husband isn’t home.

I could handle it, but the neighborhood surely couldn’t.

That sucks, doesn’t it?


aimee/greeblemonkey April 7, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Bryan struggled with this issue too. You is nots alone.


Sarah April 11, 2007 at 4:18 am

That is hard. Very good friends of ours had a babe around the same time as we did. The daddy was home for a while and we would take the babies for walks and get together sometimes. People were always stopping us to ask if the babies were twins. Maybe that might have been reasonable except my baby is as white and caucasian as they come and the daddy friend is asian with an asian looking baby. That would have been a pretty neat trick!

People can be so stupid…I really felt like the questioning was really more of a question as to why we were out together at the park with our babies.


doodaddy April 11, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Thanks, all! First of all, I’ve been away at the grandfolks’ and out of Internet range, so sorry for not getting my responses out sooner!

@Antagonist: Too bad you don’t live here. The neighborhood couldn’t care less about whom I have coffee with. Not so sure about the spouses, though.

@aimee: How long was Bryan a SAHD? Does he blog? He sounds like a cool guy, and I’m not really a guy’s guy.

@Sarah: Well, first of all, they still could be twins! There’s been a bit of a biracial-twins-with-different-pigmentation meme around the blogosphere for a while: check this out for one, or just google “biracial twins.” And yes, my park buddy and I get mistaken for a couple fairly often, but we just let it slide. It’s just frustrating (sometimes) that we can’t easily see each other socially without the kids. (On the other hand, with young kids we basically have no social lives apart from them, so it’s not that big an issue!)


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