Cold shoulder, anyone?

Dads on the playground get all sorts of reactions, the best of which is, of course, to treat us no differently than you might treat any other parent or caregiver. That seems to be too much to ask. Today, I add to my ever-growing catalog of freaky mommy types:

The Ignorer

Our playground is famous in town for being friendly, and I try to live up to that reputation by engaging with as many people as possible. Today, though, was one of those days where nearly every mommy or nanny (yep, only dad, again) was already in a chatty group when we arrived. Most weren’t actively excluding me, they were just enjoying the people they already knew and feeling comfortable. Fine.

One group in particular, though, was aggressively closed. Boobaby took me to the swings, right where these three were playing, and the moms actually turned their backs when I said “good morning,” continuing their conversation as if no one had said anything. Later, Boo and I ran into a British mom and baby we know well and we played some ball. Two of the ignorers had left by this point, but the third one, it turns out, was British, too. She struck up my friend in conversation about all that British stuff, and as often as I gamely tried to participate, she shut me out. It was like one of those conversations on I Love Lucy when Ricky and Lucy aren’t talking to each other, so they have to make Ethel pass messages. “Tell Ricky I won’t speak to him until he buys me that dress!” “Tell Loocy ‘Ai-ai-ai-ai-ai’!”

The funny thing is that I don’t think that Ignorers do it on purpose. There’s just something about dads on weekdays that is a little too strange for this type. It’s not a ubiquitous thing, but it’s common enough that I do have to steel myself or risk being taken by surprise.

I just don’t know why people are ever unfriendly, when being friendly is so much more pleasant.