She catches your eye across the playground. She has a cute haircut and is wearing those sandals you’ve been eying. The kid she’s pushing in the swing appears to be about the same age and gender as the one you chase around on a daily basis. This woman is worth further inspection.
You casually move towards the swing set, stopping to catch your child at the bottom of the slide. You point him in that general direction, hoping he’ll follow your lead. As soon as he catches sight of the swings he takes off running. Success! You quickly run a hand through your hair and smooth your shirt before sidling up beside her as your little one reaches his arms up to be lifted into the seat.
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Once he’s settled, you back up a few paces and give her a tentative smile. Your heart beats a bit faster when she smiles back and says something about the eternal appeal of swings. Yes! She spoke first. That’s a great sign.
You chat easily for a few minutes and learn that she shares several of your interests and only lives one town over. You can totally picture having play dates with this woman. The two of you sipping coffee at the kitchen table, swapping stories of the funny things your kids say, your cherubs playing happily in the next room.
Before you know it, your relationship will be at the next level: Leaving the kids with the husbands and going shopping or for pedicures, maybe grabbing a bite to eat before heading home. If things go really well you might be able to convince your husband that she and her husband are perfect ‘couple friends’ material.
But wait, you’re getting ahead of yourself. Back to the swing set. The kids are starting to lose interest and you know you don’t have much time left. So how should you play it? Cool and slightly aloof; waiting for her to make the first move? You don’t want her to think you’re over-eager, or worse, desperate. Sure, you haven’t hung out with another woman your own age in you don’t remember how long, but you can’t let her know that.
You’re just about to throw caution to the wind and ask if she wants to get together sometime when her kid starts crying. He pinched his finger in the chain and is not at all happy about it. She quickly lifts him from the seat, kisses his finger, and rubs his back, but her attempts to soothe him are unsuccessful. As his cries become louder, she gives a hasty goodbye and heads for her car.
You watch her go with mounting dismay, consider calling out to her to stop, but think better of it and watch as she buckles in her son and drives away. You were so close, yet now she’s gone and you didn’t even get her name. A quick scan of the playground reveals no other appealing possibilities.
Disheartened, you lift your son from the swing and set him down on the ground. As he takes off across the grass you suddenly remember: She said she frequents this park. Maybe hope isn’t lost after all! Looks like daily trips to the playground are in order until you just happen to bump into each other again.
You smile to yourself as you follow your son towards the slide. You can just feel it; those pedicures are right around the corner.