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quality friends are hard to find


Soon after I was married and well before we had children, when my husband and I were DINKs (dual income no kids), I ran across an article in some magazine about finding new friends. The angle was that while it may not be hard to find a new friend, it's usually difficult to find a couple that you want to hang out with.

For example, let's say the wife meets some chick at work. They hit it off, have lunch together and become work friends. She tells her husband about her new work friend and then they set up a dinner as a couple. It stands to reason that the husband of the new friend should be just as cool as the new friend, right? If the new friend's personality is such that it attracted the wife of the other couple, that same personality should attract a mate who is just as cool.

But according to the article, this is where it usually breaks down. Maybe it has something to do with opposites attracting, I don't know, but it's a crapshoot when it comes to hitting it off with both halves of the couple.

I have run into that phenomenon in the past, but now that's exactly what it is � a thing of the past. My husband and I rarely go out with other couples anymore. We rarely go out with each other anymore.

Now that phenomenon has been amended to consist solely of parents and children. No longer am I focused on the friendship with the wife and then wondering if the husband of the couple is cool. Now the friendship starts between my kid and the other kid and then I wonder if I will like the parents of the kid.

Our 6-year-old is very amiable and outgoing (unlike her mother) and is somewhat of a social butterfly. So every day when I pick her up after school she greets me with, "Can so-and-so come over to play right now?" I did fall for that a couple times, but I prefer to plan ahead so I have nipped that in the bud. She now knows we have to call the other mother to make a plan for that friend to come to our house. It hasn't stopped her from asking, but at least we have cleared the rules.

But back to the phenomenon: I originally thought I would like the kid that my daughter had picked out and would question what the parent was like. To my surprise, it's gone the other way. So far I have really liked and enjoyed the parent and absolutely despised that parent's demon-seeded excuse for a child.

Yes, I know, this calls for an example.

The last child who came to our house was no exception. Let's call her Anastacia. So we get home from school and they have a snack. Then they go upstairs to my daughter's room and start jumping up and down on the beds. I'm trying to be cool about that stuff, I understand it's fun, so I let them do it. No problem so far.

Then Anastacia has to go to the bathroom. She does her thing and they both come downstairs wearing my daughter's clothes. (They go to Catholic school and have to wear a uniform. Anastacia did not bring play clothes to change into. Again, I was okay with this.)

Anastacia proceeds to jump up and down on my couch. I tell to knock it off and after much complaining she does. Then she starts begging me to let them paint their nails. I say no, I don't want nail polish all over the house. I suggest they paint paper with watercolors instead. My kid signs onto the new program, even suggests they could trace their hands and then paint nails on the drawing of the hands. Anastacia starts arguing with me and begging me for nail polish.

When we get out the paints, Anastacia puts paint all over her hands and starts wiping her hands on the paper, while getting paint all over my table. Then she holds the paper against the wall and gets paint all over my walls. Grrr.

Then Anastacia opens most of my cupboard doors being nosy. She opens the doors to the armoire in the dining room where the computer is. I tell her to get out of my computer. The doors were shut for a reason. Anastacia starts to argue with me about how she wants to play a game on the computer. I tell her NO!

Needless to say, as I prepared dinner for this miscreant, I was counting the minutes until her father got here to pick her up.

Once she left I realized she took a colossal crap in my toilet and did not flush it. And, after she left, my daughter asked me, "Mom can you re-wash my comforter? The one you washed this morning in anticipation of my friend coming over?"

"Why?" I ask.

"Because, Mom, Anastacia took her clothes off, went to the bathroom and then rolled NAKED - without underwear - on top of my comforter. I think there are germs on my blanket, Mom."

What. The. FUCK?!

"Yes I will wash your comforter right now. Do you think a good friend would do something like that to another friend? Would you ever do that to one of your friends?"

"No, Mom."

"Okay, you just think about that the next time you see Anastacia."

It matters not how cool Anastacia's mother and father may be. We will never be more than acquaintances and Anastacia will never set foot in my house again.


2007-01-27 at 11:22 a.m.

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