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Sunday, May 22, 2011

the other me

I am not alone.  

That's what I discovered yesterday at Max's first soccer game.  I was standing on the sidelines in the mom zone, in yoga pants and a ponytail, watching my very red-faced seven-year-old while wrangling my very energetic three-year-old.  Next to me was another mom, in the same yoga pants and a ponytail, watching her very red-faced seven-year-old while wrangling her very energetic three-year-old.  A ball was passed or a kid ran by or something sporty happened when this went down.

Other Mom:  "GO, FINN!"
Me:  "GO, MAX!" 
She looked at me so I smiled at her.  You cannot call me unfriendly.
Other Mom:  "Where are you from?"
Never sure if I'm supposed to say America or Los Angeles or the States so...
Me:  "America--  Los Angeles--  The States."  
Other Mom:  "Oh, so you're new here?"
Me:  "Yeah." 
Other Mom:  "Me, too.  We just moved from Brisbane."
Hmm.  She just said "just."  I should probably correct myself.
Me:  "Actually, I don't know if I'm technically still new.  We've been here six months." 
Other Mom:  "Me, too!"
What?  Why'd she use the word "just" then?  Strange.  On a side note, if we're really counting...
Me:  "Actually we came at the end of September so eight months is probably a more accurate--" 
Other Mom:  "We came in September, too!  Has it been eight months already?"
She really has to get her story straight.  But she's right.  Eight months goes fast!
Me:  "I know.  So fast.  My husband came out before us in June--"
Other Mom:  "My husband came out before us in June, too--"
No.  Way.  Did my husband have a second family? 
Me:  "After just getting the job offer in May--"
Other Mom:  "My husband was informed of his transfer in May--"
She knew!  She knew my pain!  Misery, meet company.
Me:  "I was left alone with the kids for three months!--"
Other Mom:  "And I had to pack up the entire house!--"
I'm still mad I had to pack up the entire house and it's been eight months!
Me:  "ME, TOO!"
Other Mom:  "Worst time of my life--"
Me:  "The absolute WORST time--"
Awful.  Awful.  Awful. 
Other Mom:  "I fought with my husband on the phone across the pond all the time--"
Me:  "I picked Sky-ghts (Skype fights) with mine every chance I got and then walked out of frame."
Hmm.  I wonder if I can say across the pond?
Other Mom:  "That's so funny.  Are you all settled in?'
Me:  "I am.  Well, the kids are."
Other Mom:  "Same here.  It's time to for me now."
Me:  "Me, too."
And we looked at each other and smiled.  I guess I can't call her unfriendly either.  It was time for us now.  Even though we only knew each other for about three soccer plays, we were destined to be friends forever because of this moment, this bond, those three awful, house-packing months...


And then someone rang the bell and the game was over.  All twelve games on this very large soccer field.  Mom zone was suddenly flooded with sweaty, red-faced seven-year-old boys in need of water and lollies and, I don't know, maybe some deodorant?  Next thing I knew there was a scuffle between my boys over who got the orange candy (Max) and who got the purple candy (Charlie), and she was gone. The woman who had been living my life in a different continent with a different man and different children and a different house and a different accent and a different hair color and yet the SAME yoga pants was gone.  I was confused.  How could she have left without saying goodbye?  Hadn't we made a connection?  Aren't we destined to share our war stories?  And that's when she tapped me on the shoulder.  She was still there.  With the other four thousand soccer moms wearing yoga pants and ponytails.  I really have to get a better look for soccer.

Other Mom:  "Hey, so, I'll see you next week."
Me:  "Yeah, I'll see you next week."
Dangit, I wish I had an Australian accent.

And that was it.  And that's when I realized that was all that needed to be said.  When you have a connection like me and whatsherface, names and words are superfluous.  I have no doubt we will be friends forever.  Or at least until next week.  When I am NOT in yoga pants and a ponytail. 

Me:  "G'day, Mate!"
She can't hear me -- partially because she's already in the parking lot but mostly because I don't say this out loud -- but if she could, I know she'd smile.  Me and the other me are very friendly. 


  1. Loved it! Great job recreating your encounter. Accent's a little hard to get use to. Think I'll have one in eleven days? xo

  2. Fantastic post. I really felt like I was a part of the moment. More! More!

  3. So great to make a new friend--one you really have a bond with (a serious bond, like packing up the whole house and single-parenting two boys for 3 months)! This is fantastic. Happy for you--a new friend and a new blog!--and happy for us, 'cause we get to read all about it! xo, Courtney