Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blueberry Blues

I recently saw about the first half hour of this movie called “My Blueberry Nights” (it was very awful, and I had to change the channel before my eyes started bleeding,) about this girl who gets unceremoniously dumped by her cheating boyfriend.  She spends the first bit of the movie skulking around this diner that they used to go to and develops a friendship of sorts with the guy (manager? owner?) who works there - who is played by Jude Law.  In one scene, she wonders out loud why her ex dumped her; why he’s with someone else - is she prettier?  smarter?  And Jude lays a pretty sage explanation on her that goes something like this:  

See this chocolate cream pie?  I’m lucky if I have one slice left at the end of the night.  Same with the apple.  But look at this blueberry pie (which is untouched.)  There’s nothing wrong with it - it’s a perfectly fine pie, and it’s actually quite delicious;  it’s just that people ordered the chocolate cream or the apple instead.  It’s not the pie’s fault, people just wanted something else.  They made different choices.   

That blew me away.
I think I am a blueberry pie.
We have lived in suburbia for about four and a half years now, and I still have not made any friends.  Well, to be honest, I was pretty tight with my neighbor, but alas, her husband got a transfer and they now live a good 600 miles away.  I have made acquaintances - you know, those people you see in the school yard or on the soccer field with your kids - moms that say ‘hi’ to you, and ask how you’re doing, even though they really don’t give a rat’s ass whether you just won a beauty pageant or were recently diagnosed with leprosy.  I actually tested this theory out a couple of weeks ago when asked by one of the ‘regulars’:
Other Mom:  Hi!  How’ve you been?
Me:  Oh, hanging in there.  Just trying to keep my head above the laundry!  (ha. ha.)
Other Mom:  Oh.  Uhh...
Me:  I swear, Peyton has more costume changes in one day than Madonna!  (ha. ha.)  Ugh, it never ends, right?  So how are you?
Other Mom:  Oh look, I think Ashley’s having trouble with her swing.  I’d better go get her.  Nice talking to you!  
I doubt that woman has ever been happier to see her child in peril.
It sounds kind of random, what I did (and seeing it written on paper, I sound waay more manic than I actually was, honest,)  but I really thought that this might start a dialogue, you know, an opening for her to initially commiserate with me and maybe share a bit of herself.  Instead, she fled the scene like her ass was on fire.  
Having kids goes hand-in-hand with having playdates, and those playdates also offer most moms the opportunity to meet and forge friendships with other moms.  I mean, these moms already have some things in common:  their kids are friends, they’re usually about the same age, and they don’t live too far from each other.  Other variables include the coolness of their husbands and the age/sex of their other children relative to your own.  Once all (or at least some) of these things come together, it should be fairly easy to find some common ground unless the other mom  a) is a notorious gossip, b) thinks she’s way better than you, or c) is crazy as a budbug (more on this last one in a later post.)
From a distance, that particular mom seemed to be relatively well-adjusted, and I always thought she was pretty nice, but faced with that unexpected interaction, she just completely shut down.  Was it me?  Maybe my reputation had made it’s way around the school yard, although for the life of me, I can’t figure out just what that reputation might be.  Maybe I had something on my face.  Maybe she thought I fell under category “c” above.  
Maybe I’m just a blueberry pie.
Everything is back to “normal” now.  That other mom is hanging out with her circle of friends in the school yard - one of the many circles I don’t fit in to, and she still says, “Hi, how are you?”  (although now I think I detect a hint of fear in her voice that I might actually tell her.)  I have taken to waiting in my car until school lets out.  I’ll try again another time, with another mom, but it’s tough putting yourself out there and feeling an icy cold breeze in return. 
Besides, I’m starting to get really good at “Angry Birds.”


  1. Put yourself out there and be authentic. You will eventually find your tribe and it will be worth the wait. xx

  2. Who knew that a Jude Law movie (and an analogy about a blueberry pie, no less) could be so profound?

    What Mrs W said. And for what it's worth, I'm a keep-to-myselfer to. And I really respect other mums who are the same. We have an unspoken understanding. You'll find your crowd. Who could stand chocolate cream pie every single time anyway? Too much! (and I'll bet many in those circles you're witnessing are trying desperately to not be in them ;)

  3. School mums terrify me. So then I act tough like I don't care.

    I say, own your blueberry Pie-ness. Be the pie you are. You'll start to look around you, find your groove, and all the people who ordered the chocolate cake will wish they ordered blueberry pie. Then you can teach THEM about being open and welcoming.

    Cool blog. Keep at it and don't worry about stats or comments too much yet, it will drive you crazazy.

  4. PS All these dessert metaphors has made me hungry.

  5. Hey you, I've just read your blog and I think you'd be an absolute breath of fresh air in any school yard. I've arrived at 4 schools as the new Mum and I agree, its tough work. Take Mrs Woogs advice and listen to Eden they are bang on. In the meantime, I'm your latest follower. Great blog.


  6. Oh, honey.

    The mysteries of life.

    Do people not LIKE us? Or, do they just feel that they don't want a new friend?

    I ask myself this for the last 16 years since we were imprisoned...I mean,..moved, to suburbia.

    I know it's nice and clean and safe and idyllic for kids.

    But for the mom who stays home?

    Pretty damn depressing.

    I have been in therapy, and in tears over why IRL folk don't care for me. Or it seems they don't care for me.

    I don't know.

    I think I'll take it as they just don't want to be friends with someone new.

    That's what Ill do.

    I had to turn to the internet for friends, and I wish I would've done that 10 years ago.

    All the wasted tears and isolation and happiness that pervaded my home.

    Who knew?

    Thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the internetz.

    You could and should get the "edenland power bangle"'s impenetrable to schoolmums.


  7. Also?

    BIG also?

    Like, HUGE also?

    I am honored to find myself on your blogroll.

    You are obviously a woman of discerning taste.

  8. Hi there! I know this is kind of off topic but
    I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
    I'm getting tired of Wordpress because I've had problems with hackers and I'm looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    My weblog: dm800 cccam.cfg location


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