Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friends with Kids

Last week I saw a preview for a new movie that I knew I just had to see.  Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt play two best friends who decide to have a child together, even though they have no desire to enter into a relationship with one another, hoping to avoid the toll kids can take on romantic relationships.  Their close group of friends include two couples, Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd play a married couple with two kids and Kristin Wiig and Jon Hamm play a more recently married couple.

When I first saw the preview, I immediately thought, "Well this looks familiar."  While I have absolutely NO plans to have a baby with a best friend just for the sake of having a baby (sorry Mom), my current life position has me surrounded with married couples, many of whom are on their way to starting families.  Sometimes, this makes life quite interesting.  Sunday morning when I woke up to teach my Jazzercise class, I decided, "I'm going to go see that movie today.  I'm going to teach and then I'm going to walk into the theater looking like an absolute mess, movie theater hot dog in hand for lunch, but I'm going."  

And go I did.  And the movie did not disappoint.  I loved basically every second of it.  It was realistic and blatantly accurate and, of course with this crowd, a bit raunchy. I even teared up twice, something that I rarely do at movies.  While watching, I couldn't help but jot down some of my favorite lines, many of which were very familiar, either spoken by me or to me at some point the last couple of years.

1. You can make that work. 
(A married to a single, in reference to a suggestion of someone she should date)

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard some version of these words as a dating option is brought up.  The conversation usually goes like this:

Friend: "You know, So-And-So is single."
Me: "I know."
Friend: "You should date him.  You know, since he's single."
Me: "There are other qualities I'm looking for besides a 'single' relationship status on Facebook."
Friend: "But you could make that work."

While obviously an important personal characteristic, there should be a lot of qualities that a potential suitor should possess other than an empty ring finger.

2. Everything is going to be the same.  Nothing will change.
(A married to a single, right after a pregnancy announcement by the marrieds)

If this were a line in a scene from Big Bang Theory, Sheldon would immediately follow this statement up with "Bazinga," a clear sign he is attempting, no matter how ineffectively, to tell a joke. Obviously, things are going to change.  When people start dating, things change.  When people get married, things change.  When people have kids, things change.  Trying to pretend that things are going to stay the same makes everything way worse.  And, it always seems that the first one to utter this phrase is the one who has started dating, the one who is getting married, or the one having kids.  Let's just save ourselves a lot of trouble and call things as they are.

3. It's the baby card.  They all play it.
(A single to a single, after they got stood up.)

I'd like to rename the baby card the "significant other/spouse/baby card."  This card is often played when people decide they don't want to participate in a social gathering of some sort but they don't have a good enough excuse to not go.  Instead, excuses like these tend to come out:

"My wife isn't feeling great tonight, so I don't think we are going to make it." 
(My spouse can totally play scapegoat)
"I forgot to tell my husband I said we'd be there, but we have another commitment." 
(Did I forget to mention the other commitment is with our couch?)
"My girlfriend and I decided that we'd spend one weekend night hanging out just the two of us and one with other people since we don't see each other much."
(Only getting to see each other six days a week is rough.)

"The baby can just be so difficult at a restaurant, and we want you to enjoy your meal."
(You know.  Babies who sit quietly, act cute, and entertain themselves are really tough at restaurants.)

I would much rather someone say, "I'd really rather stay home tonight" and leave it at that than make up a thousand excuses why they "can't" hang out.

4. Who are these people?  We've never met these people.  These people are mean.
(A single to a single, after a very interesting evening gathering)

I cannot tell you how many times I have left gatherings with friends who have moved on to different points in life and thought, "They are so different than they used to be."  (See #2).  If I am ever blessed to move on to one of these new life stages, I pray that I would be a better person because of it. It's amazing how fast an incredible friendship can be thrown by the wayside when a significant other, spouse, or child comes along.  And, it never fails, the things that drove someone crazy when they were still single (friends who were always "too busy" being in love to hang out, friends who dropped everything important in their lives to starting "loving" their significant other's hobbies, etc.) are the exact qualities they tend to inherit as soon as they move on to another life stage.

5. He's got all the time in the world, but this may be it for her.
(A married to a married, talking about Jennifer Westfeldt's character's age)

You rarely hear your weird Aunt Patsy say, "Bless his heart.  He's still single.  He just needs someone to take care of him." Instead, it's more like, "Bless her soul.  That poor girl still hasn't found anyone.  She needs to be able to have babies while there is still time."  In my family there are three kids--my married older brother with two kids, me, and my single younger brother.  No one ever seems to worry about the fact that Nathan will be 27 this summer and he is still single.  But, for me, at the ripe old age of 28, I am breaking the hearts of family members everywhere because I might never give them any cute babies to adore.

6. I have at least four setups for you, one of which is promising. 
(A married to a single, after yet another failed relationship)

Please note: If you would not consider a single fellow to be a promising prospect for me,other than the fact that he is single, please kindly forget that you ever thought of them as a possibility.  (See #1).  The level of awesomeness that I am looking for in a potential significant other/spouse does not go down with each birthday I have.  Just because I get older does not mean I need to settle in the love department.  I mean I know Charlie Sheen is single, but. . .

7. I don't get how people meet people if it isn't through college or work. 
(A single to a married, while discussing dating options.)

One word: AMEN.

Seriously.  Go see this movie.  

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