Suburban Snapshots

How to Scare Friends
and Horrify People

Thursday, December 13, 2012

We all need that one person in our lives and/or newsfeed who reminds us that hey, maybe we're not as crazy as we think we are. Today, I'd like to be that friend for you. Prepare to feel more emotionally stable than you have in months.

Over the summer, Steve, Anna and I were at our local playground. It was a rare Saturday when we didn't bump into someone we know or Anna didn't excitedly drag us over to a little friend from school while Steve and I tried desperately to remember the parents' names before the distance closed between us. But after a few minutes, as kids do, she met a little girl named Ally. They hit it off, and after listening to the two of them talk, then watching them walk everywhere heart-achingly hand-in-hand, I kind of wanted to adopt the kid — or at least get her on a standing playdate schedule.

Note: tiny blond is not Ally.

Steve and I talked with Ally's grandfather while we all watched the pair play. Between our sentences, sweet little snips of the girls' conversation would drift over, "Anna, you can climb up with me, it's okay, try it, I'll be right here." "Ally I can ride a 2 wheeler but that's okay if you can't I'll teach you so we can ride bikes at my house." They shared the same brand of clumsy enthusiasm, they seemed to be burst from the same star. It was one of those scenes you catch your kids in and feel at once sentimental and a little sad, because you know that this sweet kind of friend-making doesn't last long.

We learned from Ally's grandfather that she and Anna were about a month apart, that they'd eventually attend the same kindergarten, and that they visited this playground often though it was the first time we'd met them. Figuring we'd bump into them again and not wanting to dump my crazy, "I want these girls to be total BFF can we please have your vital information and hey let's go get ice cream right now!" on him, we all left the park and headed home.

We didn't see them the following weekends, or again. I had enough information to know where the little girl went to preschool, but after polling saner friends decided that leaving a note there for Ally's mother would cross some boundaries.

Then in November our town paper ran a slideshow of local families heading to the polls. And there was Ally, sliding a ballot into the machine while her parents looked on, and there was the caption listing their last name.

People, you know I immediately typed that shit into Facebook. I found her mom right away, debated whether or not to write her, decided to write, then spent forever trying to find the best way to convince someone I'd just stalked on Facebook that I'm not actually a stalker I'm just really good at the Internet. I kept it short and closed with, "You have a great kid, maybe we'll see you around town."

It's been a month with no reply, and I won't write again. Instead I'll call the elementary school and petition to have Ally and Anna in the same kindergarten class.

What? Too much?

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