Vacation Guest Poster: Mayberry Mom

Our guest poster today lives in the town of Mayberry and is raising two adorable children there. But here’s the weird and winding path we have together. Mayberry used to live in New York. So did Momslant. They knew each other there. Separate of their blogs. I used to post on a mom’s message board. So did Momslant. We knew each other there. Separate of our blogs. Momslant moved to Colorado. And HAS BEEN HIDING MAYBERRY FROM ME EACH AND EVERY TIME SHE VISITS. I am sleeping on Momslant’s couch next time Mayberry comes to town. Done. Decided. I might even bribe them. Oops, maybe not…


Can’t Buy Me Love
by Mayberry Mom

When Jeff and I first met, he had a friend named “Tom.” He’d started out as a work acquaintance, a sales rep who called on Jeff. The problem was that he couldn’t turn off the sales pitch. He was a friendship-buyer, always plying Jeff with gifts (like the football tickets that Jeff then gave me-which is how we met), setting us up with his dog walker at a “special” rate, insisting that we use his parking spot, and so on.

This was (surprise!) not a good basis for friendship. I can’t imagine that, deep down, it felt genuine for Tom, and it certainly didn’t ring true for us. I constantly felt that we were being bribed to be friendly with this guy, and I hated it. And sure, we could have rejected his offerings. In fact, we often did. But he was a salesman, remember? Persistence was his life’s work.

Still, we got busier. We had a baby, moved away, pretty much severed ties.

Now, at age 7, our daughter has a “Tom” in her life. Her name is “Allie” and she’s a friendship-buyer too. Or rather, her mother is, and Allie is learning at her knee. When Jo plays with Allie, it’s all ice cream, candy, and TV, all the time. Birthday parties are hours-long extravaganzas with elaborate goodie bags and staggering piles of (junk) food. Jo never comes home empty-handed from Allie’s, whether it’s a craft project or a plateful of cookies or a stuffed animal (usually all three). And Allie and her mom are masters of the leave-behind, G-rated edition. Jo comes home wearing one of Allie’s shirts, or Allie visits our house and fails to take home her doll or her mittens, and they’ve guaranteed a phone call and a return visit.

I do my best to stretch out the time between playdates as long as I can. But the hitch? Is that Jo really likes Allie. I’ve tried hard to figure out why, to separate my own feelings about the kid (and let’s face it, her mother) from my daughter’s. I still come up short. I hate to think the bribery is working on Jo, but she’s a kid. She’s susceptible to that.

The question is, when and how do I want her to find out the truth?

This article has 4 comments

  1. MPPs Mom

    love seeing Mayberry Mom here! Very cool. The “leave-behind (g rated version)”… that phrase, lol!

  2. The Casual Perfectionist

    I don’t know…this is a tough one. Maybe your daughter likes her friend despite all the freebies and not because of them? Good luck!

  3. Julie @ The Mom Slant

    I swear that I’m not keeping her from you! Although I’ve been falsely accused by others of such misdeeds before… 😉

    MM, have you asked Jo what she likes about her friends? Not just Allie, but each of them. Or even just remark on what makes you like some of your own friends, and then turn the question to her.

  4. Tree

    We had a little parent get-together for N’s class this past weekend (sans children at the school’s request, but that is another story) and this topic came up – particularly in regards to girls. One of my friend’s daughter is wicked smart, strong girl, but has chosen for her closest friends (as fleeting as that can be) another girl who is also quite smart, but also very manipulative. You would be shocked at the following of 7 / 8 yo boys she has cultivated and strung along. The question was why? Why are these two seemingly different girls so close? We discussed it from many aspects and came to the conclusion that outside of the boys, the toys, the cheerleading aspirations, etc., that when stripped to their core, they have the same interests in science and math and conducting crazy kitchen experiments. Who would have known?

    I would like to think that Jo has her own sense of why she has chosen Allie to be her friend and it could be that in spite of the leave-behinds, the gifts, etc., she really does connect with her.

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