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?