Tuesday, April 20, 2010

RTT: Asian Mommies and Slacker Dads

randomtuesday

I'm doing the randomness thing again, and so should you. After you read this, click on that pretty picture above and then do what she tells you to do.

There's a lot of stuff on my mind right now, and most of it is kid-related, mostly. And me-related too, of course.

Lately, we've been pretty good about getting the poor little cloistered babies out of the house and letting them see that there are other people besides Mom and Dad in the world. This is, in no small part, on account of my having joined the Asian Mommies group.  Since joining about a month and a half ago, kind of on a lark, the kids and I have gone with this group to the zoo twice (tomorrow will make it a hat trick [note the butch sports metaphor]), to lunch at a Thai restaurant, to a cocktail party at a high-end baby clothes store in Fiercetown, and to dinner at a cool bar & grill in the neighborhood just south of Hipster Heights.  Dr. Mom has been able to join us for three of these events, so the other mommies have confirmation that I do in fact have a wife and that she is undeniably Asian, and my motives in joining the group probably are not licentious.

So the kids and I have been seeing members of this group far more frequently than any of our other, pre-kid friends, and only slightly less than the regulars at the dog park.  Which is, I guess, what's supposed to happen with playgroups.  But I never would have thought that people I met through the internet would come to comprise the bulk of my social life.  I suppose I should try to get the girls to interact more with our pre-kid friends--the ones who we became close to organically, through serendipity and real world connections.  But it's really difficult to get nine-month-olds to use Facebook in a meaningful way.

On the same day that I became an Asian Mommy, I joined a stay-at-home-dad group.  I actually was looking for dad groups when I found the Asian Mommies.  But as you might expect, there were maybe three results for dad groups, and about ten pages of results for mom groups.  The websites for the dad groups were coated in a thick, gummy dust and featured the most cutting edge graphics available in 1998.  There was really only one group that gave any indication of being (marginally) active, and that was the one I contacted.  Whereas the Asian Mommies responded to my initial inquiry within minutes, the Dad Group (I'll call it that because it has no name as far as I know) didn't get back to me for more than a week.  Since then, I have received an average of two email alerts per day from Asian Mommies, with ideas for future events, reminders of upcoming playdates, comments on past events, photos posted on the website, etc.  From the Dads, I've gotten one email a couple days before there was to be a get together at someone's house in East BF that I was not willing to drive to.

And then, yesterday, I got another email from the Dad Group for an event at the same cool, kid-friendly bar & grill we went to on Friday with the A-Moms.  It was a genial enough invitation, and I quickly accepted.  But there was one ominous passage in the email, warning participants that we and our kids need to be on our best behavior because the last time Dad Group met at the burger joint, the owner complained about their conduct.

Which brings me to my misgivings about joining an all-male group of any kind.  Although I was largely able to avoid playing or watching team sports growing up, having been in rock bands and worked on construction sites for a couple decades, I have spent more than my share of time hanging out with the guys.  Maybe this is why, when invited by friends who have always worked in coed environments to join them in an all-male road trip or guys' night out, I am less than enthusiastic.  I know what to expect. Regardless of the social status, salary, or level of education of the guys I have hung out with over the years, many of our conversations revolve around two themes: "You suck at the activity we are doing together and that's because you are gay," and "That's what she said."  Note that I am not positioning myself above the fray.  Just ask my wife about the time (okay, times) that my friends and I have expressed our drunken heartfelt farewells by staggering in the street, yelling, "You're like sssstuuupid, man!"  "Nuh-uh.  You're ssstttuuuupid."  It's hilarious.  Even worse is when someone breaks out of the prescribed discourse parameters and starts blubbering about how close they really feel to another guy.  It's all bad. 

So those are the things I'm thinking about right now.  They didn't turn out to be so random after all, but were in fact quite linear.  There's also some background noise going on that fits the random paradigm a little better: tomatoes, caulk, paint, lose weight, reply to emails, plant herbs, rent a bobcat...that's it really.  Life has become simpler in some ways since I have become a SAHD.

I'll let you know how Thursday with the slacker dads goes.    

Here's a random picture of my daughters dressed up for Thanksgiving.  Their outfits were made entirely of things we found around the house and taped together in fifteen minutes.

25 comments:

  1. I love that random picture!
    Happy to read your point of view.

    Have a great day!
    http://harrietandfriends.com/2010/04/maybe-larry-should-hook-up-with-liz/

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  2. Is "East BF" an actual place I don't know, or does it stand for "East Bumblefuck"? Please let it be the latter.

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  3. Lauren--

    It is an actual place in our collective unconscious called East Bumfuck.

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  4. Oh, man -- I can relate to the whole dilemma regarding To Join or Not Join a Dad's Group. When our daughter was a baby, it seemed like my wife belonged to 12 different Mommy Support Networks. I did the research and found one dad group, but the vibe from the Craigslist post just seemed... weird.

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  5. We always called it BFE :) and I have to say that you sound like you belong to the mommy group more than the daddy group. You actually slipped a TWSS in there!

    Your daughters outfits rocked! That's a mommy group deal too :) Happy RTT!

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  6. DP--

    When I saw the terms "dad group" and "Craigslist" in the same sentence, I got the willies.

    Kathy--

    I'm familiar with BFE, but I've never been there. I think it's even farther away than East BF. In Egypt, right? The outfits are the brainchild of the girls' crazy auntie. I made the buckle on the pilgrim hat though.

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  7. Hey, good for you for joining the mommy group. Everyone needs a place where they can discuss the texture and frequency of his/her kid's poop and eating habits.

    The random photo is super adorable. Obviously, they have parents with good taste even if they apparently don't know that Thanksgiving falls in November most years...

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  8. We tried to join a dad group in 1987, but since none existed, we just got a sitcom instead.

    -Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan

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  9. Because men are scary and stupid. I'd love to be a SAHD and hang out with the cool ladies.

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  10. Shinyung--
    We also talk a lot about food!

    Paul H--
    You should do it!

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  11. Very interesting to read about mom's (and dad's) groups from your POV. I adore that you've joined the Asian moms. I can't wait to hear about how it goes with the dads!
    And to answer your question about wanting to read Midnight Sun because it's from a sexy character's POV, well, of course that's why I want to read it. Have you never been to my blog? Seriously. Edward. Hello? 100% vampire deliciousness. Seriously, though, half the book is on the authors website and is actually far better than Twilight. Mostly because it's not from Bella's POV. She can be seriously annoying. Plus, Twilight, while the story is good, is actually pretty poorly written. I find it interesting that the author (a female) writes better from the male perspective. And also, Edward is smoking hot and is totally into me (in my mind). What? I'm a SAHM, I can dream, can't I?

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  12. The photo is adorable! Keep us posted on the Mommy and Daddy meetings...

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  13. Love the Pic! And I love that you joined a mommy group. We always had BFE as well. In fact I was just there this past weekend. Needed 4 wheel drive just to get there.
    Happy RTT.

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  14. Thanks, moms!

    Heels--I haven't read enough of your blog to grasp the scope of your obsession. I need to catch up!

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  15. As an "over-forty" mother to pre-schooler living (as a recent transplant) in the absolute depths of the Deep South (where the moms of kids my son's age were all born after I graduated high school,) I am green with envy at your array of play-time choices. The only mommy's group I have been able to infiltrate involves a fairly detailed study of the Book of Matthew and requires that I bring a covered dish to each meeting. New to your blog and enjoying it!

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  16. Kelly--

    I don't envy you. Cali is full of flakes and kooks, but at least you can always find a weird niche to occupy. Thanks for reading!

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  17. Hey, I live in SoCal and I'm neither a flake nor a kook! Well, maybe a kook. But a nice kook. I'll be your friend! Great Thanksgiving picture too.

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  18. I've never actually attended (being a working dad) a dad's group and I don't think I'd deal with it very well. But then the number of my male friends I have can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. If I cut some fingers off. I showed up for a Dad's Night the local school organised and it was horrendous! They all stood around talking about bikes - mountain versus single gear - and football for two painful hours. Later, one of them told his wife (supermum discovered) that I was probably gay which explains why he was so keen to explain why I "absolutely should be there" on that night. I was quite flattered by that.

    Sigh. I have serious problems with my animus.

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  19. Just found your blog and am fascinated... I will be following if only as a social experiment to understand the stay at home daddy experience. Love the photo - sweet girls!

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  20. Shelby--I can always use more kooky friends!

    dadwhowrites--"I have serious problems with my animus." That's what she said! Yes! Nailed it! I used to get angry when people called me gay, but now I take it as a compliment. It's like getting carded for beer. I'm expecting my dad group (which meets in 2 hours) to involve some baseball talk, since I gather from facebook chatter that "our" team is doing well. I should download some talking points. I guess you got a job? Maybe you should update your blog to keep your imaginary friends apprised of these things!

    Good Cook--Thanks for following. You are free to experiment on me as much as you want, although I think I already got Type II diabetes from reading your blog!

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  21. It's interesting hearing it from a dad's POV. I always thought I'd like a dad's group better than a mommy group because whenever I bring up random facts like: the T-rex is, in fact, related to the chicken, it's crickets. So, I thought perhaps guys would be more receptive but I never thought about the fact that I'd have to keep on sports and listen to guys try and out testosterone each other. (Plus in this comment post I sound a lot like Cliff Claven so really it'd probably crickets wherever I go)
    Perhaps there should be a co-mingling? Bring the Asian Moms to the Slacker Dads. At the very least it'd be a great Random Tuesday Thoughts.

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  22. Yay friends! How close do you live to Anaheim ;).

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  23. I'm pretty sure I am in love with your blog.

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  24. Shelby--I'm closer to Legoland than the Tragical Kingdom. We can meet up halfway!

    Rook--my blog is kind of just getting over a long relationship. It really really likes you, and is really flattered and all; but isn't ready to jump into anything serious just yet. But it still wants to be friends. With benefits.

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  25. I suppose I should try to get the girls to interact more with our pre-kid friends--the ones who we became close to organically, through serendipity and real world connections. But it's really difficult to get nine-month-olds to use Facebook in a meaningful way.

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Don't hold back.

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