Mom Friends

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I meet Jackie through a friend of a friend and right away she asks for my number. I think maybe she’ll text me in a group message one of these days, but no, Jackie actually calls me and wants to hang out, just us, next weekend. We go to the mall play area with our kids and I think, oh, ok, she just wants to make more Mom friends so she can have someone to talk to about pediatricians and bowel movements.
But no. She actually calls me again and this time we go to a bar and somehow she gets me to open up and tell her about my ex and how I always wanted to be an actress but I wasn’t pretty enough. And then she tells me stories about her childhood and why she never finished college. And right when I start thinking that maybe we’ve shared too much for two people who barely know each other, she starts in with the jokes and I’m laughing so hard I can’t take a drink, but even better, she’s laughing at my jokes, too. We walk down the block to one of those knick-knack stores that has a little bit of everything and I find a hat shaped like a chicken and she finds sunglasses that give her fly eyes and I laugh so hard I fart and she falls down on the floor holding her stomach and crying and the teenage boy behind the counter looks up from his phone just long enough to roll his eyes. So I decide, ok, I guess maybe she actually does want to be my friend.
I text her on Tuesday to see if she and her family want to come over for dinner. It takes her eight hours to text back and when she does, she says Great idea! Let me talk to Ryan and get back 2 you. At seven, I order three pizzas (just in case) and at nine thirty I throw away two and a half.
She texts me the next day with Sorry and about a dozen exclamation marks. Some excuse about work and car trouble and kids and colds. I don’t respond. On Friday she invites me over to make up for it, and I tell her maybe, and then I delete her number.