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The Buddy Bench

When you have a baby or sometimes two babies, your life is turned upside down.

I remember feeling as though I was living in a never-ending Groundhog’s Day filled with shitty diapers, emptying the dishwasher and Caillou.  I felt very alone.

I considered myself quite a cool woman.  I would NOT be in a playgroup!! I would NOT do a gym or music or French class with my baby! I would NOT socialize with that woman that breastfeed her toddler openly at the park!

Some of my rules stuck.  (Nobody wants to look at a huge toddler suck on your tit at the park, lady...)

But others…..not so much.

You find yourself wanting to talk to someone who shares similar interests (i.e losing baby weight, getting kid to sleep or eat, and ways to not go crazy) and can understand your feelings (i.e wanting to murder husband, wanting to sleep more than 3 hours at at a time, wanting children to leave you alone for at least the thirty seconds when you have to pee.)

When you venture out into the world alone with your children and are searching for someone to be your friend it can feel impossible.

My real friends were mostly in NY at the time I was having children.  While I had been the first to marry and buy a house in the suburbs and start having kids; they wisely were growing their superstar careers and shopping and dining in NYC.

I would take the kids to the library and come home crying.  I just couldn’t believe that while my friends were sipping Cosmos somewhere at happy hour, I was stuck in suburbia with women wearing elastic waistband and no makeup.

I distinctly remember one mom in particular that was always at the library with her three-year-old twins, whom she breastfed regularly while she spoke to other mothers.  The boys would just walk up to her and lift her shirt up and take a few sips and then run off to play.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Oh yes, and …..she kept them on little creepy human leashes.

Many of the moms were wearing clothing and shoes that I wouldn’t be caught dead in and dressed their children in clothing as equally offensive.  They spoke in weird high-pitched voices to their bratty children and to other mothers.  There were many children whose noses were running down their faces, or who’s diapers were clearly filled with poop and the moms would pretend not to notice while they chit-chatted.

Those were the days before an iphone could keep you busy – so I would have to play with my children in the pretend kitchen or read them books, or sit quietly on a chair and watch them interact with the other kids.

I was horrified.

Slowly but surely though, I opened myself up to people.  I was desperate.  I just needed to hear someone else’s voice.  I actually needed to hear my own voice speaking to another human being that was over the age of 3.

I soon realized that even a mom that thinks its okay to wear elastic waist band, or a mom that keeps her toddlers on a leash in public, might not be my best friend….but we all have one thing in common. We are all mothers.

We all feel guilty over the same stuff.  We have all pretended to read our child a book but read the first page and then the last page,paraphrased most of it, skipped a page or two because we are tired.   We have all let our kids watch a little bit of extra television on days we are at the end of our ropes.  We have all considered smothering our husband in the night with his pillowthought of packing a bag and driving away in the still of the night  been frustrated with our husbands and our lives.

When one mother invited me to be in her dreaded playgroup, I accepted.  I just figured I would be the “cool mom” amongst all of these strange women who talked about making their own baby food and wore yoga pants everyday but never did yoga.

Once I had it all sorted out in my mind, I started to interact more and meet more people.

cool mom

When I opened myself up to the world of mothers and accepted my fate – the universe heard me.

So I ended up making friends with random people in strange places.  One on the floor singing songs at a baby class at the library, one at the hairdresser, a few at the kid’s preschool, a bunch by joining my bookclub, a wife of a football friend of my husband, an old childhood friend rediscovered in the library….

But what if I had never opened myself up at all?

What if I didn’t know how to make a friend?

Well there’s going to be a generation of children in Goopville that are going to find out…

Recently I filled you all in about a local elementary school that has elected to utilize parent volunteers during recess to help “guide the children as they choose what to do during their whopping 20 minutes of playtime.  This was a choice made after many parents at this school voiced their concern that their children were not quite sure how to play and were unaware of many popular schoolyard games such as “four square” or “wall ball” and need an adult to teach them.

Apparently gently suggesting who they should play with and manipulating the playground is not enough for these menaces to society.  Now they have created something so outlandish and over the top…..

Even for Goopville this is crazy….

It’s called a “Buddy Bench.”

It’s a park bench that children can go sit on when nobody is playing with them.  It essentially alerts their peers that they have no friends.  It’s a “cry for help bench.”


“Can you believe it?” I implored Mr. Gaga after telling about this latest assault on childhood development.

“Well…it’s kind of nice…” he shrugged.

“Nice?!” I screeched.  “It’s not nice!! It’s stupid!! These kids will never know how to make a friend!! They will have zero social skills or coping mechanisms!”

“I guess….” he answered disinterestedly.

“Really?? There’s no BUDDY BENCH in real life!!” I yelled smartly.

“Well, yeah actually there is…..” he answered.


“It’s called “church.” he answered.

While he might have a point, I feel this is just a BAD idea for many reasons.

For starters, how much would your heart break if your poor innocent child placed herself on this bench from hell?  What if nobody came?? It’s really playing with fire.


And let’s not forget that – generally speaking – there’s no buddy bench in life, and their shouldn’t be! For God sakes – what would happen in the world if there were buddy benches throughout every stage of life?

And what does that do for someone’s self-esteem? How would we feel in college if we had to resort to the buddy bench?

"La, la...I am a sexy princess and I am sure someone will come over any minute to be my friend....."

“La, la…I am a sexy princess and I am sure someone will come over any minute to be my friend…..”

Also – how about the rest of us? What about those of us who know how to make friends and now we have to stop what we are doing because every two seconds there’s some poor soul sitting on a bench waiting for us to save them??

And how are we to know if they just want to sit down or if they are huge friendless douchebags?

wigflip-saywhat (1)

And what if you are one of the poor children who had a parent who hindered your development, and you never learned to make friends. You never learned to put yourself out there and try to play with someone new.  What if you become a young adult and you just sit on benches and hope for someone to notice you……

Everyone hates me....

Everyone hates me….

What if all of this loafing about on benches makes you even more upset than you were before?

I mean if you don’t make new buddies – this could make someone quite sad and possibly angry….

ozzy bench

What if you are a young mom at the end of her rope and you have no clue of how to make a new friend?  Should you just grab some wine and hit the bench??  How long will you be there before someone notices?

Somebody please be my friend....

Somebody please be my friend….

What if you put yourself onto the bench and some unsavory character comes along?  Are you obligated to this person now? Is this your new friend? I mean if you put yourself onto the bench -does that mean your open to any person that sits down?


Just when I think that Goopville has run out of bad ideas – this little town always comes up with something new and offensive!!!!




7 responses »

  1. Michelle Mannion


    Sent from my iPad


  2. Hysterical!

  3. Hey Lady- our the last PTA meeting- I suggested we spend some of the monies we have– which is alot- on supplies for the classrooms so parents do not have to buy the entire section of target out before school starts. And they said- well- we are thinking about buying a buddy bench- I was like a what???? seriously- I love this blog more than you know- wish I could have said everything you just wrote to the the PTA- lol

  4. Funny as hell! Especially loved the pic of the old ladies with MJ. You really just make my Monday mornings, thanks for the laugh!

  5. Our buddy bench was a big hit. The *kids* actually asked for it.

    Think of it less as a cry for help. Think of it more as a way to make yourself available, when you don’t really know how yet. And we all have ways of doing that. Like a single person joining a dating site.

  6. Wow. “if they are huge friendless douchebags?” This is how you feel about some of the kids on the playground with your kids. Again, wow. I image I know who’s kids are on the playground making other kids feel bad.


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