Dear Bintel Brief:
I a single (and searching) woman in my early 30s. I have many cherished female friends, some of whom I’ve known for decades. Recently, it’s become increasingly difficult to stay in touch with many of my girlfriends because we’re at such different stages of our lives. While I’m out there JDating, I have close friends who already have two children. I understand that they are busier now than before they had children — that they don’t have as much time or inclination for after-work drinks and the like. But their friendships remain important to me, and I very much want to remain close. What can I do to ensure that differences in “family status” don’t spell the end for such friendships?
THE STILL-SINGLE FRIEND
Rob Kutner responds:
Dear Still Single:
As it happens, I am very well positioned to give you some perspective on this. Not because I am a single Jewish woman in my 30s (except, maybe, in certain Internet chatrooms), but because my wife and I have a 16-month-old, our first, and have wrestled with this challenge from the other side. Here’s the problem: “after-work drinks and the like.” New or newish parents don’t like to do anything after work, because we’re rushing home to see the kinder before they go to sleep. That, and a drop of alcohol turns our already-massive sleep deprivation into full-on zombiedom.
So, as the expression has it, “meet them where they are.” Ask if there’s a night when you can come over, see the baby or kids — you don’t have to show that much interest; as long as you do better than Elaine from Seinfeld’s comment of “breathtaking,” you’re home free — or even drop by after bedtime. Offer to pick up takeout or bring something over. Whatever lets parents cool their heels at home and not have to deal with driving, parking, and babysitters is very appealing. Another option is to identify lunch or coffee places that are convenient enough to them that they can bring said progeny in tow.
And if none of that works, the conclusion is obvious: They deliberately had unprotected sex in order to drive you out of their life.
Emmy-winning writer Rob Kutner has written for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,” He is the author of “Apocalypse How: Turn the End Times into the Best of Times” (Running Press 2008). His annual New York Purim spiel, “The Shushan Channel” — starring Liz Winstead and Joel McHale — goes live Saturday, February 27 at the 92Y Tribeca. Buy tickets here.
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