Playground Speed Dating

Guest post by Sarah Fader

Long before pseudo-married life, I dated people. Yes, I was young once. I usually ended up scaring the guy off because I was “too intense” or he “couldn’t give me what I needed.” That was code for “I’m not that attracted to you and you’re too needy! Get a dog or go call your mother!”During my dating days, I never had the chance to try speed dating. What I know of speed dating, and my knowledge is solely based on television sitcoms, is that you sit at a table with a person, talk to them for 60 seconds exactly, then a bell rings and you move on to the person at the next table. This process repeats at least 10 times. At the end of this rigmarole, you choose the person(s) that you like from the bunch.

It turns out that I’ve been involved in a similar activity to speed dating and I didn’t even realize it: playground speed dating!

Here’s how it works:

I’m on the playground. I meet a mom and we start talking:

ME: Your son is so cute! How old is he?
SHE: 20 months.
ME: Aw!
SHE: How old is your son?
ME: He’ll be two in May. Where are you from?
SHE: Long Island?
ME: Where in— (I realize that Ari is no where in sight)


Speed date # 1 is finished. I’m running across the playground chasing after Ari. He stops to climb up the jungle gym.

Speed date #2: I meet another mom, this time attached to a little girl.

ME: She’s so cute. Wow! She just said “Excuse me!”
SHE: Yeah, she’s always been a talker.
ME: I just got my son to say “please.”
SHE: Oh yeah. Which one is your little guy?
[I look but can’t find Ari anywhere. Then I spot him!]


This process repeats itself indefinitely until we eventually leave the playground to go home. It occurs to me that this is why I have very few mom friends! I only get to talk with moms for 30 seconds intervals or less!

Sarah Fader records anecdotes from her daily life at at Old School New School Mom. She also currently runs blog workshops for elementary school children in New York City and provides freelance transcription services for major television networks, in between running after a two year old.

6 Responses to Playground Speed Dating
  1. Mozi Esmes Mom
    September 8, 2010 | 9:32 am

    Me too! Me too! Loved this post… 🙂

  2. Francesca
    September 8, 2010 | 2:32 pm

    In my opinion, especially that I am a single mom to mingle and to socialize. I was “laughing inside” when I was reading your post. I never actually thought about meeting people in the playground like that. I just bring my son there and talk to people that also bring their kids there. Never in the 2 years that I brought my son there did it occur to me that this is sort of like speed dating! But I must admit, that I once met a nice fella in the playground!

    @Sarah: You are brilliant – it is actually true! It is called “playground speed dating”

    Everyone deserves to chill and relax and meet people anyways! So to those who are thinking twice, go for it! For sure you will meet somebody interesting, who you have something in common with!

  3. Tanja
    September 10, 2010 | 3:05 am

    This was comical since I can totally relate. My boy just turned 5 now so it wasnt too long ago that it was like that for me on the playground.

  4. Carrie
    September 26, 2010 | 10:41 pm

    Oh my word – hilarious! 🙂

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