03/07/2014 05:18 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Playground Speed Dating

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 2 in May. Where are you from?"

SHE: "Long Island."

ME: "Where in --" (I realize that Ari is no where in sight)

Speed date number one 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-second intervals.

The difference between playground speed dating and "real speed dating" is that when you're on the playground and your date ends, you're never going to see that person again. You've got to make sure that you go find your child before he falls off the monkey bars.

I began to reflect on all the dates I've been on and realized that I need to step up my dating game on the playground. Part of the problem is I'm trying to get too much information in a short amount of time. I should focus on the basics: name, kids name and parent's phone number/email. I got that and we are good to go, date has ended.

If you've been speed dating on the playground like me, I wish you luck and I hope they call you.