About four years ago, Newmommy (then Sort-of-Newwife) and I made the move from Manhattan to New Jersey. Although, technically, where I live is zoned "urban," it's hard to contest the fact that this was our move to the suburbs. After all, it's Jersey...one giant suburb (what else would it be...the state is known for its diners and malls!) It was simply the next step in the chain of inevitable events in my life: move in with girlfriend, get engaged, get married, move to suburbs. (If you're scoring at home, the next step was "have baby." Check.)
Around the time of the move, Newmommy and I had a solid base of friends still in the city. Our weekends were spent with our friends in Manhattan, still convinced that we really lived in the city and hadn't taken the suburban plunge. Around the same time, my then-employer realized that I had a talent for drafting and reviewing long documents late at night. Taken together, it left me very little time to put effort into making friends in my New Jersey neighborhood. So, here we are, 2007, and although my work schedule has been reduced thanks to a change in jobs, Bud kindly fills a lot of that otherwise free time. So, my NJ social network consists of Newmommy and Bud.
The same can't be said for Bud. She and Newmommy joined a playgroup a few months ago, and now, she's apparently hip to the N-J scene. We could be walking around our neighborhood, and be approached by people who recognize her, but not me. "Hi, [Bud], is this your daddy?" There you have it, my little girl is more popular than I am. At eight months she's developed more advanced social skills than I have in over thirty-one years.
I can see it now...it's the year 2017, and we're taking Bud to her first concert. Tickets were hard to get, so I only managed to score lawn seats. We enter the arena, ten-year-old Bud flashes her back stage pass, and they wave her onto the VIP line. The guard puts his arm up, blocking me. "It's OK," says my little social princess, "he's with me."