Working mama: Friend of Friend

Shut up

Just shut up

Shut up [3x]

Shut it up, just shut up

Shut up

Just shut up

Shut up [3x]

Shut it up, just shut up


We try to take it slow

But we’re still losing control

And we try to make it work

But it still ends up the worst

And I’m craaazzzy (Black Eyed Peas)

I have previously detailed the rules not to break with a headhunter. After today’s social-work lunch with a FoF (Friend of Friend) who is doing your F (Friend) a huge favor by carving some time out of their busy schedule to help me on my job search, here is my list of rules not to break with a FoF. And before you ask, yes, yes and yes I did ALL the creepy things detailed below.

1- Try to remember that you have already met FoF. In my case, at least three times in the last 10 years. It is mortifying to reminded of this ‘little’ detail after you have just said ‘nice meeting you‘ or worse, after you try to save your face by saying ‘oh but you had your hair shorter then, right?’ Lame excuse, plain lame.

2- Withhold unnecessary information and in particular lie about parenthood. FoF turns out to be extremely engaging and you feel like you have a natural connection? FoF asks how you are coping with 3 young children? You feel like you could share everything? Well, don’t. Just don’t and bloody control yourself. Our lunch has turned into a semi-monologue on motherhood, gender neutral upbringing, breastfeeding, property investment, my complicated relationship with my mother, raising kids in expensive New York, and so on and so forth. At some point, FoF who has just confessed that she and hubby are thinking of starting a family seems to be tearing up. This should have been my cue to move on. FoF is either over empathic and takes pity on me or is suddenly having an anxiety attack about parenthood right there in front of her tuna salad.

3- Stay focused. The problem with meeting with a nice FoF is that you start questioning whether or not to ‘cheapen’ the conversation by asking for career advice or their contacts. Don’t be a fool. They know it is coming. Haven’t you just mentioned like a zillion times your out of work status: ‘I stopped working since…’, ‘I no longer want to be a stay-at-home mom’ or  ‘I used to do x and y for a living’? So, just get some balls and bloody go for it because when FoF decides that this lunch has lasted long enough and she is the one giving in by asking what she can do for you, then you understand the real meaning of A-W-K-W-A-R-D.

4- Let go. FoF is nice, has a body you are jealous of, wears a jacket you wish you had bought and has a job you could enjoy. All this is great but when FoF starts fidgeting while waiting for the check or pacing in the street while talking to you because she now really needs to go back to work (remember, the thing that you do not have?), you really, really have to let them go. And do not, EVER, grab their forearm while nervously chuckling: ‘I am sorry, I am always around kids so I cannot shut up when I meet with adults hahaha…’

As I walk towards the subway, DH calls and I tell him everything.

He says: ’Oh dear…you went all neurotic chatter box, didn’t you?


I think: ‘Oh dear…she is probably thinking about crazy “Single White Female” right now? Or more likely crazy “Married Asian Mother”…Or whatever…Oh, just shut up, woman, just shut up already!’

2 thoughts on “Working mama: Friend of Friend

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