(By D. Hanousek)

After changing park benches three times over the weekend, I realized that I have a confession to make. I don't want to be your friend. Sure, we both have kids and we both live in the city. And, whaddya know, our kids like to play in playgrounds too. But, check it out: any communication beyond a nod or a friendly smile "hello" is not necessary. In fact, if I may be candid, it's simply unwelcome.

I already have friends. I don't need anymore. I'm old and tired. With kids. The jig is up. You have to have friends if you have children in the city. Otherwise, you'll go completely insane, feeling isolated and alone. You'll start joining playgroups and excessively posting on neighborhood parents' Yahoo groups offering three free size-2 diapers or an open (but unused) bottle of Pedialyte. Or, worse yet, you'll find yourself soliciting strangers in playgrounds for coffee dates or lengthy chit chats about public vs. private schools. Oh. That's you. Sorry.

Look. I'm just here because I want my kids to burn off some energy and nap. It's the weekend and I'm this close to getting three stars on a particularly difficult level of Angry Birds. Can't you just let me be? And if you're going to interrupt my hogicide activity with a fascinating insight, please don't tell me how you just noticed the "No Adults Allowed Unless Accompanied by Children" signs. Those signs have been there forever and your kid is 3. This guy may have had an excuse, but you, sir, are either clueless or just making a feeble attempt to make a new friend. Sorry to tell you, it's not going to be me.

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