Rules for Post50 Playdates

There was a popular book years ago called "All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten." Lessons included how to share, how to wait your turn and how to line up without touching the guy in front of you.

Along those same lines, I am proposing a list of rules for boomer relationships, based on the rules of my children's playdates. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.

1. Keep your word.
If you promise Ashley you are going to text her the math homework before dinner, it's not OK to wait until 9:30 p.m. because you were too busy Skypeing with Sarah. Likewise if you are the mom who offered to pick up white soccer socks for my kid because you're going shopping at SoccerUniverse anyway, please don't tell me later that you found an old pair in the laundry for your kid so you didn't go. You said you were going. I counted on you going. And now I have to figure out how to get there in between work, dinner, homework and my own laundry. If you tell someone you are going to help them with something, follow through. The consequences may seem insignificant to you, but they can be larger than you know. Being reliable is a core trait of any boomer friendship.

2. Keep your plans.
If you agree to study with Rachel for Mr. Murphy's science final on Friday, don't dump her when Skylar invites you to see "The Hunger Games" for the fourth time. Same goes for saying you are going to meet me for drinks after work: Please don't call an hour before you should be there and say you have to cancel. I've cleared my schedule, arranged for someone else to pick up and feed my kids and our girl's night out is a big deal to me. At the risk of sounding like the child I am trying to emulate, you promised. And promises should mean something.

3. Be on time.
Just as teachers want all the kids in their seats and ready to learn when the bell rings, when we plan to meet for dinner at the restaurant at 8 p.m., please don't show up at 8:40 p.m. This means, as a grownup, that you need to allow for traffic, know how many outfits you will put on and reject before leaving, and not start answering emails when you should be headed out the door. Nobody likes to be kept waiting. Your perpetual tardiness is a statement that says "I'm crazy busy and important and you're not." Friends don't keep friends waiting.

4. Sleepovers need to be limited.
Having a best buddy sleep over and giggling into the night is fun with a capital F. But by fourth grade, you've probably figured out that sleepovers lose their cache when you have them too often. If you're someone who has frequent sleepovers, especially with people you barely know, you will invariably wake up wishing you were in your own bed.