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The Friend Test

Screen your park acquaintances with these 15 questions, and you’ll be connecting to new friends in no time

Making mom friends isn’t always easy.

You might think that striking up conversation with fellow moms on the park bench as you watch your children play on the swings and eat dirt in the sandbox would be a great way to make new friends. But then your new friend’s kids come clamoring for snacks. She hands them organic apple slices  and homemade smoothies in a thermos, while giving you a sideways glance as you dish out bags of chips and box drinks to your kids, and you get the feeling that perhaps this friendship isn’t meant to be.

Luckily, I recently came across a quick and nuanced multiple-choice questionnaire to hand out at your neighborhood park. Take along a batch of these next time you go to the park, and you’ll easily be able to pick out the moms you find more relatable.


  1. Nothing says “Rosh Hashanah is coming!” quite like:

A) baking round challah

B) the scent of honey cookies in the oven

C) the cacophonous sounds of all the shofar projects being blown at the same time


  1. What is one of the most rewarding things about parenting:

A) toilet training

cooking a delicious home-cooked meal so that your kids can insist on frozen pizza and cereal for supper instead

cleaning your house all day so that your children can come home and make it look like you don’t even own a broom 20 seconds later


  1. Nothing moves more slowly than:

A) the clock, as you wait for bedtime with overtired children who you know cannot get into bed even three minutes too early or you’ll all be up at four a.m.

B) a five-year-old telling a story he doesn’t quite remember who keeps starting from the beginning

C) a four-year-old who insists on buttoning up his own shirt when you’re already running late for the bus


  1. Who said the following: “You always regret the Advil you didn’t take.”

A) Benjamin Franklin

B) your favorite teacher from seminary

C) me, five minutes ago


  1. When your child says, “You don’t need to come into this room, Mommy. Everything is okay.”

Do you:

A) feel calm and relaxed, knowing that everything is okay

B) hook your child up to a polygraph test and make him say that again

C) head for that room at full speed with adrenaline pounding in your veins as you imagine all the possible scenarios that are the exact opposite of okay


  1. When your children help you make supper, a 20-minute recipe takes:

A) 10 minutes

B) 20 minutes

C) three hours


  1. When your children make Succos projects at home, you now have:

A) beautiful homemade projects to hang proudly in your succah

B) glitter stuck in every corner for years to come

C) a project accidentally glued to the floor. Now you need someone with surgical precision to scrape it off the floor while keeping it in one piece.


  1. When you say, “No fighting with your brothers!” your children:

A) stop fighting

B) think you’re talking to someone else’s kids

C) hear, “Everything around you can be used as a weapon. Cars, trucks, Magna-Tiles, and even cutlery can be used in this battle. Everyone know the rules? There are no rules. Let’s begin.”


  1. When you realize you have to be out of the house two evenings in a row, you:

A) prepare by drinking infinite cups of coffee before leaving

B) try to take something that resembles a nap before you need to leave

C) attempt to cram a small pillow into an evening bag in case of sudden-onset exhaustion


  1. An average Sunday at home feels like it lasts:

A) 24 hours, like every other day

only 10 hours — time flies when you’re having fun!

C) 372 hours


  1. When your four-year-old loses his favorite toy, you:

A) try to distract him with another toy, usually to no avail

B) search all over the house with him while praying that you find it soon

C) attempt both A and B while forgetting you had put the toy in your pocket for safekeeping


  1. When the mixing spoon breaks while you stir the macaroni, do you assume that:

A) they don’t make spoons like they used to

B) your workouts are paying off and you’re underestimating your own strength

C) your sons have been sword fighting with the kitchen utensils again


  1. Five minutes after you buy your kids ice cream from the ice cream truck:

A) they thank you most sincerely and enjoy their delicious ice cream

B) they’re crying because they realized they want their brother’s ice cream choice instead of their own

C) they’re crying because they see the laws of gravity in action and their subsequent inability to scrape ice cream off the pavement


  1. When your child comes home with a battery-operated megaphone, do you:

A) give him the C batteries it requires while gently reminding him that it’s an outdoor toy

B) make sure it gets lost as soon as possible

C) tell your child that unfortunately this battery is rare and very hard to come by. Stores have a hard time keeping it in stock because it can only be harvested from the delicate battery vines on a cool, clear evening in the middle of the month of Novembruary. Alas, we’ll just have to use the megaphone quietly until then.


  1. When making yourself a cup of hot coffee, have you ever:

A) accidentally added a scoop of formula to your hot water instead of coffee

B) sprinkled cayenne pepper on top of your latte instead of cinnamon

C) gotten interrupted by your children no less than 5 times — each time before you were about to add sweetener to your coffee, so that when you finally get ready to drink your coffee you have no recollection if you added the sweetener yet or not, so you add some more, and then you taste your mildly warm coffee and it has enough sweetener in it to kill a small animal

D) experienced all of the above, as I have


Screen your park acquaintances with these 15 questions, and you’ll be connecting to new friends in no time. For your convenience, you can just rip this out of the magazine and bring it with you the next time you head for the park.

You’ll thank me later.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 814)

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