Friday, May 27, 2011

New stuff on Aiming Low and TLC Parentables: Playgrounds and In-laws

Over at Aiming Low,  I wrote about the playgrounds I take my kids to.  Really it's about the freaks I encounter at the playgrounds, but I pretended that it's a rhetorical analysis of a public space.  So I sound like less of a dick.

Playground Profiles

Of course we all know that stereotyping is wrong, hurtful, and horribly inaccurate.  All it does is isolate us from each other, foment tension and distrust, and prevent people from reaching their potential.

That's why I would never, EVER, use broad strokes to describe a "type" of person.  There are no types. Just people. That's what I always say.

But geographical locations are different.  Places don't have feelings, hopes, dreams, aspirations.  They're just bits of dirt, rock, and architecture.  They're fair game.

With that in mind, I have prepared a description of the different types of playgrounds we have within a 3-mile radius of our house.  These are the facilities that my kids and I visit almost daily, so I feel that I'm eminently qualified as a critic of these public spaces.

Some kid on a slide


Also, on TLC Parentables, I wrote about my nine-year secret courtship with my wife, and how I came to appreciate the meddlesome ways of her parents.

Go Ahead and Meddle in Your Children's Relationships...They'll Thank You for It Later

Whenever I write about how I met my wife, I have to include some winky/nudgey passages like this: We met in college and for the next 9 years were good pals who didn't date and would never have considered cohabitating because that would have been wrong and immoral and her parents would have been completely justified in disowning her, which is exactly what they would have done.  That little disclaimer is in case of the very, very unlikely event that her parents would read something I published on the interwebs.

The snarky synopsis above encapsulates the official story as it appears in the annals of my wife's family history.  We met in college, and I was the friend who sometimes fixed her car.  I started a little construction business while she applied to medical school, and continued to drive nails while she worked toward her degree.  Years later, after she had graduated from medical school, I approached her parents in the usual manner--you know, came to their door with my parents and six close male friends bearing gifts including a roast pig, betel nut, wine, and fruit--and then negotiated with the family elders for permission to begin our courtship.  After permission was granted, my betrothed and I moved to California where she did her residency.  We lived in separate houses *coughcough* while I did construction work and went through adult catechism so that our eventual marriage would be recognized by the One True Church.

Of course, the extended version of the story is much more complicated.  I would love to tell it to you one day over some beers, well out of earshot of my in-laws.


Happy Memorial Day weekend!  Don't forget to think about all the dead folks who made it possible for you to enjoy your distilled beverages in a free country!



  1. Wow, what a great post.. Yes, you two were tested, also I bet you learned a lot about your in-laws.. But, if its any indication of the person you are by the way you right, I think your in-laws knew their daughter had a keeper.. They want what all parents want for their kids.. To marry someone w/integrity,loyalty, respect, love, tolerance.. and I am sure humor is a must.. A great write way ahead of a certain individual...

  2. Ha! I'm a converted catlicker, too! But, PHubby's parents didn't require gifts. They offered me free therapy and a couple goats.


Don't hold back.


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