Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Don't Call My Kids Pretty

Awkward Conversation with My Neighbors, We'll Call Them Mark and Leslie

EXT. Day.  I'm approaching my garage, with my dog pulling the girls in their wagon.  Mark and Leslie are getting out of their car in their garage, on the opposite side of the alley.

Mark: Hey, look!  It's a parade!

Me: I know, right?  The circus in town.

All: (Neighborly laughter)

Leslie: They're getting so big!  And, Oh My God--so cute!

Mark:  They really are beautiful!  Man!

Me: Yeah?  You think so?  I always think that, but I don't trust my own judgement.

Mark: No, seriously, bro.  They are gorgeous.  You must have some good genes.  I mean, I think I'm pretty good-looking, but, I don't believe I could ever have kids that pretty.

Me: Well, thanks...

Mark: Seriously.  Wow.  Maybe when it's time for us to start trying, you can hook up with Leslie.


Leslie: (Nervous smile, darting eyes, tugs Mark's shirtsleeve)

Me: I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

Leslie: (Stares at feet)

Me: I mean...not hooking up with Leslie.  The other part.  The part about where the attractiveness comes from.  Not that...you know...there would be anything wrong with hooking up with...but, you know...just, like, weird 'cause we're neighbors and I would be your kid's dad?  Also, our marriages would probably suffer, and...well we never even consulted with Leslie, so...

All: (Audibly try to muster saliva in arid mouths)

Me: Yeah, so, that's weird, right?  I didn't used to be so hideous, and the old lady ain't so hard on the eyes, but the kids are twice as attractive as both of us combined.  It's like gestalt genetics, you know?  The whole is more than the sum of its parts or whatever?

Mark: Exactly.  Well, they're beautiful kids.

Leslie: Just adorable.

Me: Thanks.  I agree.  But I never tell them they're pretty, because that makes 'em get bulimia and shit.  We just talk about books... (Voice trails off).

( Mark and Leslie's garage door closes)


End Scene

***

The reason I was thinking about how I shouldn't remind my girls that they're cute is because of an article I read, that my mom linked to on her facebook page.  I wrote a little piece about my reaction to it on Parentables.

I also made a slideshow on Parentables about books that my kids and I love reading these days.  It was funny: I had a little back-and-forth with a troll when they first published it.  Some guy really hated me for what a huge fail the post was.  I wrote a passive-aggressive response I was quite proud of, but the webmaster expunged the whole ugly incident.  Should have gotten a screenshot.

Oh, yeah.  I wrote on Aiming Low about my plans to make life harder for my kids so that they grow up with some character.

Um, let's see...I also wrote some more, probably offensive, stuff on Insert Eyeroll.

And finally there's this great news: Man of the House asked me to come on board as a featured contributer!  I'm sure that you guys clicking on my links to the first "audition posts" I did there helped me get the gig.  So, thank you, thank you, thank you!  I'm really excited about this.  However, I just realized that you, the wonderful people who check in here even though I have all but abandoned this space, might not be as excited as I am.  A large part of my job at Man of the House is to write for their "Around the House" section, where I'll talk about tools, building stuff, fixing stuff, projects with kids, etc.  (I get geek-stoked just thinking about it!)  But a lot of you probably don't come here for home improvement advice.  So, um, sorry.  Anyway, my latest joint over there is about how to repair drywall.  It will BLOW. YOUR. MIND. 


And here's a cute video without very much squealing in it.  Just some singing. These kids of mine are geniuses in addition to being hella-cute.  But I will never tell them that.




10 comments:

  1. AWESOME!

    Way to be neighborly. hahaha

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  2. Hilarious. My kids are beautiful too. Maybe you and I should hook up and try to achieve perfection! That's how it works, right? I skipped biology alot.

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  3. You are so right... Being smart, loving, caring, honest, loyal means as much if not more than just 'beauty'.....I am glad u said what you did!. Hopefully that couple is smart enough to figure it out, but I doubt it... Most don't know what to say about kids... They stay w/surface qualities probably because that is what has been taught to be important... Sad, huh?

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  4. Good thing you left with your dignity.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA

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  5. Talk about foot in mouth disease! haha Very entertaining read indeed! Thanks for brightening up my rainy miserable morning this side of the earth Andy! :-)

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  6. Haha! It is always comforting to know I am not the only awkward talker out there... we don't mean for the conversations to lead that way... but they just do... ha!

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  7. You're SO going to be on the Neighborhood Watch danger list after this.

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  8. I find it quite awkward to go through the "Aren't they adorable,where do they get the red hair from" conversation.I tend to answer by saying they get it from the milkman (as long as Mrs Jack isn't there,as I don't like being beaten up in public)

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  9. Your exchange with your neighbors was hilarious. Love the dialogue.

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  10. Wow. That story is the perfect Seinfeld script. I also released a mighty guffaw - as I usually do when reading your stuff.

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Don't hold back.

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