Friday, August 8, 2008

Pssst! Want Some Candy, Little Boy?

When I was a teenager, the mother of one of my best friends did not particularly approve of me. My parents were divorcing and then were divorced. I smoked. I drank. I cursed. I had no real curfew. I could do pretty much whatever I wanted to do. Glorious when it's you and you're 16; not so glorious when it's not you but the best friend and then -- more agonizing for her, I'm sure -- girlfriend of your one and only son.

I felt her disdain. I mostly let it roll off me. I was always pleasant when I interacted with her. I was raised properly and understood that parents were to be respected and kowtowed to during such encounters. Mostly, though, I steered clear of encountering her. That was pretty easy as we tended to travel in packs and hang out at other homes or on the backstreets of what used to be rural roads but were quickly being absorbed into the suburbs.

Fast forward way too many years to own up to. [30! 30?? 30!] Guess what I'm thinking I might just be? The adult you don't want your kids spending too much time with. Now, don't panic. I'm not supplying drugs or alcohol to minors. I'm not cursing up a blue streak around them, although I will admit to a minor one or two sliding out of my mouth on rare occasions. Nothing that dramatic, thank you very much.

What am I doing? I am ruining your kids' diets. Yes, it is to my house that your little ones come to in order to get their fill of crappy snacks. You name it, we've got it. And, having just returned from the greatest chocolate maker on earth, I've got even more of the bad stuff. My kids' friends come in, vulture like, and swoop down on all kinds of "foods" verboten in their own homes. Shame on me.

If the pool doesn't entice them; if the plastic weaponry filling two boxes doesn't strike their fancy; if they aren't drawn to the oodles upon oodles of Star Wars and Indiana Jones Lego pieces; if jumping on the trampoline is a drag; if climbing in the tree house doesn't get them; if playing in the pop-up camper as if they live on their own isn't their thing: don't worry. No, dear friends and countrywomen, the simple act of rotting their teeth will do the trick.

Sorry. And, no, I'm really not interested in paying for any dental work. Remember, my kids are half-British and I bring my own horrible gums to the genetic party that is our kids.

Rides to Heaven on a Gyroscope

A couple of months ago, I saw a client I hadn't seen for a number of months. Like more than a dozen people have in the recent past, she ...