by Marcia Talley
I’m in rural New Hampshire attending a week-long family reunion – seventeen for dinner last night with twenty six expected tonight – but even with no internet (I’m sending this from the Harrisville General Store) – news manages to trickle through.
As I read about the recidivism of A Certain New York City Mayoral Candidate, I remembered a blog I wrote more than five years ago that remains surprisingly appropriate. As the French say, plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose! Dear Abby used to recycle columns from time to time, Dave Barry, too, so I hope you’ll allow me to recycle one of mine before I run upstairs to change the sheets on five beds.
As the oldest of five sisters and the mother of two daughters, I didn’t stumble into the twenty-first century with a whole lot of experience raising little boys. I’d always suspected that girls were easier to bring up than boys, but I never gave it much thought, to tell you the truth, until the other day when I went to pick up my friend, Jill, for lunch and a well-deserved retail therapy session at Nordstrom. My knock was answered by her younger son, dressed in size four army fatigues and waving a wooden sword, and I suddenly flashed back to Whatshisname, the guy who wrote that by the time you get to kindergarten, you’ve already learned everything you need to know.
Does anybody else find this idea troubling?
Jill and I left her husband puttering in the yard, eight-year old Nick reading on the sofa, and Tim, the kid dressed up for Desert Shield, playing the Zooboomafoo website. When we got back three hours later, there was only Tim on the first floor and a sense of doom blanketing the house. So, Jill asked Tim what had happened. At first, he stonewalled, but Jill, using a tried-and-true interrogation technique, skewered the half-pint perp with her eyes and silently waited him out.
“We-el, Mommy,” the Deep Throat of the nursery school set eventually blabbed, “Nick and I were waving our wieners around outside our pants, and that was not so good. But then Nick lied about it and Daddy took away his computer. Now he’s in his room for a time out."
As so often in politics, it's not the willy-waving, it's the coverup that does you in.
I just talked with Jill on the phone, and things have returned to normal at her house – more or less. Nick still doesn’t have computer privileges, but the last time she saw him, he was reading a book about Washington, DC and thinking he might like to live in the White House one day.
Jill says that if she weren’t pregnant with little guy number three, she’d head straight for the gin. As for me, I live in hope that somewhere in this Great American Village, there’s a little girl ripping Malibu Stacey’s hair out by its teeny tiny black roots, kicking Ken out of Barbie’s Dream House and setting fire to his Corvette in the driveway. But, just in case, I’m packing a bag and keeping my passport handy.