Some time ago, a friend of mine, was talking about how kids today are so entitled and have no manners. This particular friend of mine is a tattooed badass who is also a Doula, so you could say I think of her as being on the liberal side. Once she warms into some moral outrage, there’s no stopping her.
“I saw these kids at…” she named a local restaurant, “And I couldn’t believe how they were behaving. They were eating with their hands, staring at the game on TV, totally ignoring the server, just being awful. And the dad, he was so checked out, he wasn’t even picking up on their manners, all I could think was, ‘Where is the mom?’ But I didn’t say anything, I almost did, but I didn’t. They were like twins these kids, very good-looking, both really long hair, like little surfers. The older one, was a little shorter and he was more sensitive, and the younger one, he knew a lot about the game, but he was bigger than his brother and just dominating everything, screaming at the screen every time there was a play…”
I’m not sure the moment at which it became clear to me that this woman was talking about my children. Perhaps the realization dawned slowly, or maybe I figured it out really early, and went into a dissociative state. Either way, at a certain point I knew for certain that this was the picture my children were presenting in this small town of Malibu, at least when they were alone with their dad or, as I like to refer to him “Drunk Uncle.” I also realized that I was going to have to tell her.
“Um, those are my kids. And that’s my ex.,” I eventually said, bemused, once she’d finished ranting. She has an incredible ability to note details, and had amassed so much knowledge about my spawn just from watching them for half an hour, I had to also add that I was impressed!
“Oh my gosh,” this is a woman who swears more than a sailor (all the sailors I’ve met have actually been very yes, ma’am, no ma’am polite) but she actually blushed. “I’m so sorry. I feel awful. I mean, they were good kids, I could tell they were good kids, but there was just something about the dad where he was…”
“Oh you mean ‘Diseyland Dad’?” I asked wryly. I pull out wry when my feelings are hurt. “I can’t wait to tell him about this…”