Monthly Archives: March 2008
A friend of mine asked me the other day, 'Do you think you want kids?'
I have no response to this question, which at this life-stage feels like being asked, 'Do you want a hip replacement?'
But it did remind me of this anecdote, which sorta sums up my feeling on housekids at the minute:
On the afternoon in question, the girls snack on tubes of yogurt, which they will now eat only if they come frozen just so–even though they aren't meant to be frozen. I walk in, note them squabbling madly about who gets the grape yogurt and who the strawberry, see the pools growing in Tabitha's eyes, take her in my arms and ask, "Do you two have any idea how lucky you are to have a mom who takes such good care of you?"
Dixie, preoccupied with the Battle for the Grape One, does not hear me, but Quinn looks up for a moment, stares at us, and says, "There's lots of good moms."
This is exactly the kid of lawyerlet fuckspawn I was as a child, and popular accounts of parenting tend to edit out the teetering hell that parenting must be at least 80 percent of the time.
I also had the privilege of meeting my good (American) friend's parents this weekend, and had the following dinner exchange:
Me, alco-rambling to friend: The problem with our generation is that we were never forced to do anything. Our childhoods were a long traipse through hippie-topia, unfettered by consequence or responsibility.
Friend's mom: [silence] … Well, we did the best we could.
If Christmas is the jolly holiday, and New Year's is the party holiday, then easter is the Ninja holiday. It sneaks up on me every year, and then just sits there, being useless and making all the stores close.
Easter is conceived like a mini-Christmas, when we're all supposed to gather with our alleged loved ones, exchange edible versions of invasive species and hope for a young niece or nephew to break the deafening afternoon silence or somehow stir the old-people air. In my experience, though, this is the Can't Be Botheredest time of the year. I don't know anyone who is putting any effort into this little wank of a holiday this year, even if their families live like half an hour away. I had friends over for dinner the other night and my question, 'So what are you guys doing for Easter?' was greeted with about a minute of silence and then one guy going, 'Whatever.'
This is a ridiculous celebration for a country to sanction anyway. Why is the entire city shut down? Why should the passionfruit death of a capricious deity be celebrated 2,000 years later? Why should we, as citizens of post-Englistenment civilization — wait, what's that? We get three days off work?
This is what my apartment courtyard looked like at 4 pm this afternoon, four days before spring:
- 21 cups of coffee, including a moral-weakness latte at Copenhagen's only Starbucks, at the airport.
- 27 beers of dubious, umlautey brand origin.
- An empire's worth of Britpop at a club called London Calling. Pulp! Blur! Oasis! Goldfrapp! Stayed til 7 am, dancing like Rudyard Kipling.
- About 25 East German memorial statues commemorating individuals, social movements and assorted earthtones.
- The smells, sounds and particulates of about 2,000 animals. The highlight of our afternoon at the zoo was Knut the baby polar bear, who is now idle and surly and spends his days rubbing himself against a tree, just like every other teenager I've ever known. The monkeys were shit-fightingly entertaining, the big cats were emo and the predatory birds looked like they were waiting for you to die. All in all a successful day, even if I am still trying to wash the nocturnal house out of my beanie.
- One plate of currywurst, while trying not to think what's in it, three kebabs, while trying not to think how long that lamb-spit has been rotating there, and two rabbit steaks, while trying not to think of 'Watership Down'.
- 8 to 12 megatons of diesel exhaust. This capillary genocide was thanks to the Berlin transport union, which called a ten-day strike the day before we arrived. Instead of dealing with taxicabs and sore feet all weekend, we just rented some lady-bikes and circulated the city in the empty bus lanes. This was mostly charming, but biking right in the center of the road has you sucking some serious tailpipe. I've been suffering from Grandpa Laugh ('ha ha ha ha cough cough hack') ever since I got back to bike-lanes-a-la-mode Copenhagen.