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being an only child is a moral dilemna

April 30, 2009

My parents are worried that if I’m given $20 to write a weekly column about happy hours, I am going to turn into an alcoholic,  and I know this concerns them because they say things like, “Are you going to turn into an alcoholic?” and then we all laugh, and I do mean we all, because my parents enjoy conference calling me so that we can all be on the phone at the same time, talking over each other about how the dog is doing.  They really don’t like to miss our conference calls, and when I call, the phone will ring and my dad will answer, and then two seconds later my mom answers, and then my dad says, “Sharon, she was calling for me,” and then my mom says, “I don’t think so,” and then they start to act like they don’t even know where the other is because they live in a house with 12 wings and haven’t seen one another in weeks, and then they spend half the time talking enthusiastically amongst themselves, even though I know they’re sitting side by side on the couch reading trying to beat the other at Find the Funniest New Yorker Cartoon, and discussing ways to “park out” their property.  

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kent McMIllan permalink
    May 1, 2009 4:12 am

    Well, from a distance things always look different – the perspective mashes things together so much, I guess – but I’d think that being an only child would be a tough assignment. I mean family systems find a certain natural balance and without anyone even really having to make an effort. Everyone learns their role in the production and that’s the end of it.

    In large families, there are so many roles and you’ve got lots of extras to cast for walk-on parts, but in a small family, you don’t even get a stunt double. Yes, that is the irreplaceable offspring associating with bankers and other questionable types at a drinking establishment.

  2. Kent McMIllan permalink
    May 1, 2009 5:25 am

    However, if a journalist covering the Happy Hour beat ever finds herself referring to vodka as “Vitamin V”, as the late San Francisco columnist Herb Caen did, she might want to rethink doing all her own stunt work. Just a suggestion.

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