The Economist

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I am paying for someone to clean my apartment before Tonya and Rafael come home. I broke four vases. Busted a dish. Skinned the cat. Destroyed a pan. Killed a plant. Burned a door. Teared the rug and broke a chair.
And it’s not that I’m mean or I’m gross or I’m messy.
Or, I can’t take a call without spilling my latte.
Or, can’t ride a bike without smashing a taxi.
These walls seem to ask, no, beg for a riot,
When I open the door and it sounds so quiet.

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Overheard voices on a Christmas Day

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“…that place, that’s like, over by those big letters?”
“Yes.”
“That’s like, the main ice cream hang out for hipsters. Not like, all the hipsters, but the real ones.”
“I wish you wouldn’t use that word all the time.”
“Gary.”
“Neither of us use that word.”
“It’s his terminology, he’s using it to find his language. The way he speaks.”
“I don’t need to say it, Dad. I do it to come across as… not like, arrogant.”
“You said it again.”
“I said it differently. I said, ‘not like,’ as in this is not like this.”
“This painter is no Picasso. The New York Times isn’t the New York Post. Your Mom’s not your Dad.”
“Gary.”

At this point the ‘Don’t Walk’ sign turned into a white person and I waited just a second longer, till I could feel their eyes fall on me, then quickly crossed street.

I can feel myself getting fatter

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Tonya says it’s bullshit but I am on to her nice-ness. I am eating anything and everything at any time of the day I choose. I have not fed this way since my travails in Europe. In Hungary, I fucked up every pastry shop in the Pest district. In Vienna, I went to a sausage party at an outdoor skating rink and ate bratwurst. Just this week in Miami, I ate dulce de leche mini cakes and now that I’m back home Tonya left me with this Vermont special butter. It’s special because it tastes so good you don’t realize you’re getting fatter.

But I know… You can’t outsmart me butter.

Friends Without Children

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Your friends without children don’t like your child. They are unimpressed by your child. They do not see their growth spurts as noteworthy or even worth mentioning.

If your child takes a small ball and puts it into tupperware and shows you that he put the ball into tupperware, this is a time for celebration. For joy. For acknowledgement. To a friend without children, it’s boring, uninteresting, and not an accomplishment. It’s, “Are you gonna clean that tupperware now? Cause I saw him put that ball under the couch, where the cat was just playing with a cockroach.”

You are why your friends like you. When you have a child, you are no longer like yourself. You’re still you, just a different version. At times you may not even feel like you. You feel like someone else. Now why does your friend who’s known you for so long, want to see you act like someone else? He doesn’t.

If you have new friends, great. If you have children, great. If you have children and your friends have children, wonderful, but if you have a child and your friends don’t have a child, tell them to leave your home. Ask them not to return. Explain to them, you don’t want pity and they don’t want moments of unexpected emotion. Because although your son sat himself in timeout, and it brings a quiver to your voice, a sunken line in your forehead, stills the air with a quiet wonder at the thought of your child’s comprehension, all your friends are left to wonder is, “at what point did you become a woman’s vagina?”

Friends without children can’t understand what it means to have a child, but worse, they can’t understand why you aren’t acting like they are. Why aren’t you saying, “I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing!” Their tone and sarcasm just doesn’t do it for you anymore. It seems you don’t have much of a sense of humor when your child breast-feeds and they say, “How do I get a boob in my mouth,” and you don’t laugh. Why are you offended when they question if your wife’s rack has become a museum piece, “You know, look but don’t touch.”

Your friends without kids are greedy and selfish with their time because, besides work, they don’t have anywhere to be. They don’t have to report to anyone, they don’t have to be a role model, they don’t have another’s life to look after, it doesn’t matter if they have 2 drink or 5 drinks because if they forget to feed their cat, walk their dog, sleep-in instead of work, the biggest tragedy they got coming is a hungry animal, shit in the house, or a fresh look at craigslist.

My son is watching me type. He was playing with his little subway cart but now his face is flushed, his lips pursed, chin tucked, it’s clear he’s taking a shit and I ask him, “Are you making poo-poo?” and he said yes and I said good boy and he said Yayyy!

Friends without children do not get this. Get them out of your home or you will judge them. They’re your old friends! They could never do wrong! But since you’re new and different, you expect them to be new and different! They have their freedom and zero responsibility and you have to sit with them at a table and hear about their stories of women and one night stands and think man I used to do that, so they’re saying, “oh, my life it’s filled with banging girls and staying up late and smoking cigarettes and popping pills and doing lines, smokin weed…” and sure, I used to pop pills, bang girls, smoke cigarettes, do bumps, inhale the ganga, but now I don’t (sorta) and am forced to silently judge you thinking, “Man you are doing nothing with your life.”

Don’t turn me into a hypocrite, please. Don’t make me justify having no freedom by saying you’re wasting your life and force myself to believe that now that I have a child I am no longer wasting mine.

It’s just bad business. We were friends, we had a good times, unfortunately this relationship is now uneven. I am going into this equation with a lot more to lose (a child) you are going into the relationship with nothing (you have nothing, not many people love you, you are incapable of love, etc.,).

When you open your refrigerators and they bang into the wall do you hear a computer animated recording of a young boy singing, “A! A! “A” says “Hey!” Every letter makes a sound A! says “Hey!” and “AH!” Do you have anything on the fridge with magnets that holds vital information like dates and times and places you HAVE TO BE, YOU CANNOT MISS, OR YOU WILL DIE. YOU WILL CEASE TO EXIST. EVERYTHING YOU LOVE WILL BE TAKEN FROM YOU.

Let’s not hurt one another anymore.

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From a car

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My kid can peel stickers, put keys in a door, sit himself in time out when he knows he did something objectionable to house rules, says “helicopter” and “broccoli” with near perfection.

We have this ritual of me putting him flat on the bed then I say “Whhoooooop,” where my voice goes in an upward inflection as if it’s a slide whistle and my arms go circular and up as if I’m about to leap off a high dive, then I say “Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhh” as I come crashing down on his face, lips first, planting a thousand little kisses on his cheeks and ear. Star Trek-like, we wrestle, his hands pushing against mine as if it’s a game of ‘mercy’ (to the death), and I say, “Ow!” and rub my cheek as if he hurt me, then “Whoooooooop!” all over again.

I have introduced several variations to this maneuver. Sometimes I go “Ow” and rub the tip of my nose, indicating he wounded me in a different spot. Sometimes I do the “Whoooooop,” in a lower register and make my hands more pronounced as if instead of an 8th grader on his Jr. High swim team, I’m now a Chinese diver going for the gold in Beijing.

He has followed my variations and has incorporated one of his own.

When I go “Ow” and go into my “Whooooooop” he arches his back like some yoga student and exposes his belly up in the air, only touching the ground with his hands and feet, his whole stomach arched to the air where I then come crashing down face first, try and bite his stomach, then planting a thousand little kisses on his cheeks and ear (he has two ears, I simply enjoy the economy of going from cheek to ear).

Now how exactly am I preparing him for the world?