All posts tagged: new york

Guys: we are gross.

Guys – we are so gross. For reals. I mean – I’m in a house of two gay dads, two little boys (one rather gender nonconforming) and a slightly incontinent female dog. And I swear that dog is cleaner and smells less than the rest of us. For example – note the above picture. That is the tiny flat part of the base of our toilet where the bolt attaches the john to the floor. Somehow, even though both kids are potty-trained and have a good enough aim, within five days, that part of the toilet is caked in…um…urine. Without fail. I swear to you – I clean this weekly. Until becoming a father of two “standing-up-pissers” I have never, EVER regularly (or ever) cleaned that part of a toilet. Admittedly, I lived in college apartments that could’ve violated health codes, I thought that was more about our kitchen cleanliness, rather than our bad pee-pee projection. Seriously – what is our deal in the bathroom, guys? I read somewhere, once, that mens’ urine can splash up …

Just Trying to be One of the Ladies

So I’ve re-joined the gym. For a few years I was the “I’ll-stay-in-shape-by-doing a-marathon,” which meant running intensely for three months of the year and eating and drinking my face off the other 9 months. After the marathon I’d buy a few groupons to a crossfit gym or a kettlebell class and use about 30% of the groupon…exactly the way they hope we will function. This year, I just thought – rather than waste most of my money, I’d join the neighborhood cheap-ass gym nearest my apartment. And actually? – it works. The lighting isn’t sexy, the towel service isn’t fluffy, but it’s fine. So I’ve been taking classes because I just want people to tell me what to do. I’m no longer 25 and hoping to be an underwear model (which was always a pipe dream. I don’t have the wherewithal to live on celery sticks and Emergen-C over ice). Now, I just wanna maintain some leanness. So I’m all about having someone else boss me around. For the past few months (even before …

I Waited for Two Hours. What was the Point?

Here’s a conversation I had with myself while waiting in sub-freezing temperatures for two hours to spend about five minutes in an art exhibit. I had some real epiphanies about parenting and art… 9:40, not bad. Surely that chalked sign on the sidewalk can’t be accurate: ’90 minute wait from this point.’ Yeah, right. It can’t seriously take that long to see this Japanese artist. Wait, what is this exhibit, again? I dunno. I just saw it on Instagram and read about it in the Times, a few months ago. So…I’m here because the Times and some people on IG told you to come? More or less. So we are posers. Just wanting to see things cuz other people are doing it? I guess. Isn’t everybody? Especially in New York. Seriously – except for the 1% of artistic elite (and who are those people, anyway?) aren’t we all just seeing stuff cuz other people tell us to? Do you think we’ll get in and think it’s stupid? I mean, duh. It’s some 90 year-old woman’s …

My Son Wore a Dress for a Month. Nothing Happened.

So my son wore a dress for a month in France. Nothing happened. (Why we were in France for a month is explained, here.) I anticipated my older son (he of the “anything-princess” persuasion) would want to don frocks the entire time. So I let him. Some Americans might think of France as a bunch of WWII-losing philosophical wimps who eat cheese and are lax in the morality department (ergo they’re “kinda gay”). But in reality, theirs is a traditional, macho culture where men are men and women are objects of beauty. In some ways, the French lag behind the US in terms of sexual equality and gender identity. Gay couples can marry, but only since 2013. They do have parenting rights, but surrogacy is absolutely interdit. And little boys in dresses? That’s something you see even less in France than in the US. Further, it’s a land of conformity where people avoid bothering others. Don’t speak too loudly in restaurants, don’t touch anything in stores, don’t color outside social lines, and make sure you dress …

#letsbebetter

I’m embarrassed to have remained Facebook-silent about the tragedies in Baton Rouge and St Paul and Dallas when I’m frequently outspoken about other issues. It took me a few days to formulate my thoughts in the hurricane of disgust and depression we all feel. My simple thought is this: why are we so damn afraid? FDR had it right declaring fear the only thing we have to fear. But from the most recent tragic shootings in the forefront of our minds to the all-but-forgotten massacre in Orlando, our society is just so afraid. And of what? We Americans are literally inventing reasons to kill each other. Yes, there’s the 1%ers and climate change and job loss and globalization and economic downturns and cancellations of The Good Wife. But we are the country of shining cities on a hill and streets paved with gold. We are the emulation of the entire world. Everyone wants to be us.* And yet we are so very afraid. Whites are afraid of Blacks. Southerners are afraid of “Northern aggression”. Northerners …

Dear Senator

I’ve Emailed this letter to these 50 senators. And I’m going to print 50 copies and mail them to their offices, as well. I hope you’ll do the same. Feel free to use this as a template or change however you’d like. Here’s the link for the senators’ addresses.   Dear Senator: Don’t worry – this isn’t just another letter about gun control. Instead, I’m writing about your character. I’m terrified that my two young sons are in danger whenever they venture out of my house. You have created this danger by shirking your legislative responsibilities and being the pawn of special interests like the gun lobby. As an educated, intelligent person, I’m sure you know that reasonable gun reform is supported by a majority of Americans. (And by “reasonable,” I merely refer to background checks, waiting periods and outlawing automatic weapons.) I’m sure you don’t want history to smear your name with the blood of innocent children on playgrounds. I bet you dare to emulate our Founding Fathers. What would they say about the …

When I Grow Up…

With one month left in the school year, my son’s school creates a yearbook. (Yes, NYC schools seem to go year-round. Eat your heart out.) For this project, class parents needed to photograph each kid. My cohort concocted the adorable idea of photographing the kids with a prop suggesting what they want to be when they grow up. My first thought was: I’m pretty sure my kid has no notion of what he wants to be when he grows up. The next morning, I polled the class. At the first table, one kid said “Firefighter!” Three boys and one girl parroted him. At another table, one girl squawked at me. Literally. Another delivered a 15-second unintelligible monologue, from which I discerned “lion” and “zoo”. Another girl replied, “Nothing.” “But what kind of job would you like to have?” I clarified. “Nothing. Like my mom. She does nothing.” I suppressed a guffaw and continued. The next girl said, “Policeman.” I gave her a high-five. The next girl said, “Sleeping Beauty.” Oh, shit. My son heard that. …

The happy meal place (or: the time I took a side of parentheses with that)

First of all, if there was any question in your minds, let me shuffle-ball-change out of the closet loud and proud: I’m a food snob. I wholeheartedly embrace Michael Pollan’s “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.” When I was the perfect parent (meaning: before kids), I knew fast food would never touch the lips of my precious snowflakes. Admittedly, it’s easy to avoid fast food living in New York City. You’re never in a car, the kids haven’t fallen asleep in the back, and all food is fast. But I understand that fast food drive-thrus are a godsend…in desperate situations… zombee armageddons, heavy thunderstorms and refugees. Oh, and when Daddy flirts with jail time during a road trip due to a desperate yearning for “friesandashake” and considers* leaving the kids asleep in the backseat cuz who’s gonna know and you’ll be really fast and besides the dog’s in there with them. But we all know (don’t we???) that McD’s is responsible, in part, for the destruction of now-infertile fields from Fargo to Fresno, the …

Now I’m Scared…

It’s not very often you (well, I) say, “My greatest fears have come to pass.” But now, I’m scared. My oldest son (he of the self-proclaimed Disney Princess “excession”) got unexpectedly melancholy, this afternoon, sat on my lap and (unprompted) said, “Some kids at my school say pink is a girl’s color.” All the pink drained out of my skin pigmentation. I was crestfallen. My worry-free cherub just exposed his first sign of social suffering. I quelled suddenly-savage defensiveness and did NOT bombard him with statements like: “Buddy, pink is the BEST boy’s color!” or “You wear your pink shirt and color your pink pictures and admire pink dresses all you WANT!” I needed so badly to cover him with hugs and kisses and protect him. As with so many other moments in his 4 ½-year-old life, it felt like the beginning of the end of his innocence. Desperately measuring my response so as not to make a pink mountain out of a pink molehill, I said, “Really? That’s kind of silly, isn’t it? That …

Dear Other Dude at the Playground…

Dear Other Dude at the Playground on Saturday – I couldn’t fight the need to write you about an incident between our kids.Remember me? I was the dad with the son wearing a pink dress. Before he burst onto the playground, and as I parked the car, he was positively vibrating. I asked, “Now…you’re sure you want to wear your dress?” He shouted in response, “Yes! Because I want to show everyone how beautiful I am in this beautiful dress!” It was a big deal for him; and for me. He hasn’t asked to wear a dress “out,” before. I didn’t fight it. Who cares, right? Or so we’d like to think. As you noticed, he couldn’t contain his excitement showing off the dress to the only two kids playing…your daughter and her friend. He skipped and twirled and chased them for ten minutes shouting, “Do you like my dress? I’m wearing a dress! Can I play with you? Will you play with me?” Remembering those ten minutes fills me with emotion…because his unencumbered joy …