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dougfrench

Father-Brained

Doug French is a father of two boys who writes his personal blog Laid-Off Dad, co-founded the Dad 2.0 Summit, and co-parents When The Flames Go Up with his ex-wife.

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Feeling the foam in my face

By Doug French |

turbid spumeWhen it came time to name this new Babble-icious blog, it didn’t take long. Most of my social media outlets have referred to “surfing on the turbid spume” at one point or another, because it’s the mantra that basically gets me through the day.

Like most people, I had a plan when I got married: have kids; move out of the city, but not too far; get a house, and a couple of dogs; and stay in love forever. Piece of cake right?

In 2006, I thought I had exactly that going for me, more or less. I was married, I lived in New York City in a rent-stabilized apartment with my wife and two sons, and I had a job I loved. It was perfect–viewed from the outside, anyway.

Five years later, I’m divorced, unemployed, and living in the Midwest. How did all this happen? Hell if I know. But I do know that, when I first moved to New York, I’d often see homeless people in the subway talking about how their lives had taken such drastic turns. And they all said, “Give now, because one day it can happen to you.” I never believed them. But I believe them now.

Let’s be clear about this: I’m past all the bitterness that my divorce engendered. And my situation isn’t dire. I do make something of a living as a writer, and I won’t struggle to keep a roof over my head and food on my kids’ plates. There are a lot of people who are far worse off than I. But until 2006, I firmly believed I was in control of my life; now, I know that anything goes–especially after you marry and/or reproduce.

This blog is about embracing change, and the abrupt zigzags that life imposes on all of us. It’s about taking your hands off the wheel, because the wheel is just a talisman, a theater prop that isn’t really attached to anything.

I mentioned my new blog name to a friend while we were at BlogHer, and he reacted, “Cool! That sounds literary! Like Melville or something!” Does this mean you can characterize Order as the elusive white whale in the sea of Chaos? I don’t know, because I have no clue where this blog will take me. But it works for now.

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About Doug French

dougfrench

Doug French

Doug French is a father of two boys who writes his personal blog Laid-Off Dad, co-founded the Dad 2.0 Summit, and co-parents When The Flames Go Up with his ex-wife.

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4 thoughts on “Feeling the foam in my face

  1. palinode says:

    Hey, was that me? Was I the Melville-quoting friend at BlogHer? Or are you describing a composite?

  2. Doug French says:

    Indeed. You’re famous! And famously literate!

  3. Mr Lady says:

    I can hear you say “spume”. It is making me giggle. :)

  4. Asha Dornfest says:

    Zig-zags lead to the most interesting places, don’t they? Surf on, my friend.

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