So when do you introduce your kids to your girlfriend? I don’t know.
There’s probably 900 books about it and I bet they’re all written by Ph.D.’s who look uptight and irritable and they’re all undoubtedly bitter and full of self-loathing about being just another stupid contributor to the slop pile of books about parenting. Think about it. IT’S PARENTING. Nobody knows how to do it. So then what? Some psychologists do some half-ass research that says we should DO THIS. But we’re supposed to DO THIS in order to GET WHAT? Happy kids? Smart kids? Well-adjusted kids? What kind of deranged people have all these pre-conceived notions about what kind of kids they want? Maybe kids have their own destinies. Did you ever think of that? Books can’t tell us how to produce the singular fates of our children. Be nice to them. Give them food. Play lots of Dylan.
So I’ll tell you when it’s time for my kids to meet my girlfriend. Last week. You know why? Because I love my kids and I love her so why not get some lunch and make everyone feel weird for a couple hours?
My daughter’s only rule for women who might one day be her step-mom is that they must be beautiful because, obviously, we’ve raised her in the dark fertile loam of critical feminist theory. Actually, nobody gave me a copy of How to Overturn the Patriarchy by Raising Little Feminists. If my little girl wants to overturn the patriarchy, she can smoke pot, grow arm pit hair, and read Simone de Beauvoir when she gets to college. Right now she likes Barbies and pink stuff. Send my apologies to the dawning matriarchy.
My son, well – he just looked from me to my girlfriend and back like he was watching a tennis match because he was simultaneously intrigued and repulsed by the probability that we have sex. I know this for a fact. He’s 14.
I hoped everyone would get along but I didn’t really sense anyone’s psychological well-being hanging in the balance so I waffled between the salmon and the Asian salad. I thought my girlfriend might get all stressed out (Will they like me? Will they hate me?) but she appeared as a calm and welcoming presence. She’s the kind of person who’s able to talk to a cab driver the whole time he’s driving. One time a cab driver told us that he didn’t trust drinking water because it flows down the street over a bunch of dead dogs and she just kept right on talking to him. I don’t know how she does it. Plus she speaks Bahasa! I could go on and on.
Anyway, my daughter gave me a wink and a thumbs up, meaning she was beautiful, which I already knew, but I’m glad she passed my daughter’s test because these are the kinds of things that matter. The only problem arose when my son discovered she was a high school librarian and they started talking about John Green novels until me and my daughter huddled in our booth to doze off. When their conversation took a turn for the worse to an in depth analysis of the best Dr. Who in the history of actors who played Dr. Who, I gave my son some serious stink eye because DUDE SERIOUSLY YOU HAVE NO CHANCE WITH MY GIRLFRIEND.
All in all, the general feeling was that no one hated anyone and, to my knowledge, there were no scarred psyches. I still don’t know if I did it right but my intuition is that there’s as many ways to do things as there are people who do things. So all of us, splinters and drops, just keep stumbling along into the next thing, meeting other splinters, forming rare new trees, washing over the next dead dog, listening to Dylan.
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