Saturday Salad: Dressing on the Side

Posted on October 22, 2011


My seven-year-old, The Fonz, showed me a story he’s writing and the first sentence made me laugh: Once upon a time 3 kids were best friends named Jay, Henry and most of all Jack.

Here was an opening line that sucked me right in and I had to keep reading to find out why Jack was named Jack much more than Jay was named Jay or Henry was named Henry.  Unfortunately, this philosophical concept was never explained in the remainder of the epic one hundred word tale.  I asked him to explain the hidden meaning but he insisted he had no idea why I found it interesting.  Like any good author, he’s probably being evasive on purpose because he realizes the symbolism is always much more powerful if the reader discovers the meaning on his own without the author’s explanation.


My ten-year-old son, Optimist Prime, reached a milestone today when he left the house and actually checked what he looked like first.

This is a kid who’s lived his life under a personal dress code ruled by proximity: whatever item of clothing he saw first when he opened his eyes was what he put on in the morning.  And wouldn’t you know the first item of clothing he saw each morning was usually the shirt he was already wearing.  He’s spent his entire life mismatching buttons and wearing the same sports jerseys for weeks at a time while his favorite teams were on winning streaks or in the playoffs and he felt it was bad luck to remove his jersey during a hot streak.

Skateboarding is an activity that can be done with either clean or dirty clothes. Flirting doesn't offer the same flexibility.

Nothing we said could get him to pay attention to how he looked, but this morning he combed his hair, brushed his teeth, blew into his hand to smell his breath, put on a nice plaid shirt, and asked, “Dad, how do I look?”

All it took was a girl he liked inviting him to attend her school’s carnival.

This is why I take it easy as a parent.  It doesn’t matter how hard we try or how much we worry over years and years and years, we have very little impact on our kids that can’t be overcome immediately by an attractive face.  My plan is to wait until they’re teenagers and then pay pretty girls to tell them the right things to do.


This week I received the search term:

how to reply when someone says why not

I get a lot of search terms concerning what to do if you confess love and the other person responds with a shrug, but this particular phrasing was of interest because when I proposed to my wife, she honestly replied with a shrug of her shoulders and a very casual, “Why not?”

Not sure how the searcher knew about this exchange, but I swear this was an inside joke between the two of us and did not represent a lack of enthusiasm on my wife’s part about our relationship…that came much later.


Make sure and vote in the caption contest.  This could be your best chance to make a difference, especially if you’re a very lazy person and have a low estimation of making a difference.


I also received the search term:

you don’t owe me any apologies

Good, because you weren’t going to get one.  I don’t know who entered this search term, and because I don’t know, I can assume it could be any of the many, many people I owe apologies, and the anonymity gives me permission to never apologize for the rest of my life.

Posted in: Columns