I Don’t Know How Anyone Can Live Here

by Marinka on August 19, 2009

Yesterday, I took all the kids bowling at Chelsea Piers, which is like the Buckingham Palace of bowling, assuming that the Buckingham Palace is air conditioned and overpriced.

I totally won, too. I never believed in “losing on purpose” to build up your kids’ self-esteem or some such crap. I think that losing on purpose makes your kid think that they don’t have to try hard and also that their parents are stupid. I don’t need any more evidence in that department, thank you.

So I win, and then while I’m taking my victory lap, this kid runs up to my son and it turns out that they went to camp together and they’re happily reuniting and he says to my son, “hey, can I come over to your house to play?”

And my son, who has been pining for a play date, looks unsure and says, “well, yes, but I have to warn you, my apartment is really small.” Of course at this time, I am trying to restart my own heart which momentarily stopped beating from shock because although our apartment is certainly smaller than Buckingham Palace, it does have four bedrooms, so it’s not quite fitting the tenement description that my son is invoking, but his friend, all full of sympathy, says, “don’t worry about it, my place is tiny as well.”

Who are these children?

Surely they don’t want for me to tell them how I grew up in a communal apartment that had two bedrooms, a kitchen that everyone ate in and one bathroom for two families to share. They don’t need to hear that I shared a bedroom with my parents for the first nine years of my life and that I never hesitated to invite anyone over to my house because the square footage wasn’t to my liking.

But then fortune smiles on me and the kid’s babysitter says that he can’t come over because she’s never met me before and apparently she doesn’t like sending her charge with random strangers. I totally approve of this plan and try to look as menacing as possible to encourage her paranoid safety concerns, because, please, if I go bowling with three kids, coming home with four isn’t my idea of a relaxing afternoon.

Besides, I’m not sure that I could stuff an extra kid into our apartment. It’s small, you know.

One year ago ...

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