Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hot and Sour Soup

I don't think of this site as a food blog per se. Food is my favorite thing to write about, but I certainly don't view my life as nothing more than the quest for the perfect bowl of pho ga. (Which is really just as well since I found it a few years ago in Silver Spring. I still visit it from time to time.) I have a job and other interests and a partner and children.

I was sitting with my older daughter, A, at her favorite Chinese restaurant earlier this week. I had had a long day at the office and did not want to cook, so I had asked her where she wanted to eat, and she said what she always said. So we were sitting there, having just been served our soup, and we had the following conversation.

Child: It looks like I'm getting Bs in chemistry and algebra.

Parent: Ok. I assume you're getting As in Spanish and French?

Daughter: Of course. Also in PE and health. Health is easy to get an A in. All you have to do is say that you won't have sex.

Anapestic: Uh. Good, I guess.

Spawn of Anapestic: They're so stupid though. They're all "oral sex is still sex because it's penetration, and any penetration is sex," and I'm all "so when I put a tampon in, that's sex? Because that's penetration." They didn't have an answer to that. Morons.

Me: Heh.

She: They just kept saying "penetration is sex," and I'm all "Oh, penetrate your mother's ass."

I: I hope you didn't use those exact words.

A is a pretty savvy teenager, especially when I compare her level of knowledge and self-assuredness to what I had at her age. I attribute much of the difference to my having been raised Southern Baptist and her having been raised Unitarian Universalist. Of course, she doesn't know everything. Witness the following conversation from earlier in the same evening.

"Dad, I've decided that I'm going to be a sex therapist."


"I mean, everyone already asks me for advice about it, so I figure I should do that for a living."

"I think that sex therapy is more of a hands-on sort of job."

"Oh. That's not what I had in mind."

"Maybe you're thinking of a clinical psychologist or a clinical social worker."

"Right. Wow. Good thing I didn't tell many people that."

It is, generally, a very good thing to have a daughter who's comfortable saying anything at all to you. I suppose that some teenagers would use the "penetrate your mother's ass" line to shock their parents, but that's clearly not the case with A. (Ok, I was shocked, but I didn't show it.) We have always had a particularly strong relationship, and while she's frequently butted heads with her mother (and who can blame her?), she and I almost always get along splendidly. That, of course, has its downside.

Such as last night, when I was sitting in the living room watching TV and she came running in from the computer room.



"One of my gay friends needs some porn."


"He says he can't get off without it."


"Anyway, he wants me to ask you if he can have some of yours. You must have some, right?"

Running screaming from the room seemed like the most appropriate course of action, so that's what I did. It didn't bother A, though, who just followed me, asking, "So, is that a 'no'?" The next morning, while driving her to school, I explained to her the many reasons why the whole thing was a bad idea, but she had already moved on.


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