03 July 2007

Reverse Chauvinism, and...

Poorly-worded parental interlude:

"Chauvinism" is too strong of a word
, so perhaps my English-major friends can help out with something that describes what I encounter every now and then as a dad-with-toddler out on the town without mom. I've learned that Barnes & Noble is an enlightened store with a changing table in the men's room. I've also learned that very few other stores follow suit! Whereas most ladies' rooms have a "Koala Station" - or at least a table - there are so few in men's rooms that my solo days with T-Fav are encumbered with planning the day around changes. (For those 50% of you who have never used a men's room before, they usually bear a strong resemblance to the gas station waiting room described in this poem.) I'm just not used to quick changes on a park bench or in the car. Ah, J-Fav is such an expert.

Also, I'm slowly becoming convinced that lone dad-and-toddler pairs appear... I don't know... suspicious? shady? too strange a sight? at predominantly mom-with-toddler playgrounds. Yes, this is an overgeneralization, but in these Boston suburbs I often return home to tell J-Fav that smiling and saying "good morning!" to the playground moms results in my being ignored or avoided half the time.

Sometimes, T-Fav wanders over to where other kids are playing. Usually, everything continues along as before. But I can't but feel stung when their moms call over to them that it's time to go home, or play on the swings, or generally be where I'm not.

Actually, I get this. I could imagine acting the same way. Who's this guy? Why is he alone? But it is a very small taste of what it feels like to be treated differently.

Okay, Time for Some Diversionary Links Whilst Our Brains are Wandering on this Holiday

I like this webpage's design: Allen Institute for Brain Science.

An irate handwritten airplane passenger complaint.

"Your Guide to Never Feeling Tired Again," on WebMD, as pointed to by LifeHacker.

Three brief and astounding! video bits of Derren Brown's power of suggestion (thanks to Tahnan). (1) Paying with paper. (2) Russian Scam. (3) Subliminal Advertising.

Joseph Cornell
I strongly recommend the Joseph Cornell retrospective at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. They had - what - 100? 200? of his works together in one exhibit. I could have spent several days there, staring at pieces that I've only seen in books.

Happy 4th,


G-Fav said...

If you want to see how the Russian Scam was done, see this movie clip.


Jay said...

Oh no it's Mr. G-Fav-Mom!

How many times have you read articles that claim that men were threatened by women assuming traditional male roles?

Is there any reason to presume that women (particularly those in traditional roles) wouldn't be equally threatened when males step into their traditional roles?

Typically I avoid attempting to interact directly with traditional Moms. It's typically more effective to let the children break the ice.