Style for the Infantile

 

I’ve been thinking about layettes. For those of you who have never thought about layettes, I’ll describe them for you. A layette is the first fashion wardrobe given to a newborn child. It is usually a blanket, pillow case, booties, sweater, panties and assorted accessories. If made by hand, the layette is crochet or knitted.

Boy babies are given blue layettes, and girl babies are clothed in pink. Sometimes, the infant is given a yellow layette. Yellow – why yellow? That is because the layette was purchased prior to the birth of the child. There is no explanation for the yellow color, other than to match a rather jaundiced complexion.

There has not been a change in layette fashion for a thousand years! It is now time for a change. I suggest the opening of a “Layette Boutique”.

The fashions for layettes will be regal. A parent can buy yard of rich, black mink to wrap the baby. Hand-crafted, calf skin booties and jewelry of all sorts; gold earrings, precious stone necklaces, pearl head-bands. No more washed out blue or faded pink. The maternity doors of Bellevue Hospital open and a little prince or princess is presented to the world.

Another issue comes to mind, and that is the contrasting styles of death and dying as opposed to birth and living. Funerals are led by police motorcycles, follow by flower cars and shining black limousines. Mourners are dressed in their finery. Who comes out of the hospital with a newborn? The father goes to the hospital and pays for his wife and child. The wife is weak, and woozy. She hasn’t been out of the hospital for days – her head is spinning. Father doesn’t know how, or who to hold first.

They drive home, alone, no fanfare – no public acclaim. When they arrive at home there is frequently a family gathering, but rather subdued – no grandeur, no cops, no politicians, no theatrics.

Why not blast the horns, ring the sirens, shoot the pistols. A child is born. A child wrapped in silk – magnificent Tahitian silk. Joy to the world. A child is born. Whose got the pampers?

 

Copyrights, 1980 Tom Golden.

Help! There’s a Murderer in My Home

 

“I can’t stand you anymore,” my Mother cried out. “I won’t stand for it.” Her eyes were full of tears.

“But you said I could go outside.” I pleaded.

“Stop it, stop it now!” she screamed. “Stop it or your father…” She was interrupted by the sound of the tea kettle. She ran into the kitchen.

What about my father? I had heard the threat before, many times. “Ouch, damn it, god-damn it.” she hollered.

I reached over for my jacket, just as my Mother came back into the room. “That’s it! You’re really going to get it. You’re in for it now. Wait until your father comes home, ” she threatened.

I stopped listening to her threats, put my jacket down and went into my room. As I closed my door, I could still hear her ramblings of helplessness. “He’s gonna get it good. When his father hears…”

My mind was preoccupied with thoughts of my father. I was trying to recall his features, which proved to be difficult despite his having left home just five hours ago. My father, Sam, age thirty, almost five foot, eight inches tall, Caucasian, Jewish, and HOMICIDAL!

Could my father murder someone? Not just anyone – his own son!

The idea of my father being capable of murder was incredible, but my feelings of apprehension were undeniable.

My father’s daily behavior was the essence of non-violence. He was mild-mannered, and rather gentle. He spent most of time working, eating, and sleeping. I couldn’t recall being hit by my father, nor did I recall him sitting my brothers or sister.

At his assaultive best, he was heard to mumble – “You’d better listen to your mother”, or “Cut it out.”

Why was I so apprehensive? I could almost understand, “Beware, the Ides of March”, but what did “Wait till your father come home” foretell?

Perhaps my fears of bodily injury were related to his muscles. I remember him carrying the washing machine on his back up two flights of stairs to our apartment. God, I was amazed! He put a large canvas belt around the machine and tied the belt around his chest.

With one heave, he had the machine off the lobby floor. When he reached our apartment, he wasn’t even sweating or puffing.

Now I remember, I remember him saying, “Don’t push me” or “You’d better watch out.” Some references to not making him mad, or “I’m warning you.” I am fairly certain the troublesome issue involved my mom. I recall him saying phrases that suggested pain, if not doom. With my mother threatening his punitive potential, and my father hinting at some sort of limits to his endurance I was left with my fantasies. There were no hard facts to draw upon. I might get slapped, punched, kicked, choked, or KILLED.

The murderer in the home, was in my head – was I alone?

Did other children harbor similar fears of patricide?

And We Stopped Talking

 

When you found yourself, we stopped talking.

When I showed myself, we stopped talking.

When you felt your needs, we stopped talking.

When I showed your fears, we stopped talking.

Expectations, guilt, suspicion, and we stopped talking.

 

Tell me,

That’s alright.

Tell me,

It’s okay.

Tell me,

Forget it.

Tell me,

It doesn’t matter.

Tell me,

You won’t understand.

Tell me,

You don’t care.

Tell me,

I CAN’T!!!

 

Perhaps we never talked.

Perhaps I told and you listened.

There are no second chances.

You talk to others now, and they listen.

It’s their chance to know.

What I know is forever and complete.

And you will never know me.

I always told – we never talked.

 

I despair to know that some do talk.

They say they do, I hope not.

If there is a way, don’t tell me.

There are no second chances.

Marriage

Will he or won’t he

She thought day after day.

Marriage was so near, yet so far away.

Autumn fell to winter then

Spring burst in the air.

Their love was still burning

But why was there still fear.

To those who went before them

Such fear is not unique.

To love is very simple

To marry is to seek,

A lover and perhaps a friend

A partner who can pretend

To show no pain despite the ache,

And long for rest yet stay awake.

To make a vow, and take an oath

To be just one, but cherish both.

 

 

Style for the Infantile

I’ve been thinking about layettes. For those of you who have never thought about layettes, I’ll describe them for you. A layette is the first fashion wardrobe given to a new  born child. It is usually a blanket, pillow case, booties, sweater, panties and assorted accessories. If handmade, the layette is crochet or knitted.

Boy babies are given blue layettes, and girl babies are clothed in pink. Sometimes, the infant is given a yellow layette. Yellow why yellow?? That is because the layette was purchased prior to the birth of the child. There is no explanation for the yellow color, other than to match a rather jaundiced complexion.

There has not been a change in layette fashions for a thousand years! It is now time for a change. I suggest the opening of a “Layette Boutique”.

The fashions for layettes will be regal. A parent can buy yards of rich, black mink to wrap the baby. Hand  crafted, calf skin booties and jewelry of all sorts; gold earrings, precious stone necklaces, pearl head  bands. No more washed out blue or faded pink. The maternity doors of Bellevue Hospital open and a little prince or princess is presented to the world.

Another issue comes to mind, and that is the contrasting styles of death and dying as opposed to birth and living. Mourning families are led by police motorcycles, followed by flower cars and shining black limousines. Mourners are dressed in their finery. Who comes out of the hospital with a newborn? The father goes to the hospital and pays for his wife and child. The wife is weak, and whoosy. She hasn’t been out of the hospital for days. Her head is spinning. Father doesn’t know how, or who to hold first.

They drive home, alone, no fanfare and no public acclaim. When they arrive at home there is frequently a family gathering, but rather subdued    no grandeur, no cops, no politicians, no theatrics.

Why not beep the horns, ring the sirens, shoot the pistols. A child is born. A child wrapped in silk, magnificent Tahitian silk. Joy to the world. A child is born. Whose got the pampers???

 

OVERWEIGHT IS A FAMILY AFFAIR

Let’s face it! Millions of people can and do lose weight. On the other hand, millions of people can and do gain weight. What else is new? Our body weight varies during the course of daily living. Most often changes in body weight are unintentional, resulting from changes in eating habits, exercise, health problems, emotional stresses, aging, genetics, and other causes.

We gain and lose weight at some “natural” rate. At some point in our lives we are told, or we determine for ourselves that we are overweight. If not overweight, we are at least fat, or stout, chubby, heavy or perhaps obese. At that point we might make an intentional decision to lose weight, get slim, diet, trim down, get lean, reduce or shed pounds. Unfortunately, the decision to lose weight is usually characterized by several other demands. The demands are that the weight loss must be rapid, painless, enduring, and inexpensive.

During the past twenty years an entire industry has developed to service the intentional goal of weight loss. We have weight loss workshops, clinics, centers, spas and institutes in all but the smallest villages. Weight loss programs are housed in churches, hospitals, schools, motels, hotels, private homes, offices and some are available through correspondence courses. There is no human condition that has the services of so many varied techniques including; meditation and hypnosis, drugs, intestinal bypasses, surgical closure of the mouth, guilt and self-hate tapes, reinforcement programs, acupuncture, fat farms, prayer, food supplements, diets from A to Z, and fasts. Not a day passes that doesn’t announce the birth of a new weight loss program.

Despite many significant differences in the various programs, the primary focus in all current programs is the individual. The overweight person is responsible for the success of the program, and as such, all the instruction is designed for individual performance. Each approach to coping with overweight requires the individual to be self-disciplined, self-determined, self-motivated, self-controlled, self…. self…. self…. The “self” is overworked, overwrought, overwhelmed and of course, overweight.

In a recent issue of a local newspaper the messages to the overweight person were: The bottom line, of course, is that the person must do for herself…use the same kind of willpower…and make up your mind in advance…firm up your will power…where there is a will there is a way to stay slim.

To the millions of persons suffering from overweight, the word diet has come to mean many things beyond losing pounds. Successful dieting has come to mean the return of self esteem, pride, acceptance and personal freedom. The loneliness and despair of the overweight person is a private torment with a unique language system. A language full of self criticism, e.g. “I was bad today”, or “I’m ugly”, or “I’m weak and worthless”, or “I have no will power and I hate myself for it.”

As a society, we have made lepers of the overweight person. They are scorned, criticized and laughed at, while at the same time we demand that the overweight person overcome our ridicule as well as shed poundage. The overweight person is not invincible. He or she is no stronger willed or weaker willed than anyone else.

How many of the “normally” weighted population could intentionally lose weight? How many persons of “normal” wills eliminate sugars, salts, and starches from their diet? How many of us could put down the fork and leave the table when “full” or almost “full” or not quite “full”? How many of us could initiate an exercise program and complete it regularly? Try avoiding alcohol, sodas and treats. How many of us could withstand the constant slander of our appearances, willpower and self-esteem? Are we demanding from overweight person more than they can produce alone? Are we demanding more than most individuals can produce?

Assuredly some persons do lose weight through individual effort, and their weight loss may even be maintained; nonetheless, one must question the prevailing attitude that the overweight individual must be solely responsible for their own weight loss. Considering the increasing problems of obesity in our population, despite the numerous weight control programs, it is doubtful that most individuals can lose weight and maintain that loss when the focus remains on individual compliance and self-willed must approach the problems of weight control from a social perspective.

We must view “overweight” as a family and/or peer group problem. The overweight person is not solely responsible for weight gain, nor can he/she be solely responsible for weight loss! Eating began as a social experience. In infancy and throughout childhood, adolescence and on into adulthood, most people eat in a social environment.

Whether it is a family or peer group, eating is a social experience. Our eating habits, tastes and attitudes toward food have all derived from a social learning experience.  A social learning approach to weight control would involve the immediate social environment, e.g. spouses, children, relatives, and even friends. Many overweight persons live in homes that ignore the family responsibility for eating, nutrition and weight control. The dieter” is scorned for weight gain, and praised for weight loss.

The “non dieters” assume the role of evaluators of the “fat” family member. Will he or she control themselves? Will self-control prevail? Will the dieter be “good” or “bad”? The inevitable resentments smolder and the tensions increase. Eating becomes a test of will and a commentary on one’s character. Is it any wonder that eating and stress are so interrelated? The families and associates of the “overweighed” must commit themselves to weight control. The mutual concerns and bonds of our social relations must be identified and focused upon controlling weight.

Each “Normally” weighted person must assume the responsibility for eating, nutrition and diet. The overweight person cannot do it alone! The volume of research findings is clear and repetitive. Many persons can intentionally lose weight, but most regain the weight, and many even increase their weight.

Weight control programs that emphasize the individual and neglect the family and other social support systems will probably fail in the majority of cases.  Overweight is emotionally, socially and physically crippling. We cannot stand by and allow the overweight person to “go it alone”. We must take the control from the “overweighted self” and do our share. The task is actually the responsibility of the group. Only by assuming the responsibility for weight control, will “normally” weighted persons control the problem of the overweight.

ELECTION THOUGHTS and OTHER THINGS

 

I love my grandchildren, as well as my great-grand children who I rarely see as they reside in France, but I am not concerned about any financial debt that they may incur after my death. So many politicians are sincerely worried about the financial circumstance of future generations. Actually I rarely think about subsequent generations financial needs. Perhaps there are grandparents who prepare financial packages for their grandchildren, but I cannot accept that a national election should rest on the need for such gift giving.

I have frequently missed giving the grandchildren birthday gifts. I sometimes hang their artwork on my refrigerator door, but even that I do only in their presence. When they see that the drawings are missing, I quickly hand out candy bars, and blow up colorful balloons. Balloon blowing has become more difficult, in part due to my aged lungs, and the cheap balloons from China. “Saving is a very fine thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you.”(Winston Churchill – what a guy!)

I do not mind that many politicians are rich. I mean very rich. Like the wealthiest men and women in the world.  If the laws of the land, loopholes, accounting regimes, off-shore hideaways allow for such wealth so be it.

What I find repulsive is my indebtedness. I wish I had a very close relative or friend who was mega-rich, and also willing to pay off my credit cards. Change the laws, loop holes, etc, but stop inferring some ill-will, or inhumane quality to the very rich. I was raised in a household that adored FDR. He was rich, perhaps not mega-rich, but still wealthy. When he spoke on the radio I put my hand over my heart in allegiance to him and God Bless America. . “Every morning I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.”(Robert Orben – whoever he is?)

Opps, I did it! I just wrote in the prior paragraph a phrase that I find intolerable in terms of its frequent use. “God bless you, and God bless America.” Every politician, regardless of their party finishes their speech with “ God bless….”.  I  never liked the inclusion of ‘under God’ in the pledge of allegiance. The blessing offends me, as does the ever present American Flag, 24/7 on homes, and businesses.

Flag Day was solemn for those of us who cheered the troops on Iwo Jima, and Tarawa. When someone famous died, flags were flown, and then put in the attic. The reason so many flags are frayed is due to overuse. “When man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life”. (Sigmund Freud)

And what about the misuse of “love”. I love my dog, my parakeet, as well as my Uncle Henry, despite the pinch he gave me at every greeting. I love my wife, my kids, and my accountant as he finagles my tax return. I love my car mechanic, and everything bagels. Now we have LOL on every text message and twitter.

I am not adverse to saying “I love….” But are there any limits to the object of such an expression?  I think that when your lover asks “how much do you love me?”, that is meant to humanize and make earnest your affection. Your dog, or parakeet, or Uncle Henry never requires an amount.  “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all” (Samuel Butler – A long time ago)

Finally, should Obama lose the election of 2012, a primal cause is his color. Yes, he is not very black, nor is Colin Powell, Halle Berry or Mohammed Ali. Obama is black enough. As the beach sand looks white and dry to the touch, it only takes a few hand full’s to reach the damp, and darker subsurface.

The American sand has never been free of racism. That Obama won election in 2008, was a reflection of the despair, and bitterness felt by millions caused by the deceit and ill-will of the Bush administration. McCain was weak from the onset, and when he chose Sarah as his running mate, that certainly helped Obama. The flip-flopping of Romney and his pandering to the headline of the day is less painful to millions than the skin color of Obama, Michelle, and the children.

Last month during the Al Smith Catholic Charities ceremony, Obama jest fully stated he feared using his middle name, Hussein. Obama’s name, birthright, mixed parenthood, absent father, etc. all reinforce, but are not necessary to determine the votes of millions. It is sufficient that he is black. “Inny, minny, mity, mo, catch a nigger by the toe, if he hollers let him go, inny, minny mity mo.” (Chant from East New York, Brooklyn, 1938-1951)

Bring It Home…

There is a constant drum beat to allow the States to control various decisions for residents, e.g. abortion rulings. The assumption is that any one state is so homogenous that decisions would be reflective of a popular agreement. Maybe yes, but maybe no. Let’s use New York State as an example. Were we to offer a state-wide referendum on abortion, we may find a great divide between folks in New Berlin , New York and East New York, Brooklyn.  Perhaps we would do better to have such decisions closer to home rule and have the decision made at a county level.  Better yet, any town, hamlet, or village could  possibly offer the most agreement on just about any issue. If all else fails, we could appeal to the basic family unit, and then before we go to sleep just ask the pregnant woman sleeping next to you what the hell she wants to do.

A Case for Incinerators

“Take out the garbage”

A command that brings shudders to all within earshot. In a split second the kitchen is empty. Not a soul is in sight.

Mother cries out: “ Take out the garbage, please. “

Once again the house echoes with an earnest appeal to health and sanitation.

Mother hears some movement in the living room and she pleadingly says, “ Peter, will you take out the garbage? “

No answer. She puts down the neatly packaged Hefty bag, and she looks into the living room. It is only the cat she heard. The cat is eating the leaves of the poinsettia plant. The leaves of the poinsettia plant are supposedly quite poisonous, yet the cat has spent the last two months defoliating the remains of the Christmas season. We have looked for signs of illness in the cat, but none have surfaced. Perhaps the plant becomes non-toxic as spring approaches. Mother knows there is no time to worry about the cats’ health – the garbage waits. Besides the cat has nine lifes.

The distance between the packaged garbage and the outdoor garbage can is approximately 15 feet. It might as well be 15 miles. Mother shouts again, “Susan, would you come down here?” Susan is glued to her television. She is studying the Alpo commercial. Susan has never been so focused, so concentrated, and so deaf. Her room is on the second floor, just near the stairwell. With a slight movement of her left foot, she gently closes her bedroom door. A muffled sound comes through the door, and sifts through the barks of twelve Alpo satisfied Cocker Spaniels.

Peter is in the basement trying desperately to find his homework assignment. Peter is resolved not to take out the garbage. Peter is convinced that he is the unofficial house garbageman. In fact, he rarely takes out the garbage. He thinks about it the most, and he worries about it the most, but he also avoids it the most. Nonetheless, Peter is convinced that he has disposed of more Hefty bags than anyone in the family.

When Sigmund Freud wrote,“ Civilization and its Discontents” he must have been thinking about family garbage and Peter. Peters’ development was progressing quite well, until he discovered the meaning of, “Peter will you take out the garbage. “  At that critical moment, Peters’ bonds to the family were forever weakened. Peter was, for the first time, aware of the enormous demands of family living. He would never be the same obedient son.

What is it about the phrase, “take out the garbage,” that can so undermine the unity of a family? How can one common chore cause such personal and group havoc?

At one time the problem with garbage may have been the messiness of the plain, brown, union made garbage bag. Refuse such as sauces, grease, and egg yolks would melt the paper and cover your hands, clothes and stairways. Today we are blessed with the Hefty bag. The plastic garbage bags of today insure cleanliness in the home: garbage can, sanitation truck and in the dump!

If messiness is not the problem, perhaps the word garbage is the cause of such disunity. Said with either an American accent, or an English accent, e.g. Garrrbaaaage, the word is rather unappealing.

No, I am certain that it isn’t the word, garbage. I believe that the core issue is the act of, “ taking out,” the garbage. “ Taking out “ means finding shoes, putting on pants, coping with rain and snow, stuffing an already overflowing garbage can, missing the final touchdown, hanging up the phone, and in general disturbing the peace and tranquility of the home. After a day of work, school or play, home is where the heart is, and not in the garbage can.

 

DNA and Guilt

You said that you felt guilty not having responded to my last correspondence. David, this is important. As to your feeling guilty, you have no choice. Many years ago, and I mean many – like several thousand years there was an earth shattering event. Much more calamitous than meteor effects, or black out of the sun, or even Genesis. The most significant effect of that event was a dramatic change in the DNA of the human species.

It may have effected other species, but we do not have evidence of such an effect on dinosaurs, elephants, ants, etc. You wonder what event could have so dramatically modified the DNA of mankind. Well I will tell you. Simply put it was a very subtle genetic modification that produced GUILT. I need not tell you the clinical symptoms of GUILT, but what was so remarkable was that the modification initially only manifested in Jews!!!

Obviously, after thousands of years of cross-breeding the symptoms of GUILT have crossed ethnic boundaries, but never with the clarity and intensity that effects Jews. Jews carry the original DNA structure with little modifications. Yet me make it clear, there are some modifications as to the causes of GUILT, and that has been the province of Jewish Mothers. No other parent has the capacity to modify the GUILT DNA  as do Jewish Mothers.  I leave you with one final thought – bo-ruch a-toh ado-noi e-lo-hei-nu etc.etc.etc.

Sex Education Begins At Home – Good Luck!

Against his better judgment, but with the urging of his wife Adele, Sam agrees to speak with his son, Tom, about sex. Sam, a man of 45 years, has been avoiding such a discussion for the past two years. His wife, Adele, has pleaded with Sam to have a ‘man to man’ talk with their son about “the birds and the bees.” Tom just celebrated his 14th birthday. Adele has been anxious about Tom’s increasing romantic interests in their neighbor’s 16 year old daughter, Samantha. “It’s just puppy love”, has been Sam’s response, but Adele has been insistent about the need for homebound sex education.

Sunday morning’s bagels, lox and cream cheese have been devoured by all, and Sam asks Tom to join him on the patio. At the furthest end of the patio, out of earshot, Sam arranges two lounge chairs. Tom follows his Dad, and they sit side by side. Actually the chairs are touching, allowing for even a whispered communication. Sam clears his throat, takes a deep breath, and begins…

Sam: Tom I think that it is time for us to talk.

Tom: About what Dad?

Sam: What do you mean about what?

Tom: About what, Dad?

Sam: Something very important.

Tom: O.K.

Sam: Keep it down Tom. Stop shouting.

Tom: Shouting? I’m not shouting.

Sam: O.K. that’s better.  Just keep it down.

Tom: Dad is something the matter?

Sam: No, not at all. I just want to talk with you.

Tom: (concerned) Is Mom alright?

Sam: Mom is fine – she’s perfect. I mean she’s okay. This isn’t about your Mother.

Tom: Great. (relieved)You really got me scared Dad.

Sam: I’m sorry Tom I didn’t mean to scare you.

Tom: Dad…

Sam: (startled)What?

Tom: Oh nothing, but I was gonna meet Peter and Mark downtown.

Sam: Oh good. Well I guess we can talk tomorrow. It’s not a big deal.

Tom: No Dad. I’ll give them a call. I’ll see them later.

Sam: Oh fine, that’s fine. Well I guess we can talk today.

Tom: Yeh. I kinda like this Dad.

Sam: (Incredulous) You do?

Tom:  Yeh. Well what is this about Dad?

Sam: Well your Mom, well your Mom and I think that it is important for us to discuss things about men and women and things like that.

Tom: (excited) Yeh sounds good!

Sam: (vexed) What do you mean, sounds good?

Tom: You know Dad, sex and things like that…(giggles)

Sam: It’s not all sex. Everything is not about sex Tom.

Tom: I know that Dad. In health class we talked about pregnancy, babys and things like that.

Sam: Oh you do?

Tom: Yeh. We learned about STD’s and marriage and family.

Sam: STD’s. What’s that?

Tom: Sexually transmitted diseases, Dad.

Sam: Oh yeh, sure. That’s good.  I’m glad you learned about them.

Tom: Yeh, so am I.

Sam: That information will come in handy someday.

Tom: That’s for sure.

Sam: (abrupt) What do you mean by that?

Tom: Nothin. Say Dad, I better get going.

Sam: But I want to tell you…On second thought we can talk tomorrow. See you later, son.

Later on the same evening, Sam and Adele are in bed.

Adele: Sam, how did it go?

Sam: What?

Adele: How did the talk go with Tom?

Sam: Fine – just fine.

Adele: Great. I feel much better. I was so worried. I know it wasn’t easy for you.

Sam: No problem – no problem.

Ten minutes later. Sam is attempting to go to sleep, while Adele is reading. Her side of the bed it lit by a small bedside lamp.

Adele: Sam.

Sam: Uh.

Adele: Are you awake?

Sam: Sort of.

Adele: Sam, I was wondering what Tom had to say.

Sam: About what?

Adele: You know. Did he have any questions?

Sam: Adele, can’t we talk about this tomorrow? I’m really beat.

Adele: Sure we can honey. I was just curious. You know how I am.

Sam: Yes.

Adele: Was he comfortable talking to you Sam?

Sam: (annoyed) Adele, I’m really tired. Can’t we just go to sleep?

Adele: (insistent) Just tell me what he said!

Sam: (angry) Adele I’m serious. I’m exhausted!

Adele: I know. I’ m sorry, but I am so concerned. You know how kids are nowadays, and with Samantha next door. Sam, you understand don’t you?

Sam: Adele, I’m almost asleep. Goodnight.

Adele: Goodnight, Honey, Goodnight.

Next morning. Breakfast table. Seated are Tom, Sam and Adele

Adele: Tom would you like more pancakes?

Tom: No thanks Mom. I’ve got to get going.

Adele: Dad tells me that you and he had a great conversation yesterday.

Tom: Yeh.

Adele: I guess you must have felt a little funny.

Sam: (annoyed) Adele, enough.

Tom: No, Mom. I felt fine.

Adele: I mean wasn’t it a little….

 

Sam: (interrupts)Adele, Tom has to get going. He’s going to be late for class.

Adele: I was just interested in how you both felt. I mean it isn’t everyday that a father and son speak about personal things and…

Sam: (shouts) that’s it. Tom get going. Have a nice day.

Adele: Sam, what’s got into you?

Sam: Nothing. Well honey. I’ve got to go. See you later. (gets up and gives

Adele a kiss on the cheek).

Evening. Tom’s bedroom. Sam is outside the bedroom door. He knocks on the door.

Sam: Tom are you busy?

Tom: No Dad. Come on in.

Sam: How was your day?

Tom:  Good Dad.

Sam: Great. You know yesterday I wanted to talk with you about relationships between guys and girls.

Tom: I know Dad.

Sam: What do you mean, you know?

Tom: Sex. You wanted to talk about sex – right?

Sam: Well not exactly. Actually you’re right. Let’s talk about it. Your Mother thinks it’s important to discuss sex with you. Okay?

Tom: Sure Dad. It’s okay.

Sam: Okay. Tell me what you know, and if you have any questions ask me.

Tom: I really don’t have any questions. I mean I feel kinda funny talking about this with you.

Sam: Relax. We’re both men. If we can’t talk about these things who can you talk to?

Tom: Mark, and Peter.

Sam: Oh yeh. I understand, but they’re your age. Perhaps they don’t have all the information.

Tom: Well maybe you’re right.

Sam: So go ahead. Tell me what you have on your mind.

Tom: Well Dad, it’s not exactly a question, but can I get a subscription to Playboy?

Sam: (stunned) What?

Tom: I’d like to get Playboy, or maybe Penthouse.

Sam; Are you serious? I can’t believe you. Just forget it!

Tom: (hurt) Forget it Dad. I knew I shouldn’t ask you. Just forget it.

Sam: Why? Why do you need them?

Tom: Well every time I read them…

Sam: (aghast) You read them? Where? Where did you get them?

Tom: Peter’s dad has Penthouse. I read them at Peter’s house.

Sam: His dad has Penthouse? He lets you read them?

Tom: No, his dad doesn’t know.

Sam: Tom you are much too young – much too young.

Tom: But Dad, when I look at the girls, it’s easier to masturbate.

Sam: (shocked, stunned) What the hell! Just watch yourself Tom. Take it easy.

Tom: Now you’re mad. I knew I should have just shut up. Dad I better get to sleep.

Sam: I’m not mad. I’m just surprised.

Tom: Didn’t you ever read Playboy? Did you?

Sam: What difference does that make? I’m your father. I can’t believe that Peter’s father lets him read Penthouse.

Tom: I told you Dad. His father doesn’t know. Peter sneaks it out of his dad’s bedroom. Peter thinks his dad is really horny.

Sam: Tom, that’s enough. I don’t need to know about Peter’s dad.

Tom: Dad. How old were you the first time you masturbated?

Sam: (stunned, bleary eyed) What did you say?

Tom: I was wondering when you first jacked-off?

Sam: Tom, just watch your mouth.

Tom: I’m sorry Dad, but I was just curious. Being a guy, Dad, I just thought I could ask you that.

Sam: Well you took me by surprise. I mean I’m supposed to answer your questions, but…

Tom: I understand Dad. I apologize.

Sam: Tom, I’m sorry I jumped on you.

Tom: Say Dad, did you ever use condoms?

Sam :(shouts)  Shut the fuck up. Just shut your fuckin mouth.

Tom: But Dad…

Sam: You want to know about jacking-off, or condoms or whatever, just ask Mark, or Peter, or maybe Peter’s Dad. Not me!

Tom: I’m really sorry Dad, but you said we should talk about sex.

Sam: Right. But not about my sex!

Late that same night. Sam and Adele are in bed.

Adele: Sam, why were you shouting in Tom’s room?

Sam: Oh, nothing much. We just got into some heavy talk.

Adele: Like what?

Sam: Good night, Adele.

Adele: Sam, please don’t shut me out. This is important.

Sam; Adele, just forget it.

Adele: Sam, I am your wife. I can help.

Sam: Help, help with what. I don’t need your help Adele. Just go to sleep.

Adele: Why are you so upset?

Sam:  Why, I’ll tell you why. Your son – your son asked me about jacking-off.

Adele: What? What did you say?

Sam: Tom wanted to know how old I was when I first masturbated.

Adele: He did?

Sam: Yes he did. And did I ever use condoms.

Adele: I hope you told him that you did.

Sam: Listen Adele, if you want to talk to your son about your sexual acts, techniques, and equipment, go right ahead. I’m not!

Adele: Alright, calm down. Enough. Just relax.

Sam: O.K. Good night.

Adele: Good night Sam.

Several minutes later

Adele: Sam, are you up?

Sam: Barely.

Adele: Sam.

Sam: What?

Adele: How old were you when you first masturbated?

Fin……………………………