Beyond swearing allegiance to the Taliban, the quickest way to make yourself a social pariah in America is to take a baby to a restaurant. Only on airplanes, and, perhaps, movie theatres are infants more loathed. I’ve seen servers argue with hostesses after getting a baby-centric family seated in their section. Once, for no apparent reason, I witnessed a waiter passive-aggressively kick the stroller that we had placed behind our table. Not that I can blame him…
Everyone knows that a child’s early years are the most crucial developmentally of her whole life. This fact seems to scare the hell out of most new parents. We’re constantly worrying that we’ve managed to screw up our child in some profound, irreversible way, the kind of issue that won’t be pinpointed until the kid is on a therapist’s couch in 25 years trying to make sense of what went wrong.
Therapist: What about your childhood?
Hannah: I don’t know . . . My parents took me to…
Cool town, Melbourne. It’s a clean, cosmopolitan city of nearly 4 million, and routinely lands on those lists of the most livable cities in the world, usually second to Vancouver. The skyline glitters at night, and everywhere we go are these sort of half-indoor, half-outdoor malls and cafés. Even the alleys are cool-looking.
One problem. Everyone pronounces Melbourne “MEL-bin,” which makes me think of Melba toast, which…
Rhain, my oldest friend in the world, is only 36, but he has lived dozens of lives. The best high school tennis player in Kansas history, Rhain eventually went pro, where he ascended high enough on the tour to play some real opponents. “Pete Sampras beat me 6-0, 6-0, 6-0,” he says, proudly. Soon, though, he shattered his ankle, and it was all over. Next, he went to…