06 July 2012
As you know, I am a native son of the Greater Boston area. In fact, I am what the old locals might call a Townie. You may read me in my written voice, but you ought to hear my accent. There's no mistaking it. I've been eating what used to be known as Richie's Slush every Summer my whole life. Lemon is the only flavor for me, because, ya' know, I'm a traditionalist. Townie kids, like my own, tend to prefer watermelon (pink) or the blue varieties (vanilla or raspberry). Every convenience store in Eastern Massachusetts has a freezer chest full of this stuff, especially those located near playgrounds or Little League ballparks.
The following took place last Summer.
In recent years, my home town has seen a fairly dramatic shift in the sort of people who live there. The old timers may bemoan the fact that, as they see it, "the yuppies are taking over", though few of them have a problem with the rising value of their old family homes. I, for one, am happy to see the old town doing ever better, but I will admit that the yuppie/fake hippie/self righteous organic bullsh*t crowd can be more than a little pretentious and out of touch at times. Case in point:
I was at the local playground with my kids on a hot day. Just across the street is a little store that sells slush in the Summer time. It's pretty much a given that if we're going to that park there will be a round of slush afterwards, barring situations of extreme bad behavior, in which case t he suspension of slush privileges is a punishment. I was involved deeply in sand box play with my children. I couldn't help but overhear the conversation of some particularly annoying and self righteous neo-hippie trust fund parents bemoaning the fact that the local shop won't carry the organic slush. They would never let there kids eat the regular slush...and it's so hard, because all the other kids get to have slush...but I won't let my kids eat that junk....(hint:because I'm better than the other parents).
I could feel the fury rising within me as I thought to myself how pointless it is, perhaps even needlessly cruel, to deny a child an occasional treat of brightly colored frozen junk food on a hot Summer afternoon. I want as much as anyone for my kids to eat healthy foods, but Jesus, it's July. And I couldn't help but feel that this conversation was being had loudly over on the benches so that the Townie parents, who were all in the sand box actively playing with their kids, couldn't help but overhear.
I was about ready to blow my stack when an older woman came into the park with a young boy, about four years old. She approached the yuppie group and asked "is he one of your kids?" "yes, he's my son" said the lead obnoxious dad, "who are you?"
"I found him up the street wandering alone", said the older woman. The boy had wandered out of the park a block away to the store that sells the slush. No one had noticed, but at least he wasn't being fed that awful regular slush.
If you have kids, play with them. Or at least look after them at the playground. If you live near Boston, treat them to a slush now and then.
Priorities are still important.