Post of the Week

Post of the Week

Published October 29, 1999 10:44AM (EDT)

Reid's Fabulous Bistro

Private Life
Larry MacGregor - 06:44am Oct 29, 1999 PDT (# 1593 of 1597)

Many people say that Hallowe'en has been taken from the children and turned into another excuse for adult drunken debauchery. Certainly the social climate makes Trick or Treating more risky than ever in many places, although even when I was a tyke [and we climbed down off our dinosaurs to get into costume] there were tales of pins and razor blades being inserted into apples and candy bars.

Still, though, I recall the excitement of getting into costume - even though those molded plastic masks could really HURT - and setting out on our own to tramp through the neighborhood and collect goodies. Often we summoned to courage to go beyond our immediate neighborhood, as long as we didn't cross Newtown Road, we knew we'd be safe. I remember one year when we went as far as the strip shopping center and my travelling companions even went into a bar (!). I was a little too scared of that idea [I waited till I was 17 before I started hitting the bars, without costume].

Of course, we carried those little orange boxes and yelled out "Trick or Treat for Unicef!" We'd take our collected change to school the next day and know that the starving children of the world would now be fed. We were forbidden from eating anything that had been tossed into our bags; we had to go home and have it all vetted by Mom. Fruit and unwrapped candies of any kind immediately hit the garbage. Only then could we dig in, and dig in we did. Even as a child though, there is only so much candy one can eat in one sitting. The remainders were placed in a container to be slowly doled out with the brown bagged lunches for the next several days or even weeks. All too soon, however, that container only held boxes of Good & Plenty or Mike & Ike. It would linger in the cupboard for awhile, and come Thanksgiving, would somehow have disappeared.

I haven't had a trick or treater show up at my door in years. My last house was hidden at the end of a little dirt road, which was off a fairly well-travelled road, so that didn't really surprise me. Now, the neighborhood I live in seems to be "too mature" -- the kids are teenagers -- and although I'm not as well-hidden as before, I am still somewhat off the beaten track. Each year though, I buy a couple bags of candy, get the camera ready and wait patiently for the doorbell to ring.

The next two weeks, I overdose on Kit-Kats.


Emily Christensen - 09:08am Oct 26, 1999 PDT (# 9 of 42)

As a bookseller, I have mixed feelings about Oprah and her book club. Certainly I appreciate that more people or reading books - or at least buying them. My question is whether hopping on the book club bandwagon is making people good readers. I have my doubts. The natural thing to do if you enjoy a book by one author is to read her other works. However, the author of "The Deep End of the Ocean" (couldn't possibly spell her name), whom Oprah made wealthy, released a second book which completely bombed. I'm not even certain that it made the NYT list.

My point is this: reading should make people independent thinkers.

The women who shop at the bookstore where I work seem dependent on Oprah's reccomendations in order to select a book to read. It's frustrating, to say the very least.

Men at birth

Mothers Who Think
DJ Dre - 11:53am Oct 27, 1999 PDT (# 61 of 107)

...To any guy who might feel squeamish about the birth, I have some observations and a couple suggestions on how to deal with it:

Observation One: Some guys don't want to see the blood/bodily fluids, or are worried that seeing the vagina in that context, will forever dampen their sexuality.

I won't belittle that point. I can see how that's valid. I want to always find my wife attactive. I hope to always thirst for her.

My solution to this issue, is to focus on your wife from the neck up. You have no desire to catch the baby, or to cut the cord... so what? There's other people to do that. You be there for your wife's emotions, for shoulder rubs, back rubs. Face your wife during contractions, let other people worry about dilation and when delivery comes, be behind her, holding her. You don't have to be at ground zero, head between her knees, awaiting. There's lots of ways to help make things work.

Observation Two: Some guys don't want to see their wife in pain. This is also understandable. Guys don't want to talk about it or empathize, we (generally) want to fix things, make it better, NOW.

My solution to this, would be to focus on the mechanics of birth. It's a fascinating process. It's more amazing the steering you rigged on your go-cart, the engine on your first car, or the new power tool you just bought. Yes, you'll still have to hold her hand, and provide rubs... but don't focus on her face, that's where all the emotion and pain are most evident. Help her with the process. Suggest changing a position, be ready with a bin if she needs to puke, or a cool wash cloth, or a glass of water.

Yes, both of these example are indeed broad generalizations of the two main concerns I've heard from men about birthing. And they might not hold water for folks. But I'd watch every gory video of birth you can get your hands on, and then visualise yourself there, in a way you're comfortable, and most importantly, talk to your wife about the role you could play.

Just remember, you can be there, but you don't have to take in everything. When I go to get blood drawn, I simply CAN NOT look at the needle going into my arm. Nope, can't do it. Thinking ahead to the places and times durring birth where you're not going to look, would be acceptable to your wife, I'd bet, if it meant the difference between you being there, or not.

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