Thursday, November 20, 2014

Say What?

At dinner the other night, we were talking about books.  Leo asked if I thought the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series would be a just-right fit for his reading level, and I suggested saving those books for a little longer, that he would enjoy them more in a few years.  He paused, then asked, "What IS a diary, anyway?"  I explained that it was like a journal, a place where someone writes down his own thoughts and ideas, and that it was usually not something that was shared with others.  He contemplated that explanation, then looked at me and said, "So there are two kinds of diaries, right?"  "What do you mean?" I replied.
"Well," he said, thinking - not a hint of funny in his face - "There's the diary where you write stuff down, like a journal.  And then there's the diary where you accidentally poop your pants."

Aidan has a big project he is working on for his math class. It's real-life application of math skills he's learning:  researching his projected salary, cost of housing, insurance, groceries, and recreation.  After gently explaining that earning a salary of $85K as a scientist with an undergraduate degree was pretty unrealistic, Aidan decided that a $26K stipend as a PhD candidate was more likely.  He'll be riding a bike instead of driving a car, and eating ramen noodles (presumably on the days he doesn't come to Mom's to cook her dinner in exchange for access to free groceries) but he was pretty set on the $900/mo rent on a cute apartment he found in town.  I worried aloud about the high price of his rent, but he said, "Oh, don't worry, Mom, it comes with toiletries."  I paused.  "Toiletries?" I asked.  "Yeah!  You know, like a toothbrush," he said.
"Your apartment comes with a toothbrush?" I asked again.
"Yes!" he insisted.  "A toothbrush, toothpaste, you know..." he trailed off.
"Okay," I said, "do you mean utilities?  Your apartment comes with utilities?"
"YES!" he said. "That's what I meant. Utilities.  A toothbrush."

Finally, my giggling subsided enough to explain what utilities are.  He seemed a little disappointed about the heat and the electricity.  Bummer about those tiny bars of soap, neatly folded-down corners of toilet paper, and the free toothbrush....  but I can totally sympathize with him.  I myself was similarly disappointed to learn that at brothels, they don't, in fact, serve nice warm bowls of soup in a cozy nook....

To diaries, toiletries, and bowls of soup--

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