Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Kindergarchy

Joseph Epstein talks about his emotionally deprived childhood.
My mother never read to me, and my father took me to no ballgames, though we did go to Golden Gloves fights a few times. When I began my modest athletic career, my parents never came to any of my games, and I should have been embarrassed had they done so. My parents never met any of my girlfriends in high school. No photographic or video record exists of my uneven progress through early life. My father never explained about the birds and the bees to me; his entire advice on sex, as I clearly remember, was, "You want to be careful."

I don't recall many stretches of boredom in my boyhood. Life was lived among friends on the block and, later, during games on the playground. Winter afternoons after school were filled up by "Jack Armstrong," "Captain Midnight," and other radio programs for kids. Boredom, really, wasn't an option. I recall only once telling my mother that I was bored. "Oh," she said, a furtive smile on her lips, "why don't you bang your head against the wall. That'll take your mind off your boredom." I never mentioned boredom again.
He wouldn't have had it any other way, and neither would I. Give us a break.

I haven't finished the article yet, but I will. I might even buy the magazine, just to get the newsstand guy off my back.