Category / couples

father and daughter before lake at

1. NOT READY FOR THIS. We dropped our youngest off at camp last weekend. On the drive up to the middle of New Hampshire, I kept asking if she was nervous, but she assured me, “No, I’m just excited.” Except for a momentary look of hesitation when she had to step into a cabin full of unknown girls, she did seem perfectly fine. She is very independent and self-confident, so I’m sure she won’t get too homesick. But we did follow all the tips for forestalling homesickness – she packed a few familiar items from home and we had her list all the things she wanted us to send her in care packages. While it was easy to find those tips online, I didn’t find any for helping parents deal with kid-away sickness. Mine kicked in right about when we pulled out of the parking lot.

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Daughters in big-occasion dresses

1. NO REPEATS. Dresses my daughters select for formal dances may come into their lives with a bang, but they go out with a whimper. So these unsuspecting dresses should be forewarned: Just because you will help these girls earn all kinds of accolades, like “You look TOTALLY AMAZING!” and “You’re INCREDIBLY GORGEOUS,” doesn’t mean you won’t spend months at the bottom of their closets in a wrinkled heap. And when my eldest tossed a past prom dress into the bin we set aside for goodwill donations, she was dumbfounded when her cost-conscious father tried to rescue the poor thing. “Dad, what are you doing?” she asked. “Don’t you get that a big-occasion dress can’t be ever be repeated?!” (Trust me: she did not provide that information when I balked at the price tag.)

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His vs. hers beside tables

1. TABLE STUDY. All you need to do to quantify the vast differences between husbands and wives is inventory the contents of the tables on their respective sides of the marital bed. In my house it breaks down this way: MINE: Alarm clock. Eyeglass case. Lamp. HERS: Four pairs of variously colored drugstore eyeglasses. A professional journal to keep up with work stuff. A romance novel to decompress from work stuff. Three past issues of Oprah magazine. Two water bottles (to help meet those 8 recommended daily glasses!). Three varieties of cream – face, hand and body. One dish of assorted seashells (under a Reader’s Digest)…

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Things boys have to do to get prom dates

1. SO “PROMPOSAL” IS A REAL THING? It’s been fun to watch the boys in my town go to great lengths to ask my daughters and her friends to the junior prom. Signs have been made, cakes have been delivered, boys have gotten down on one knee. Of course, it’s all so much more elaborate than what my friends and I did 35 years ago. Back then, you just caught a girl between classes, popped the question in a quavering voice and hoped she wouldn’t embarrass you with a “No” within earshot of all the other kids passing by in the hall. And maybe that’s exactly why this generation of boys is so much cleverer than we were…

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