1. PILLOW PROLIFERATION. When I was single and had a house to myself, I had only one throw pillow on my couch to use when I wanted to recline watching TV. Now that I live with three women, there are pillows everywhere. My bed and couch have so many pillows of so many varieties it seems like they’re exhibits in a pillow museum. Any time I want to sleep or sit, I have to “gently” dislodge them. (Throwing them gets me into trouble.) Now the pillows are even turning up in unexpected places. (Do we really need lumbar support pillows at the base of our dining room chairs?) I half believe my wife doesn’t actually buy these things, but instead they multiply on their own, like rabbits.
2. SILLY NO MORE. The “maturity” that arrives with adolescence does deliver unexpectedly pleasant surprises. We can now take a family picture without my youngest making a goofy face.
3. CONTENTLESS CONVERSATION. When they’re riding in the car with me, my second daughter (#2, in the following) can have incredibly animated discussions with her best friend (BFF), even though it doesn’t appear to me at least that any information is being exchanged. To wit, here’s a sample of one of their recent “conversations.” BFF: “And he was all like, so I was like, ‘Oh my god.’” #2: “That’s freaky, how can he be all like, you know?” BFF: “And I can’t, I just can’t, I just can’t.” #2: “That’s like so wow, oh my god, I can’t either. I just can’t.” Both of them then nodded their heads in vehement agreement over something, which as far as I could tell was nothing.
4. ALWAYS EMPTY. No matter how frequently I visit ATMs, I am always cash poor because my wallet is really just a temporary waiting station for my daughters’ walking around money. (Result: Every time I go into a coffee shop with a cash-only policy for small purchases, I have to buy $10 worth of food.)
5. SPOUSAL EVOLUTION. Husbands’ reactions to their wives coming home from the salon with an unflattering ’do follows a specific evolutionary trajectory: First time: “What happened?” (A novice mistake that can set off a crying jag.) Second: “Well, it’s interesting.” (A lukewarm response that can cause hubby to share as much of the blame as the stylist who committed the atrocity.) Third: “I think you look great!” (An overreach that will cause her to question your credibility on a host of other, unrelated issues for a difficult-to-determine period.) Fourth: “Darling, go have Serge fix it. I know you’ve been shying away from him because he’s so ridiculously expensive, but use some of the money we’ve set aside for my discretionary spending this week and next. He works wonders and you deserve it!” (A highly evolved state that sadly can be achieved only after husbands pass through the three preliminary stages.)