[Editor's Note: A playful take on bedroom talk, Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex is a smart, funny encyclopedia with entries written by notable contemporary writers. This week we're pleased to feature a different post each day from one of the book's contributors.
"Did you do this?" I asked my husband, though the answer was obvious. Who else would have done it? Our three-year-old? Our nanny, chef, or maid (which we do not have)?
He grinned, full of pride, then continued with his task of sticking something onto the fridge — turns out it was a newspaper clipping, a Korean restaurant coupon for "Free Man Doo."
Later that night, I gently pointed out his juvenile "quirks" as he played "Sweet Child O' Mine" on his electric guitar. He nodded his head. I went back to watching T.V. He then put down his guitar, looked at me, and said, "What are you watching?"
"Living Lohan," I mumbled.
"And before that?"
"The Real World," I said. He picked up his acoustic guitar and began to play "Landslide," as if proving he was all mature and collected. I followed suit and changed the channel to The Daily Show. But my husband, an attorney, wasn't one.
He thought it was funny that I should be the one to point out immature traits. He went on to cite my juvenile tendencies:
I laugh every time I listen to NPR and the announcer says, "This program is sponsored by the Wood Johnson Foundation."
When I read to my daughter, I snicker at the part in Spot Goes to School where the teacher asks Spot what he brought to Show-and-Tell and he replies, "My bone."
I can never manage a straight face when I read The Runaway Bunny and the mother says to the bunny, "I will make like the wind and blow you."
He pointed out my endless playlists of gangster rap, and the fact that I keep two kinds of music in the car: CDs for when I'm alone and CDs when I'm with child or other parent.
He said the way I gossiped was reminiscent of a teenager, and that I unfairly judged people, tossing them aside if they wore their jeans too high, had pleats in the front of their pants, overused the words "sustainability" or "actually," wore tye-dye, dressed their kids in Che Guevera onesies, or had read the book Eat, Pray, Love.
One girl is a whiny tank, one looks like she's on Kolonopin, and this little red-headed girl eerily resembles John Madden. Finally, there's my little foe — he's an angry and mean son of a bitch who creeps me out with his habitual expression, which makes him look like he just had sex and is telling his friends about it. His laugh is diabolical, like he just screwed over a drug dealer named Fang.
"Well," I said. "Got me there."
"You also write really good teen voices," he said, ending his closing argument on a good note.
"Thanks," I said, though it's not like it's a talent or anything. Interviewers have mentioned the whole teen voices thing I use in my writing andI usually just pretend that I researched the way youth culture and the way young people speak and think, but really I just haven't matured, expanded my vocabulary, or even grown for that matter, since I was thirteen.
Anyway. Here's to fathers who do car bombs at nice restaurants, to mothers who tell on other children, to dads who are building a half-pipe in their yard when their kids haven't even mastered recognizing their own reflection. To moms who are reading Gossip Girl (Yeah. So.) and saving their unfinished (and expensive) pinot in their daughter's sippy cup. You're not immature. I stand corrected (only after being called out.) You are adventurous diners, hands-on fathers, literacy supporters, and frugal homemakers. Cheers.
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A playful take on bedroom talk, Dirty Words is a smart, funny encyclopedia with entries written by notable contemporary writers, including Cornelia Read, Abiola Abrams, Katherine Tanney, Kaui Hart Hemmings, and Maria Dahvana Headley.
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Dirty Words Contributors is the author of Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex