Posts Tagged: family
60

Interview with Filmmaker Izzy Chan: "Have we adjusted our expectations of what a man needs to bring to the table?"

Documentary filmmaker Izzy Chan has spent the last year following eight families in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and Nashville to document what she calls the "Big Flip": the increasingly common switch from "traditional" family life to a setup in which the wife is the breadwinner and the husband stays at home. The recent gender shifts in education and the workforce have been well-documented for years now, but our wider social expectations haven't changed as quickly. Chan pointed me to these statistics:

  • Husbands whose wives make more money are 61% less happy (University of Virginia, 2010).
  • Wives who are primary breadwinners are also significantly less [...]
43

Is Great-Grandma R. Kelly?!

“Rest in peace, Gram. So happy you’re finally home. We love you!” read my Aunt Patty’s Facebook post. I was sitting in LaGuardia airport with my cousin, Shauna. I read it aloud to her.

We were confused. We had buried “Gram,” my great-grandmother, in 1987. I remember all the funerals I went to as a kid because Gram was on the Irish side of my family, and at Irish funerals I made approximately zero dollars simply for showing up. This was in direct contrast to funerals I attended for the Italian side of my family. At those, every relative I said hello to told me what a beautiful young woman [...]

34

Interview with a Person Whose Mom Came Out of the Closet

Rebecca is a 24-year-old web designer who lives in New York City.

So, let’s talk about your mom! What was her story growing up?

She was born in 1960 and she grew up in a Catholic family in New York, not super religious but culturally so. She told me that she thought maybe she was bisexual, and she also definitely wanted a family, and at that point the way to have a family was to get married to a man. So that’s what she did.

How did your parents get together?

She met my dad in college—he’s nine years older than she is—and they got married a few years after that. She was the one to propose, which is [...]

89

Life, Love, Lower Learning

The other day my 15-year-old daughter and I were discussing her top choices for colleges, and she breezily mentioned that she didn't want to make the mistake of ending up like her poor uneducated parents.

Wait, what?

This comment thrown out so casually shook me. And, mind you, spoken from our hilltop home with the vast ocean view. Rented, yes, but we do live here, thank you very much.

But let me start at the beginning. I wasn't university material. My teachers told me I'd do great if I just applied myself, but I didn't have the patience or drive to seriously consider college. The vague marketing and business majors [...]

8

Why Climb?: My Cardio Apostasy

I wake to the familiar smell of yak dung. It's day 20 of a month-long hike through the Nepalese Himalayas. Bhimsem, my guide, is slurping dahl bat in the teahouse kitchen. He's anxious to get going, even though we have 14 hours of daylight to trek three miles; the same three miles local children hike twice a day just to get to school. He fidgets with his backpack straps as I eat a chocolate pancake. Then, the speech.

Today we will see many mountains. We will go up. And we will go down. There will be many sights. You will take pictures. Yes? Bhimsem is frustrated when I take pictures [...]

46

Interview with a Woman Who Had Two Kids by Anonymous Sperm Donor

Maggie is a 44-year-old woman who lives in London.

Let’s start from the beginning—what was your life like growing up?

So, I was born in 1968 in London, the oldest of three sisters. Our dad left us when I was about six or seven, and our mom had a hard time of it. No one was getting divorced yet, so she was a bit alone in that—and she had elderly parents, plus us, plus she worked, plus it was the mid-seventies in England. Everything was just grim!

Grim like?

Like, on Saturday mornings we’d have to do the cleaning and there’d always be a row. My sisters [...]

25

My Long-Lost Cousin the Vampire: A Not-So-Philosophical Search for Ezra Koenig

“Richard McKeon (April 26, 1900 – March 31, 1985) was an American philosopher.”

What I know of my grandfather, born at the unimaginable turn of the 20th century and gone two years before I was born, was primarily from family lore. Almost everything else, I learned from his Wikipedia page

“He taught Aristotle throughout his career, insisted that his was a Greek Aristotle, not one seen through the eyes of later philosophers writing in Latin. McKeon's interests later shifted from the doctrines of individuals to the dialectic of systems.”

His ceremonious turkey-carving, during which all Thanksgiving guests would await their drumstick or breast in stiff tension as pieces [...]

10

"Beautiful Day, Happy to Have Been Here."

The New York Times today recaps a story that got shared quite a bit last week: Jane Lotter, who died after a long battle with endometrial cancer on July 18, elected to write her own obituary as she prepared to "[take] advantage of Washington state's compassionate Death with Dignity Act." The 60-year-old Seattle native wrote "in classic obituary style" for much of the piece, but there are also moments like this:

I met Bob Marts at the Central Tavern in Pioneer Square on November 22, 1975, which was the luckiest night of my life. We were married on April 7, 1984. Bobby M, I love you up to the sky. [...]

102

Welcome Home

You're back! Isn't it great? Isn't it great to be back in your old room? Or in the room next to your old room, because your old room is now your stepdad's office and the place where he's allowed to TiVo sports? Isn't it great?!

You made it out of Brooklyn without a stick-and-poke tattoo, which is something only a select few can say, so give yourself a little pat on the back. A little pat on the back where that stick-and-poke would have gone. You thought about it. About getting your best friend's initials, or an outline of Brooklyn, or an outline of that Brooklyn coffee [...]

51

Interview With a Person Who Thought She Was Reincarnated

Savannah is a 26-year-old woman who grew up believing that she was the reincarnation of her dead aunt Laura.

Hi Savannah! What are you doing right at this moment?

Hi! I'm lying in a hammock with my beagle.

What?? I am … very jealous. Let’s just get right into it. Do you remember ever not believing that you were your aunt Laura? Did anyone have to convince you, or did you always think it was true?

I always believed it. It was always, always a thing. It started when I was a newborn and my parents brought me to meet the family. When they handed me to my great-grandmother [...]