Ethnic Wisdom

I just read a scholarly essay that describes Gloria from Modern Family as “filled with commonsense ethnic wisdom.” According to the article, the show is successful because it “alleviates white resentment.” Still, it’s not all bad because the character of Gloria (a garishly dressed, loud and vulgar Colombian prostitute) represents “a nuanced and complex vision of wise and nurturing Latinidad.”

How did I come across this flying circus, you’ll ask? This was supposed to be a collection of critical essays on the ways the Recession of 2008 was portrayed in entertainment.

The Crossing

Today I drove Klara to school.

Then I drove to Walgreens to get a pink pool noodle.

Then I drove to a diner to get breakfast because I now can eat diner food.

Then I drove to the post office to mail a package.

Then I drove home because N wanted me to check if he’d left his wallet at home.

Then I drove to a gas station.

Then I drove to the mechanic to repair my car’s AC.

Then I drove to another post office that accepts passport applications.

Then I drove to the Global Foods store.

Then I drove back home.

Then I drove to pick Klara up.

Then I drove us to the swimming pool.

And then I drove us home.

And that’s when I realized I had crossed over to the dark side and became part of the car culture.

Parenting Strategies

Boys are also paid more allowance than girls for doing chores, according to a recent analysis of 10,000 families that use BusyKid, a chore app. Boys using the app earned twice what girls did for doing chores — an average of $13.80 a week, compared with girls’ $6.71.

I can’t decipher this passage no matter how hard I try. Parents pay money to their kids? Through an app? Six dollars? A week? How old are these kids that they can use an app but still need six bucks a week so badly? It’s less than a dollar a day. How do these conversations go?

“Mom, I need money.’

“Here, do the dishes and I’ll send you ninety cents through an app.”

“Oh, fuck you, you fussy old cow.”

Doesn’t the smartphone where the app is presumably located cost more than that?

On a more serious note, N asked me combatively if we were going to make Klara do chores and I gave him a murderous look and explained that in Ukrainian villages when a young girl tried to do something around the house, she was told to go brush her hair instead because once she got married her mother-in-law was going to make her do chores, and she should enjoy her life in the meantime, so that was the end of that discussion.