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Lifetakes: The Blessing of Boring Parents

Barbara Bensoussan

When I was a kid, I had just about the most booorrring parents on the planet.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016



They didn’t play cool top-40 music on the radio like Nancy’s chain-smoking mom; they weren’t jolly, “come-for-spaghetti” parents like Anita’s Italian mama and papa. They didn’t give loud, drunken pool parties like the Andersons in the house behind ours — the shouting and splashing sounds drifted into my open windows and kept me awake.


No, my parents liked classical music (how nerdy), and their outings were confined to the occasional restaurant meal with a few friends or family (lame!). I came home every day to my mother waiting with a mug of tea and the afternoon newspaper, the fridge stocked with provisions for the supper she’d put up an hour later with All Things Considered as background music. My father arrived home punctually at six and always took a nap after supper.

My parents didn’t even fight like some of the parents I knew. They might tease a little over some mutually acknowledged agree-to-disagreement, or let slip some mild frustration. But never any knock-down, drag-out fights. I never lay awake in terror, hearing my parents lambaste each other. I was left with no dramatic emotional scars. Of course, neither did I develop a thick skin or sturdy defenses against discord, which might have served me well later in life.

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