Category Archives: Dysfunction Discussions

Thursday, 10/27/2011



Thursday, 10/6/2011

Empathy is not a Ladder

Erica  recounts (under duress) a spat she’d had with one of her friends today, and the topic of people not being nice but having a good heart makes its way into conversation.

“She’s nice though,” says Mom.

“Ah, I bet she’s like so-and-so with the fighting,” says Maddie, referring to one of her not-friends.

“She… she’s got a good heart though,” says Mom, referring to Erica’s friend.

“I think so-and-so has a good heart too,” says Maddie. “She’s just not a nice girl.”

“You can’t have a good heart and not be nice,” I say to Maddie.

“Yes you can.”


“You’re not nice.”

“I’m very nice. Very empathetic.”


Mom laughs. “You are?”

“That doesn’t mean you’re nice,” says Maddie.

“I hate when you do that stupid laugh,” says Erica to Mom.

“You’re not generally nice to people.”


“Wouldn’t you say? You have kind of a standoffish attitude.”

I grunt, ignore her, and thereby make her point for her. Continue reading

Monday, 9/19/2011 (Part III)

What are Funyuns?

“Why don’t you eat those,” I ask Maddie, referring to the pile of onions she had left on her plate.

“I think it’s mostly a force of habit now.”

“Eat them,” I urge. “They don’t taste like anything.”

“I know.”

“They just taste like onion, cooked onion.”

“What are funyuns?” asks Erica.

“Funyuns are gross,” says Maddie.

“Have you ever had them Dad?” asks Erica. Continue reading

Monday, 9/19/2011 (Part II)

Do They Serve Sausage in Prison?

So, I am working on a creative project that involves a webcam mounted to the ceiling above the dining room table. Don’t ask. Perhaps I’ll post it here when it’s done.

Anyway, Daniel points out to Erica that the behavior she is exhibiting makes her look like an idiot, and it is all being recorded.

“What?” she says.

“The camera,” Maddie points to the ceiling above her head.

Erica looks at me like I’m weird, which I am, with a question mark hovering above her head.

“I took it out of the bathroom,” I tease her. Daniel calls my bluff.

“Yeah, you ordered that.”

“No,” I laugh. “I took it out of the bathroom.” Continue reading

Monday, 9/19/2011 (Part I)

I’m going to start today off with a rant. If complaining, foul language (implied), and a politically incorrect attitude bother you, move along. This is not the post for you. I’m tired, cranky, and just generally POed after last night. Fair warning. It’s all my fault though. I should have sensed trouble with Erica and spent some time discussing what was bothering her, but I didn’t. I dismissed it, her feelings about what she saw, what she heard, and it all started at dinner… Continue reading

Thursday, 9/15/2011

Scared off, Cut off

Dinner was pretty much a non-event today. Maddie and Erica were at Erica’s swim meet and my sister-in-law, Karen’s baby sister—whom I’ll refer to as “Sis”—and her six-year-old son—who just started Kindergarten and whom I’ll refer to as “Son”—stayed for dinner.

So, as I said, dinner conversation was uneventful until about halfway through when Daniel mentions that they had a fire drill today at school. Somehow, the topic turns from fire drills to bomb drills and the two sisters begin to reminisce. Then Son asks,

“What’s a bomb scare.”

“It’s just when… It’s like a fire drill, but a little different,” says Sis.

“Wait, why can’t you hide in the closet?”

“Because, you can’t. You’d blow up with the bomb.” Continue reading

Tuesday, 9/13/2011 (Part I)

Bad Milk, Bad Tone, Bad Games & Bad Mistakes

Spoilt Milk

Daniel reaches for the water pitcher.

“You can have milk,” I tell him.

“But it… it’s hot.”

“Yeah. It’s really warm,” says Linn, nodding.

“You guys leave it out. You can drink it.”

“Ahhh! No fair!” Daniel turns to glare at Erica.

“Yeah, it’s always Erica,” says Erica

“You guys always leave it out,” says Daniel.

“Did I?”


“I don’t know if you noticed, but life is never fair,” says Maddie. Continue reading