They're Coming for Your Children. Oh Wait. Never Mind.

For your reading pleasure, this correction in Working Mother magazine:

CORRECTION: In our June/July 2009 article "10 Ways to Save Your Child’s Life," we incorrectly stated that about 115 children reported missing each day are the victims of "stereotypical" kidnappings. The correct statistic is about 115 each year. We regret the error.

(And no, I don't read Working Mother. The correction is via Regret the Error.)

To give credit where credit is due, the hardworking intern at Working Mother who assembled this feature did put automobile accidents in the first slot on their list of dangers to kids, and kidnapping last. But the rest of the list has been filled out with stuff like fireworks ("Solution: The AAP is unequivocal in its recommendation: People of any age simply should not use private fireworks, and their use should be banned. If you want to celebrate with a 'bang,' attend a professional fireworks display") and biking ("Each year more than 800 people die in bicycle-related accidents." Though a quick google suggests that only about 200 of those are kids. It's not like the relevant figure for kids was hard to find, so why go for the scarier stat?).

I'm sure the folks at Working Mother have only the best intentions. But scaring the crap out of a bunch of moms who are already trying to "have it all" (or so I assume from the title of the mag), isn't a kindness and it can lead to a series of small damaging acts, as parents try to insulate their kids from every bump, bruise, minor burn, and personal failure. 

For a great, thorough treatment of this issue, check out a new book (and blog) by Lenore Skenazy, Free-Range Kids. (I have a mini-review of the book in the upcoming print edition of Reason.) The book contains excellent slicing and dicing of the statistics on risks to kids. One of Skezany's goals is to tweak motherly brains back from catastrophe—the thought of which leads to clamoring for more rules, more guidelines, more laws, and more limits on kids and parents—to ordinary life. Like this post, where she urges parents to share stories of all of the times they briefly feared their kid had been kidnapped, and then the kid turned up and everything turned out OK, as it does "99.999 percent of the time." 

The whole thing started with this article, "Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    The picture on the link of the kid riding the tricycle off of the diving board is hysterical.

  • Sparky||

    I'm confused. Does the bum need money for four-dollar karate lessons,
    or is he employing a kind of bum shorthand?

  • ||

    It's not bum shorthand, Sparky. He's just texting with a Sharpie.

    "OMG 911 Need $ BRB"

  • ||

    I wouldn't be to eager to gloat over glaring factual errors made by others, Mangu-Ward. Something about glass houses and thrown rocks...

  • ||

    Bum humor- it's a precious commodity.

    ----

    as parents try to insulate their kids from every bump, bruise, minor burn, and personal failure.

    The term "learned helplessness" just sprang into my head.

  • ||

    she urges parents to share stories of all of the times they briefly feared their kid had been kidnapped, and then the kid turned up and everything turned out OK, as it does "99.999 percent of the time."

    Remember, folks, there is a sexual predator under every rock and behind every blade of grass.

    How pathetic and horrible must it be to live in perpetual fear about your children that has no rational basis and is most likely very bad for their personal development? In essence, the hysterical parents become the ones harming the child. Irony, thy name is "bike helmet".

  • ||

    The stories in the free range kid blog will make you weap. They are

    1. a couple that was arrested for leaving their 9 and 5 year old kids in the car while they went grocery shopping. (they had previously had a run in with CPS because a neighbor saw their kids playing unsupervised a block away from their house)

    2. A new law in Maine making it illegal for children to witness a wine or beer tasting

    3. A grandma in Connecticut who sucessfully insisted that the city cut down every nut tree within a mile of her house because one of her houseape grand children had a nut allergy and she was building a pool and one of the nuts might get into the pool while he was in there and cause an alergic reaction

    4. A man who was arrested for doing a Donald Duck imitation with his voice that upset a child.

    There really is no hope for this country.

  • D-FENS||

    I'd gladly give that guy a couple of bucks for entertainment value.

  • Kevin||

    I've said this before on H&R. As people are mortal, they tend to die. Even kids sometimes. Therefore SOMETHING has to be the leading cause of death. Would people sleep better knowing more kids died of cancer than bike accidents? Unless you look at the actual NUMBER of fatalities, the percentage based on cause is useless.

  • ||

    Kevin,

    You have to remember that we now have two generations of parents and kids who were raised by the "life is fair" "everyone is a winner" mantra. The idea that bad things happen and there is nothing you can do about it, is totally foreign. We have generations of people who never grew up.

  • ||

    Got that parents? No bikes, fireworks, or playing outside where there might be kidnappers.

    I have a sister-in-law who takes this kind of list seriously. Her daughter truly lives the most boring life on earth. Lots of TV time though!

  • ||

    I wish my parents were not such insane worry warts, stifling us every day and filling our heads with fears. We might have grown up with a healthy ability to asses and take risks, instead of being afraid of everything. Their overprotection is more harmful than they realize.

  • ||

    How pathetic and horrible must it be to live in perpetual fear about your children that has no rational basis and is most likely very bad for their personal development?

    You get used to it.

  • T||

    If I had the money, I would go door to door in my subdivision handing out copies of that book. The stay-at-homes neurotic worrier mommies in my neighborhood are on the verge of making me take heroin to calm down.

  • creech||

    God forbid we still have private backyard pools in this country. Why kids even drown in lifeguarded public pools, for cripes sake.
    Why do legislators hate children? Shut it all down NOW. [Why not just ban pregnancy altogether. Problem with injured kids solves itself in less than two decades.]

  • ||

    Epi--The latest with the missus is her spiraling fear of sunburn, with the kids at camp all summer.

    They got a couple of medium burns at camp, nothing more than overnight discomfort, and she went apeshit. I'm trying to reinforce the idea that they need to fail to learn. I'll show you, teach you and help you, but if you screw up anyway, hopefully the lesson is painful enough for you not to repeat the mistake. I put sunblock in that category.

    She read *somewhere* that bad burns as a child are a good indicator of skin cancer later in life. Therefore, they cannot be allowed to fail with applying sunscreen. They MUST be attended to at all times. That makes life all kinds of fun.

    I'll cop to my fair share of irrational fear (but I'm getting better), but I'm a piker compared to *any* mother.

  • ||

    I don't know what year "Shit Happens" died but I bet it was killed by a mom speaking into the ear of a politician.

  • ||

    why go for the scarier stat?).

    I think this answers itself.

  • ||

    A bad sunburn in childhood is linked to like a two-fold risk in skin cancer.

    While true, you can't protect them from death, so its a wash. And kids are likely to play outside at some point and get burned.

    Look, I'm a friggin adult, hate being burned have somewhat of a family histoyr of cancer, have moles, and know better and I still sometimes get more sun than I know I should.

  • LeeJoe Cruz||

    That bum is my hero. I would gladly give him 4 dollars for originality.

  • ||

    Therefore, they cannot be allowed to fail with applying sunscreen. They MUST be attended to at all times. That makes life all kinds of fun.

    I'd divorce her. I swear, I could not deal with that level of bullshit.

  • ||

    While true, you can't protect them from death, so its a wash. And kids are likely to play outside at some point and get burned.

    It's a wonder how we survived our childhood at all.

  • Maine||

    A new law in Maine making it illegal for children to witness a wine tasting

    That should have been wife tasting.

    We regret the error.

  • ||

    I'd divorce her. I swear, I could not deal with that level of bullshit.

    Yeah, not that easy nor simple. But, it's funny how many of woman friends tell me that I should get a mistress, not that they're volunteering.

    This is why God invented Gin, Bourbon and really good Tequila.

  • T||

    I'll cop to my fair share of irrational fear (but I'm getting better), but I'm a piker compared to *any* mother.

    Huh. My dad was always the big worrywart in the house. Of course, my mom is an RN who's worked in ERs for as long as I can remember. If I wasn't bleeding out or had a broken bone, she had the "walk it off" attitude.

  • ||

    It's interesting that the hugely popular Dr. Spock child care book was such a break with previous equivalents because it did not have the attitude of "if you don't do it this way, your kid will die."

    I think this shift is due to a number of things. People have fewer kids, and they die less often, so each one is more precious. Urban/suburban vs. suburban/rural upbringings. And probably others.

  • Craig||

    When I was a kid, I showed my mom all of the statistics on how most injuries in the home occurred in the shower, but she still made me take a bath.

  • Warty||

    JW, the only solution is to kill your wife. Just smear her with ground beef and invite Steve Smith over, and the problem will take care of itself.

  • ||

    I missed the Steve Smith meta-joke. Who is this character?

  • JB||

    "Half the people I've told this episode to now want to turn me in for child abuse."

    Those fetuses should be aborted.

  • ||

    I am sadly seeing the future in the way my wife acts with our dog. The thing has a dry nose and she is ready to take it to the doctor. I can't imagine what she is going to be like with a kid. The upside is that when women over obsess about their kids, it keeps them off of your back.

  • Test||

    tEST

  • ||

    It's interesting that the hugely popular Dr. Spock child care book was such a break with previous equivalents because it did not have the attitude of "if you don't do it this way, your kid will die."

    I think this shift is due to a number of things. People have fewer kids, and they die less often, so each one is more precious. Urban/suburban vs. suburban/rural upbringings. And probably others.


    I really blame cable news for having such a distortive effect on our perceptions in their efforts to fill 24 hours of news every day.

    ZOMG! A CHILD IS OVERDUE AT THE BUS STOP AND HASN'T BEEN SEEN ALL WEEKEND! LAUNCH THE CHOPPER! LAUNCH THE CHOPPER! GROUND TEAMS 1 & 2, GO! GO!!! YOUR CHILD COULD BE NEXT!!11!!!!

  • Warty||

    Steve Smith is a shaved ape who occasionally posts liberal drivel here, JW. And he's a rapist to boot. Beware.

  • ||

    The upside is that when women over obsess about their kids, it keeps them off of your back.

    You silly, silly man. You have no idea what you are in for.

    Last night, I wasn't "involved" enough with the kids, as I watched tee-vee, while they were working on math assignments and bathing before bedtime. Keep in mind these are 9 and 10 year old kids.

    So, I came upstairs and was involved by sitting on the couch for 25 minutes and needing to do absolutely nothing, while the kids got themselves to bed. Problem solved.

  • ||

    JW,

    I blame Nancy Grace and Foxnews, which is not conservative but tabloid. The 24 seven coverage of every kid in a nation of 300 million that shows up missing is rediculous.

  • ||

    I sent my wife this article, and here is a small taste of her response.

    You have a responsibility to keep your child in a safe environment and most people that would allow their child in a situation like that are lazy and/or selfish. It's one thing to let him do it without helping him so he knows he could do it if they ever got separated. Sure, by doing it when he knew he wasn't lost it made it easier for him, but I still think she's an idiot. I'm guessing it was a very safe route that didn't go through areas known for gangs or muggings or anything like that, but what if he had gotten on the wrong bus and ended up in an area like that? I don't think I'll be taking parenting advice from someone who might have just done it for the story.

    The stupid bitch read the article, including the part about responsibility, and still concluded that the only reason a person would do it would be "for the story".

    JW, you have my deepest sympathy. I despise my wife, but I could never leave my children to her. She would make them just as fucked up as she it. Just another decade or so to go....

  • ||

    I missed the Steve Smith meta-joke. Who is this character?

    STEVE SMITH NOT JOKE! SMASH!

  • ||

    "Last night, I wasn't "involved" enough with the kids, as I watched tee-vee, while they were working on math assignments and bathing before bedtime. Keep in mind these are 9 and 10 year old kids."

    that kind of stuff kills me. When I was nine, the last thing I wanted was either of my parents in the middle of what I was doing. And I was and am very close to both of my parents. No offense to your wife, but wasn't she ever a kid? Doesn't she remember wanting to get away from her parents and be independent? Or does she just want to torture them?

  • Naga Sadow||

    Warty,

    Did you just put down other rapists? No one on these boards can forget why you did to Dagny!

  • Warty||

    Marshall, have you considered putting a shock collar on your wife?

    "Oh my God, Marshall, how could you let the kids go outside without shoes?" ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP

  • Citizen Nothing||

    One of the top paid apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch is the (sex) Offender Locator.

    (I'm assuming folks aren't using this app as a dating service.)

  • ||

    Marshall--Your wife, brunette, 5'6"-ish? I think we're married to the same woman somehow.

    Just another decade or so to go....

    Yep. That's my plan too. When the kids are 18, I buy the sports car and the girlfriend who is way too young for me.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I think we're married to the same woman somehow.
    Bigamy. Hmmm. I think you guys just found your out.

  • Warty||

    Dagny loved every minute of it, Naga. My comparatively puny brow ridge failed to repel her the way Steve Smith's does.

  • T||

    True neighborhood anecdote. We have a construction road that passes behind one section of the subdivision. One of the mommies was afraid a truck was going to lose control, make a 90 degree turn, crash through the concrete wall surrounding the subdivision, continue on into her back yard and run over her kid.

    WTF can you say to people like that?

  • ||

    I despise my wife, but I could never leave my children to her. She would make them just as fucked up as she it. Just another decade or so to go....

    You could always load some of those "baby's first bath" photos on her laptop and send her on a Mexican vacation, to reward her for being so good.

  • ||

    Marshall, have you considered putting a shock collar on your wife?

    "Oh my God, Marshall, how could you let the kids go outside without shoes?" ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP


    I just had a moment of complete and guilt-free joy in a little daydream.

  • John||

    "If a homeless person/has a funny sign/he hasn't been homeless that long
    A real homeless person/is too hungry/to be funny" - Chris Rock

  • Meta4||

    Test

  • Kimberly||

    I'm a mom of an 11 month old and an avid reader of both this site and Free Range Kids. I don't post much, but I read a lot.

    I'm already the strange one in my world - I find it odd that the church requires a "course to prevent sexual abuse" before you can volunteer in the nursery (I DO want to know what that teaches...the way I see it, either someone is going to abuse kids, in which case they already know not to, or they AREN'T going to abuse kids, in which case the class is pointless). It scares me when I talk to my neighbors who have a 6 and 10 year old and won't let them walk down the street more than 4 houses (in our tiny neighborhood - they said you don't know who's driving by looking for a child to take).

    Y'all should all go to the website www.thebump.com and spend a few minutes reading the forums. Everything from "I don't even leave the baby in the car in my driveway if I forgot my purse! He comes in with me" to "where can I buy kneepads for my crawler" to "someone smiled at my baby today, do you think they wanted to kidnap him". It's terrifying. But, like the posters on today's Free Range article, I'm terrified of someone calling CPS if I leave the sleeping baby locked in the car for 30 seconds to pay for gas, not of all of the AWFUL THINGS WE MUST SAVE THE CHILDREN FROM!

  • Naga Sadow||

    That picture reminds me of the bum on Venice Beach with the sign: "Will work for weed". I tried to take a picture of him but he just cleared his throat and pointed to some small type on the bottom of the sign: Any media coverage of this person will result in a $20 dollar charge(I'm paraphrasing this part). I just walked away.

  • ||

    I think we could all use a few $4 karate lessons.

  • ||

    "either someone is going to abuse kids, in which case they already know not to how"

  • ||

    If these kids are protected from any little bump or bruise, how will anybody be able to say, "Well, that's what you *get* for being stupid."?

    I heard that a lot, when I was a kid; usually in conjunction with a luridly bloody head wound.

  • ||

    Marshall, have you considered putting a shock collar on your wife?

    "Oh my God, Marshall, how could you let the kids go outside without shoes?" ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP

    I just had a moment of complete and guilt-free joy in a little daydream.


    When my son was about 6 he asked me from where babies came. I explained it to him in some detail. My wife shit a brick when I told her. She was also massively pissed off when I told the children that Santa wasn't real. She claimed I had "ruined their childhood". No, I informed her, because I am not going to lie to them for cutesies, they will actually have a better LIFE because they know that they can trust me to tell them the truth.

    JW, we simply can't be married to the same woman. Mine has maxed out on humanly possible bitchiness, there just couldn't be more.

  • Tomcat1066||

    My wife is one of those ultra-protective parents who freaks on the tiniest cuts and scrapes. Unfortunately, because I was a Corpsman in the Navy and therefore is the family medical expert, I'm the poor schlub who has to diagnose every stomach ache.

    Of course, the day I told her that his stomach hurt because she cooked dinner....well, let's just say I needed to buy a more comfortable couch after that one.

  • Tomcat1066||

    She claimed I had "ruined their childhood".

    Did you tell her that freaking out over imaginary situations will ruin their childhood more than something like the truth?

  • ||

    Apparently, from this thread, a libertarian is just somebody who hates their wife and has sadistic fantasies of ending their marriage... the quick way.

    I'm absolutely disgusted with you guys, but at least I'm in like company.

  • Warty||

    Marshall and JW, it may not be too late to put your wives in their place. Consult the Koran for advice.

  • ||

    "If these kids are protected from any little bump or bruise, how will anybody be able to say, "Well, that's what you *get* for being stupid."?"

    When I was the low associate at a law firm I got stuck taking a deposition in this personal injury case. The case was against a grocery store. An ill behaved 9 year old had been playing with a pallet mover and managed to break his leg. The plaintiff's attorney was the bitchy milf looking attorney. The type that brags about being a mother and a lawyer and that her practice was protecting the children and so forth. During a settlement conference she is going on and on about how the kid grabbed the thing and ran it into a shelf and caught his leg breaking it to which I responded without skipping a beat "I bet he doesn't do that again."

    She went literally apeshit insane. I consider it one of my proudest moments in the practice of law.

  • ||

    Apparently, from this thread, a libertarian is just somebody who hates their wife and has sadistic fantasies of ending their marriage... the quick way.

    No just 2 of us, suffering sort of quietly. Warty is the one with the idea of the "quick way."

    He's not married, as far we know, just a lab experiment that's gone horribly, horribly wrong.

    Still, we value his advice and counsel.

  • Warty||

    The type that brags about being a mother and a lawyer and that her practice was protecting the children and so forth.

    Single female lawyer
    Havin' lots of sex

  • Warty||

    I'm telling you, JW, you just need to have a horrible ape-man creature devour her, torture her with electric shocks, or beat her with a rod no thicker than your thumb. If you didn't want to be in this predicament, you would take steps to solve it.

  • ||

    Good work, John, good work.

    When my brother's kids visit, we just remind them to keep an eye out for rattlesnakes, and send them out to play with the pit bulls.

    Really.

  • ||

    RC,

    Good for you. It will make men out of them.

  • ||

    I was kidding, by the way. And I'm mostly OK with my wife. We've got a 10 month old boy that's absolutely adorable. My wife bugged me a couple of times because I'd pick my nose, roll it, and drop it on the carpet. Eventually I got her to admit that it's no big deal unless I'm basically squatting on the carpet. Crap is gonna get on the floor, and as long as it doesn't choke him, he'll be fine.

    In general, though, she still has an extremely hard time remembering what we've agreed that she needs to do daily and when. She doesn't organize; she doesn't clean; what she DOES do takes her months to get to, even though they take less than an hour. She goes to Target weekly, but only takes things out of the bags a month or two later (literally). Beside that, she gets pissed off when I want to go play tennis with my dad, brother, or brother-in-law, which happens once every month or two. She doesn't know what she wants out of life, in the next year, or in the next 5 minutes.

    But one thing she is is a great mother. And since her mother smothered her and prevented her from doing things she liked, she is at least sympathetic to a more hands-off approach, even if she still has quite a few superstitions to shake.

  • ||

    My wife bugged me a couple of times because I'd pick my nose, roll it, and drop it on the carpet.

    By this I meant last night...

    Eventually I got her to admit that it's no big deal unless I'm basically squatting on the carpet.

    By this I meant taking a shit...

  • ||

    JW, we simply can't be married to the same woman. Mine has maxed out on humanly possible bitchiness, there just couldn't be more.

    Just like pie and cake, there's always room for more.

    It's been tested and validated; bitchiness can expand and grow infinitely. However, unlike the Big Bang theory, where all of the stars in the universe seem ot be rushing away from us, redshifting, the Big Bitch theory has all of the wives rushing toward us at frightening velocities, nagshifting.

    The Big Bitch is also immune to the Doppler effect. No noticeable change in frequency is demonstrated whether the object is approaching or departing. It's just the same, penetrating shrill sound coming or going.

    Fortunately, certain events, such as football games, nights out with buddies and the occasional good schtuping have been shown to temporarily negate the localized effects of the Big Bitch.

  • ||

    "I bet he doesn't do that again."

    Not after pallet movers have been banned from the grocery stores of this fair land.

  • ||


    In general, though, she still has an extremely hard time remembering what we've agreed that she needs to do daily and when. She doesn't organize; she doesn't clean; what she DOES do takes her months to get to, even though they take less than an hour. She goes to Target weekly, but only takes things out of the bags a month or two later (literally). Beside that, she gets pissed off when I want to go play tennis with my dad, brother, or brother-in-law, which happens once every month or two. She doesn't know what she wants out of life, in the next year, or in the next 5 minutes.


    You have tried horse-whipping I presume?

  • ||

    Warty--How much do you charge for your services? I'm intrigued by your product catalog.

  • Kimberly||

    Danny, based on your name, your sons age and supposed cuteness, and the middle paragraph of your 1:50 post...I think you're married to me.

    :-)

    Although I have never had QUITE the conversation with my Daniel about, um, nosepickings, that you seem to have had. And I'm less concerned with the baby and dirt and "not quite chokables" than he is...

  • ||

    You have tried horse-whipping I presume?

    She has scars on her left and right hips in the shapes of my fingers. I think she got the message (in the morning after it stopped feeling good and started feeling bad).

  • ||

    The case was against a grocery store. An ill behaved 9 year old had been playing with a pallet mover and managed to break his leg.

    I can assure you that yes, my son would do this and I can also assure you that unless a store clerk was the one handling the pallet mover and injuring him, there would not be any lawsuit.

    Instead, I would be telling my son over and over how stupid that was an how I hoped he learned his lesson to LEAVE SHIT ALONE.

    I hope those parents are viciously shunned in their community.

  • ||

    Kimberly | August 28, 2009, 1:55pm | #
    Danny, based on your name, your sons age and supposed cuteness, and the middle paragraph of your 1:50 post...I think you're married to me.



    I'd be willing to give it a test run. How far are you from Phoenix, AZ? I can plan a "business trip". *wink* *wink*

  • Sean Healy||

    When my son was about 6 he asked me from where babies came. I explained it to him in some detail. My wife shit a brick when I told her. She was also massively pissed off when I told the children that Santa wasn't real. She claimed I had "ruined their childhood".

    How familiar. The only reason some kids stay attached to Santa is because they're afraid of disappointing their crazy mothers. Some weird displacement going on there. I bet she doesn't put out, right?

  • anarch Holmes||

    "TOM!"

    No answer.

    "TOM!"

    No answer.

    "What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You TOM!"

    No answer.

    The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the
    room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or
    never looked THROUGH them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her
    state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for "style," not
    service--she could have seen through a pair of stove-lids just as well.
    She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely, but
    still loud enough for the furniture to hear:

    "Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll--"



    Found one.

    114 to go, my dear Watson.

  • Joe M||

    My wife spends a lot of time on thenest.com, which is a webpage for newlyweds. It's part two in the trilogy, part one being theknot.com, for engaged women, and part three being thebump.com, for pregnant women or ones with young children. She says everyone on the bump is extremely rude and obnoxious, and hence, she's stayed on thenest even though we're expecting our first child next year. I'm going to get her into this free range stuff though, sounds pretty good. She's pretty reasonable, but I do think she read too many scare stories in the news.

  • ||

    http://dontevenreply.com/view.php?post=57


    "Special" Wife
    Posted at: 2009-07-24 00:36:34
    Original ad:
    I need the help of a drywall expert to repair a large hole in our hallway wall. The hole is about three feet wide. You will need to bring all materials needed, but I will cover the cost. I can send pictures of the hole if requested.

    Please respond with availability and a reasonable rate.
    From Me to *************@*********.org

    Hey,

    I saw your ad and will be able to help you out. The best thing to do for dry wall holes is to tape over the entire hole with strips of duct tape, and then paint over the duct tape. If you have wallpaper, I could just put wallpaper over the hole. That would be even easier. After the repair, nobody should lean up on the wall or it will probably tear again. I suggest hanging a picture over the hole. I have some old framed pictures of Bon Jovi that I could bring and install over the hole.

    I am available all week, and my rate is $25/hr. When can I stop by?

    -Dan

    From Brittany ********* to Me

    Hi Dan! Thanks for the quick response. Sounds good! I will forward this e-mail to my husband and he'll get back to you ASAP.
    Thanks!
    Brit

    From Bryan ********* to Me
    Dan,

    My wife sent me your email, but I don't think she actually read/understood what you wrote. If you are serious, then we don't need your help. I hope that isn't how you actually repair things. Regardless, I will tell my wife to actually read the emails before sending them to me.

    Regards,

    Bryan

    From Me to Bryan **********

    Good afternoon Brian,

    Your wife doesn't sound too smart. I was going to recommend Hooked on Phonics, but she seems to be capable of writing. I think she just does not have the ability to comprehend what she is reading. I have a cousin who is "slow", and there is this really good remedial school in Philly that he went to. They offer some classes that help with reading comprehension. If you want, I can look up the school and send the information to your wife.

    - Dan

    From Bryan ********* to Me

    Heh heh, that might be just what she needs...

    From Me to Bryan **********
    CC: Brittany *********

    Great! I'm forwarding our conversation to your wife, along with the school information.

    The name of the school is "Smithbridge School for Special People," and you can call them at (***)-***-2195.

    From Bryan ********* to Me

    Oh boy...please don't...

    From Brittany ********* to Me

    What a jerk you are. Excuse me for being busy and quickly browsing through your letter. Go to hell!

    From Me to Brittany *********

    Brit, you should really consider this school. It might not seem like it, but they actually can help you. It did wonders for my cousin. He used to just stay at home with his aunt all day, but now he has a great job at McDonalds. Please, just give them a call.

    -Dan

  • ||

    Brilliant, dbcooper! Except my wife probably wouldn't even know how or where to make the initial request.

    *Sadness*

  • T||

    So, quick question for the unhappily married to validate my theory. How old were y'all when you got married?

    I'm convinced waiting to get married until I was 30 has probably helped my marriage a great deal.

  • Joe M||

    Agreed, T. I was 31 and my wife 27 when we got married. We've known each other for about nine years. Still very happy together.

  • ||

    22 - dated for a little over 2 years prior -- she was 3 months pregnant -- insurance still covered her medical costs because they don't treat pregnancies as pre-existing conditions

    Honestly, I keep giving her choices of many different roads to take to keep me happy. Either more frequent sex (3x a week is fine for me) or more work around the house (1 hour a day is WAYYYY too much, apparently, including cleaning up after yourself).

  • ||

    Luckily my wife and I understand each other. I am completely honest with her. She knows me better than anybody else. The problem is her laziness to act on that knowledge, and her inability to use logic. I hope these things get better as she gets older (she just turned 21).

  • some guy||

    When my daughter was about 5 years old I took her to the car wash with me and let her run around while I washed and vacuumed the car. When I mentioned this to my wife later that day she gave me a lecture about how our daughter could have got kidnapped. I thought she was a little nuts for thinking that way. She has mellowed some since then and she now let's our 9 year old son ride his bicycle to school with no helmet.

  • Paul||

    You have to understand the audience that Working Mother attracts. Again, the medical profession refers to them as "High functioning/high needs" people.

  • ||

    So, quick question for the unhappily married to validate my theory. How old were y'all when you got married?

    I'm convinced waiting to get married until I was 30 has probably helped my marriage a great deal.


    Nope, I invalidate your theory. I chose poorly even in my 30's.

  • ||

    So, quick question for the unhappily married to validate my theory. How old were y'all when you got married?

    I'm convinced waiting to get married until I was 30 has probably helped my marriage a great deal.


    Sorry, I was 31, and don't get me wrong, my marriage is my responsibility. I blame no one but myself.

  • ||

    Essentially married at 22, officially married at 26. twenty one years amd still hamging on, by threads. Her drinking helps a lot as does her free range attitude towards the kids.

  • JB||

    We need a marriage thread.

    Is there any reason to get married aside from having kids?

  • ||

    There's no reason to get married except for the insurance and tax benefits, but those would go away with the proper government.

  • Tomcat1066||

    "Is there any reason to get married aside from having kids?"

    Masochism's one reason.

    Punishment from God is another.

  • Nipplemancer||

    jesus christ you guys suck. here i am enjoying my first year of wedded bliss and now i'm scared shitless that my wife is going to turn into Steve Smith

  • Mike Laursen||

    To hell with Working Mother. I'm starting Fun Dad magazine.

  • ||

    RC,

    Good for you. It will make men out of them.


    God, I hope not. They're girls.

    How old were y'all when you got married?

    The first time, or the second time?

  • ||

    I'm with T and Joe M on this one; I married my lovely and talented spouse when we were both 27, and we're coming up on our ten-year anniversary this winter. My level of happiness with my marriage is, if anything, increasing (and it started out pretty damned good).

    I don't know why she married me; she's a better person than I am and she's way out of my league. Nevertheless, she married me, and I'm quite pleased about that.

    Do I know the Secret Keys to Happy Marriages? No, not really. I know several things one should do and several things one shouldn't do, but I suspect that mileage may, as always, vary.

  • ||

    I don't know why she married me; she's a better person than I am and she's way out of my league.

    This, IMO, has a lot to do with your happiness. It's likely that she feels the same way about you. Feeling blessed to have the spouse you have makes a huge difference.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Inspired by Sugarfree in today's Morning Links thread, I have started a blog devoted to helping the literally dozens of libertarians out there to find the authoritative, freedom-inspired answers to life's questions.

    In response to the questions raised in this thread about the foundations to a happy marriage, I give you The Typical Libertarian.

  • ||

    In response to the questions raised in this thread about the foundations to a happy marriage, I give you The Typical Libertarian.

    Hat tip, beotch!

    And those of you with happy marriages, I envy you, I would love nothing more than a happy and rewarding relationship, but you got lucky. You just happened onto the 1% of women who just aren't absa-fucking-lutley insane.

  • Mike Laursen||

    When my wife and I had our first child, she didn't have much experience with kids and was very anxious about being a good mom, so we bought all the books and attended umpteen classes. About five months in, our son isn't sleeping, and she's going nuts from sleep deprivation. So, we hire this old Jewish grandmother that everyone has been raving about as a sleep consultant.

    She shows up at our house and starts asking questions. Consultant: "Do you put him to sleep on his tummy." My wife: "Yes, all the books say we have to do that or he'll die." Consultant: "Stop doing that." It went on like that; she ended up telling us to do the exact opposite of everything we had been doing. And he now sleeps 11 hours a night.

    I'm lucky that happened early on. It made my wife skeptical about "experts". She's even become a fan of the "Dangerous Book for Boys".

  • Mike Laursen||

    She says everyone on the bump is extremely rude and obnoxious, and hence, she's stayed on thenest even though we're expecting our first child next year.

    The woman on thebump are no doubt getting a lot less sleep.

  • ||

    The woman on thebump are no doubt getting a lot less sleep.

    That, and just becoming a parent. It makes you stupid in ways you could never imagine.

  • Gary Chartier||

    I was enthusiastically reading her self-description when I noted the observation implying that she was worried about "cell-phone porn" (and, I suppose, "sexting"). I gagged and turned away.

  • Acai||

    Well he might be homeless, but at least he has a sense of humor still! Way to go bro.

  • Acai berry||

    That is probably the most unique sign I've seen...I certainly got my laugh for today.

  • eFusjon||

    I remember one of the ones I saw recently said, "Need $1 to pay for this piece of cardboard I stole."....lol

  • Amega||

    This is up there with the best signs I've seen for sure.

  • Notranja Vrata||

    Great article. So on! :-)

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