I should be very happy right night now. As a blogger for The Huffington Post my latest piece just went up. It was even in the “More Top Stories” section of Huff/Post 50. the section targeted to baby boomers and those celebrating that “Life begins at 50″
But the title was CENSORED!
The original title that I submitted was - “Family Vacation Memories – Cruising For Hookers With My Parents”
Instead it was published with the innocuous title shown below –
Pleasant, but hardly the type of title that will make people think that I was raised by perverted, sex crazed parents that were only moments away from a full on intervention by Child Protective Services along the lines of Mama June and Honey Boo Boo and then make people want to click on the story. I wasn’t, but that is beside the point – I like the idea of creating the illusion that my normal middle class suburban upbringing was fraught with danger, bad parenting and illicit activity. While my writing is not subversive I don’t want to become a vanilla mommy blogger at the age of 52.
I have a few theories regarding this change, none of which have I bothered to contact anyone at The Huffington Post about because then I would have an answer and wouldn’t be able to speculate on all my conspiracy theories.
The term “Hookers” is now politically incorrect – and not used by progressive media.
The editor of Huff/Post 50 was exercising restraint and good taste and didn’t want to offend their “older” demographic.
Arianna Huffington has a personal vendetta against me and is purposely PURPOSELY weakening the brand I am trying to create as the poor man’s David Sedaris or Joel Stein, an admittedly unlikely scenario I admit. It should be noted though that I haven’t decided yet which of the aforementioned writers I want to copy the most – David Sedaris is kind of deep sometimes and I am a pretty shallow person. Joel Stein is shallow but has a really good expense account from Time Magazine to do really cool stories, so there are negatives to both.
Oh well, The Huffington Post owns the sandbox and I am thrilled as an aging Baby Boomer Realtor in Atlanta with the dream of being a sophisticated writer, just to play in it.
I wonder how they will react if I decide I tried to publish an older post I did on this site called – Huggy Bear Wanted to Be My Pimp
In the last few days my social and news feeds have been flooded with various Halloween tips, ideas, and recollections of Halloweens past. The one that truly caught my eye was the one which went viral published by Slate in their Dear Prudence section. The post addressed kids from poorer neighborhoods trick –or-treating in wealthier areas and whether or not the questioner had to give them candy.
WOW! – I hope this was a manufactured question and doesn’t truly represent the point of view of a real person.
It also reminded me of one of the best Halloweens I can ever remember, not one in which I went trick-or-treating with my friends or had an awesome costume but one where my wife made Halloween special for one special less fortunate little girl.
While my wife and I are as I’ve written about previously, childless by choice, one of my wife’s favorite holidays has always been Halloween, having all the children come to our house trick or treating in their costumes. She has one very strict rule, you MUST say in a clearly audible voice “Trick or Treat”, standing mute in fear on our doorstep is not an option.
Currently we live in a section of a large master planned community where due to the home styles most of the residents are over 50 years old so if we receive three trick-or-treaters a year it is a large number. That was not always the case.
Back in the mid 1990’s we lived in a HEAVILY family-centric neighborhood where every home (except ours) contained 2.3 children and a mini-van. The neighborhood was not large but it was active. On Halloween there was an annual parade through the neighborhood led by a fire-truck from our local station, the kids walked behind festooned in their elaborate costumes.
One year we invited some friends with three little boys over to enjoy the festivities and the convenience of trick-or-treating in a more densely populated neighborhood with sidewalks and street lights versus the more isolated setting of homes in their neighborhood.
When we opened the door, there were their boys all dressed up and ready to go, but standing slightly behind them was a little girl probably about eight or nine, we had never met her before. Our friends introduced her and explained that they were friends of her mother who was a single parent living in less than desirable conditions and they were babysitting while her mother worked.
At first sight your heart went out to this little girl – her eyes were downcast, her “costume” an almost thread bare inexpensive dress with a torn ruffled trim at the hem. Her hair was lank and un-brushed but the saddest part were her oversized glasses with scratched lenses.
In one fell swoop my wife went in to action in one of the most maternalistic moments I have ever witnessed in over 30 years of marriage. There was no way my wife was going to let this young girl go out for Halloween improperly dressed. She headed in to her closets and pulled out scarves, beaded necklaces, bracelets, she swooped up her hair and pinned it in place with glittery barrettes and pins, and put the littlest bit of makeup on her face. She made do with what we had around the house and then pronounced to this little girl “if anyone asks, you’re a gypsy”. The little girl’s face beamed and she went running out of the house to joyously join the Halloween parade and trick-or-treating.
We still think of this little girl periodically and wonder if she remembers the lady that dressed her up as a “Gypsy” because we certainly remember her.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons