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May 01, 2003
Zip that fly, son...

My found this site on Google. I had told him about it, I had sent him links, I had tried to explain. He still found it on Google. My parents do not speak English, I am the only child, they live in Germany, I picked New York as my home. They call on weekends. I hoped that we could email each other perhaps. I got them an iMac, years ago. There were some issues with the computer. I had just assumed too much. It is not as easy as it seems to just grab a mouse and go. So it took time.
My found this site on Google, last weekend. He explored it, he printed out some of the drawings, my parents looked at them very critically, they finally decided to call. My mother was on the phone and she had this motherly undertone of urgency in her voice. Something was terribly wrong with the drawing in which there are letters behind me and where there is a girl, whom she knows, with a propeller coming out of her head. In this particular drawing, I forgot to zip my fly.
I laughed out loud. Yes, not only did I forget to zip the fly, the pants have no pockets, and they are thus pants for girls. Why would I wear pants for girls?
She did not like the drawing. And I should zip the fly.
I was a bit confused, she was still looking at the drawing, she added... "Oh, here are the pockets. The pants are okay." I thanked her. I then went on to explain that this was not really me she was looking at. What she was commenting on was a drawing, not even, she was looking at the printout of a scan of a drawing that I happened to make on a packed subway.
Then the questions about the letters began. I had to explain that some of the drawings are a bit like going with a recording device through the morning subway. I pick up some bits here, there are some pieces there. Once I am done with the pages, I just turn them, but until then, elements of the drawing can just accumulate and they can create some very intriguing or in this case... obviously disturbing arrangements. She gave the phone to my .
He was more technical about the pieces. He noted that many of them seem to have been folded in half. I had to explain that they were pages from a little book. The next question was about the arrangement of the fingers on the hands of the figures in many of the drawings. I just explained that it was a bit of a habit for me to draw hands this way. And that I started drawing hands like this when I was maybe 16 or so and when I really loved work by Oskar Kokoschka and then even more Egon Schiele... Though I did not want him to look up these guys on Google, so I just rushed through the descriptions.


wow, witold. it's good to have feedback, i guess. it's actually very sweet. :)

any parent would be worried about their son with an unzipped fly. oh, and especially while he's wearing girl pants.

my husband is giving his very hip 80-year-old grandfather a computer. despite his hipness, now comes the problem of actually teaching him how to use it as he only vaguely grasps what a computer actually does. we're letting a teenage cousin deal with that bit.

Posted by: momo on May 2, 2003 01:14 AM

I gave my parents a computer a few years ago and gained a new found respect for telephone tech support operators. Trying to explain how to do something over the phone and not being able to see their screen or have access to the exact operating system they're using is supremely frustrating...

Explaining how your inner thought life gets regurgitated onto paper and how that process has changed since the time you were eight years-old is only slightly less difficult.

Posted by: Todd on May 2, 2003 02:56 PM

This is such a charming story...your parents staged a long-distance Intervention. That's love! My mother-in-law has taken (on more than one occasion) to calling me at 1 in the morning and claiming (from 1000 miles away) that her printer isn't working (what could she possibly be trying to print, and why can't it wait until morning?)...This habit is not nearly as charming or well-received as your folks.

Posted by: Melissa on May 2, 2003 09:24 PM

yes, zip that fly son... and what IS up with those girly pants?... are you eating?... do you have a girlfriend?... when are they gonna meet her?... when are you coming for a visit?... when are you getting married?... and when are you gonna give them a grandson?

your life as a sitcom... :-) funny, your dad googled you... parents - can't live with them, can't live without them.

Posted by: - s - on May 4, 2003 07:30 PM
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